The aim of this chapter is to help you become a better planner. To do this, we begin with the problems that teachers have in planning. We then move to the structures of different teaching plans. As you read the chapter, you need to consider these questions:

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a planner?

What do you need to be able to do to plan a teaching unit?

Are you likely to rely heavily on a textbook?

How can you effectively plan long term?

Are you planning to meet the needs of all your students, including those with special learning needs and those whose cultural backgrounds are different from your own?

Effective planning is a necessary and essential ingredient of effective teaching. Obviously, there is more to teaching than planning, but imagine a teacher who does not plan. Such a teacher has no sense of what is to go on in the classroom and quickly loses efficacy and impact. Fortunately, many teachers do at least some planning, but many do far too little. Too often, teaching plans consist of cryptic notes in lesson-plan books referring to pages in the textbook. These kinds of plans can hardly lead to exciting, creative classrooms.