Susan Volbrecht, a second grade teacher with seven years of experience, emphasizes the importance of preparing new teachers for the Common Core. She also speaks about how she would have liked more opportunities to see successful lesson plans implemented before entering the classroom.
As the Common Core brings change to education and teaching, it is even more important that new teachers enter the classroom equipped with fundamentals, like lesson planning, so energy can be focused on implementing the new standards.
That's why it is surprising that nearly one-third (30 percent) of programs evaluated on our Lesson Planning Standard do not communicate clear expectations to their teacher candidates about how they are expected to plan lessons during their student teaching experience. Further, while the majority of programs (81%) require that teacher candidates plan instruction to meet the needs of students with special needs, less than half require the same be done for English language learners or students who are already proficient (44% and 46%, respectively).
Programs may well benefit from taking the cue from teacher performance assessments (TPAs) like the edTPA, which provide clear requirements for lesson planning. By aligning planning expectations to TPAs, programs will be better equipped to maintain clear, consistent planning expectations throughout the entirety of the program. We found one such example of alignment at Northwest University (WA) and they have generously agreed to provide their planning template and guidance as a resource to other programs.
For more information about the Review's Lesson Planning Standard and examples of programs that stand out, check out the full findings report.