Is it better to let your lesson flow on and just react to whatever comes inside the class?

" so how can I plan this lesson using the TBL approach" Said Ms.Y
" easy, pre-task, task, report, analyze and maybe add a practice at the end just to test the students" Said me
"God, I never know the name of the approach I am using.I just teach the what and how I see right"said Ms.Z


That conversation took place yesterday where I and other 30 qualified teachers holding the Cambridge TKT 2014.

So what is better? To let your lesson flow on and just react to whatever comes inside the CLASS or to have an approach/methodology based teacher mentality?Personally, I have been teaching for more than eight years now, five of which I was just following the "teach from the heart" technique.Mainly because I never read or studied teaching techniques. I survived these five years and a great number of my students continued showing up to my class.Yet, deep inside of me I knew that there is something missing.I would pas by class where other teachers who got teaching qualification, I would notice for a start how their classroom is much more relaxed and student centered.

Although I deeply believe in the importance of following a methodology based mentality while planning a lesson, I also believe that there should always be this window of flexibility and spontaneity inside the classroom.You cannot always be in control of your day.

To prove that , I am going to share an incident that happened today.so I am at the center where I teach ESL classes and one colleague has just asked me to cover an hour of her class as she is going to be running late! If you are one teacher who needs to be 100% prepared and does not tolerate spontaneity and a last minute call, I would have panicked and asked for more time.

Yet, what happened is that I went to the class with an episode of "Mind your language" series and a worksheet.Just as I was by the door I turned and asked her "did you teach them about the past simple ?" she said yes.In that very moment I thought of why not try something new,something out of the book.

Here is the scenario: " Good morning ladies,So I am here for an hour until your teacher arrives.Say, I have two interesting options for how to spend this hour together.

Option A: watch an episode of "Mind your language"

option B: sing a song together that I have written myself to practice the past simple tense".  After some discussion they said " we want the song miss"

To read more about the song activity and watch the video recorded inside the classroom follow this link

 http://fatimataha.blogspot.com.eg/2016/07/a-chant-to-practice-past-simple-tense.html

To sum up, I guess what I a trying to say is that either you know the methodologies and prefer a methodology based lesson plan or do you prefer to read you lesson and design/ borrow activities that can help your students to achieve the main aim; the call is yours. But for me, knowing the newest approaches and techniques does not necessarily mean that I do not allow my self and my students the luxury of being spontaneous.

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