I think everyone will agree how important it is to prepare before teaching an All Stars lesson. However, agreeing and doing are two different things. Two challenges I hear All Stars teachers say they face in prepping is time and not knowing how to effectively prepare. Here are some suggestions.
Spend enough time. I recommend at least 45 minutes of preparation time prior to each All Stars lesson. It doesn’t matter if you are a brand new teacher or someone who has taught the program many times over. Every group is different – bringing different challenges to consider and work through each time.
Prepare ahead. It is ideal if you can prepare for a lesson at least two days prior to teaching it. This gives you adequate time to do what needs to be done while still keeping the information fresh in your mind. When you put together your All Stars teaching schedule mark out 45 minutes from your schedule two days in advance of each lesson. If you don’t plan to spend time preparing, it probably won’t happen. Treat your preparation schedule as being just as important as your teaching schedule.
Use preparation time effectively. Here are some proven tips on how to use your time effectively when preparing for an All Stars lesson:
- Read through the lesson at least three times and visualize how the lesson should go.
- Ask yourself, “What is the mediator (e.g. idealism, normative beliefs, personal commitment) I am targeting in this lesson? How is this lesson helping me to influence this mediator?” If you don’t know the answer to these two questions, call me.
- Highlight key questions or “points to make” during the lesson in your teacher’s manual.
- If you participated in All Stars teacher training, refer to your training power point notes. These notes offer tips for every lesson. Consider how you can apply as many of the tips offered.
- Review your post-program notes from previous times you taught the lesson to see what you did well and what you thought you should do differently the next time. Apply as many of your own tips as possible.
- Think about what materials or handouts you need and make sure they are available and ready beforehand.
- Consider how effective your room set-up, placement of students and overall classroom environment is. Make changes, if necessary.
- Are there any students you need to meet with one-on-one? Arrange a time prior to or after the lesson to meet with them.
Being well prepared can make All Stars even more effective and enjoyable for the students. Take the time and use your time wisely to prepare. The time invested will pay off for you and the students.