With this as my first experience to plan a whole term and set out what I wanted my students to achieve I was challenged every week to sit down and decided, are we going in the right direction?
I was advised to over plan as there is nothing worse than not being prepared but in saying this I was so excited about the learning experiences I had planned I wanted my students to experience them all. So in my final weeks I had to prioritise and I did so by asking myself the following questions, what had the students started that I wanted them to complete?, what experiences had I planned that I was eager to still implement? and from what I had learnt about my students and the classroom would I implement to ensure I could get a final indication of their learning? I had to ask myself this and go through this process as I was not going to be in the classroom next term and wanted my hand over to be clear and smooth without leaving any loose ends for my mentor teacher to tie up for me.
Once I prioritised I had a conversation with the students and we discussed if the learning experiences I had deemed important were what they also deemed important and would allow them to successfully achieve the outcomes we had set out. Throughout my practicum I learnt there was not a more valuable resource than your students, they can show and tell you their learning and help you understand where to go next and what to revisit to ensure everyone is achieving.
So when planning you must reflect and for all teachers this should be a natural process but when doing this think about the students and what will keep them engaged, allow them to achieve your intended outcomes and where the learning will take them next. Your planning will guide their learning but remember to check in and make sure they are learning.
It is your job as a teacher to have a path for the week, term, semester and year and to guide your students along this path.