Planning And Improvising In Teaching

I have four colleagues in our English department at our school and we have quite distinctive personalities. Naturally, each of us has a different approach to teaching. What sticks out the most, is the planner/spontaneous type of personality and various teaching methods and tools each of them employs.

These personality types and the way they manifest in the work of the teacher shouldn’t be seen as opposing. They are simply different and they can share  the same goal. To teach the students effectively in a way which is natural for the teacher.

You can’t chose your personality, but you can be aware of it and of the fact how it influences your work.  And you can utilize it to unlock your teaching superpowers. I’ve put together a list of positive aspects for each approach.


1. You will have a routine. Routine is good, it helps you to go over things step by step.

2. Hand in hand with routine goes methodology. You ill have a plan, you will chose the best approach and you will follow it to reach your objectives.

3. Preparation. You will feel more confident when you plan your lesson. You can predict and tackle issues which may arise in the course of the lesson.

4. You will set rules and standards for the activities and student’s behavior. It can help with classroom management.

5. Planning a lesson can be also beneficial for your time management. You will know exactly how much time you have for certain tasks and activities.

6. Feedback and improvement. You will see if you managed to stick to the plan, to see what mistakes you made and learn from them.

7. Planning will  help organizing your thoughts and that is never a bad idea.


1. Being spontaneous means being fun. By improvising you can show your students problems and issues from a new perspective.

2. You can make your lessons more interesting. You can read the mood of the class and adapt your activities accordingly when you see your students loosing interest in the subject.

3. Every class is different, every student is different, teachers are different every day because of their mood, experience, expectations. When you are able to improvise, you can respond to your students’ individual needs.

4. Improvising can foster team spirit, energize your students, show them that they are not learning only rigid, boring information, but something they can use and that can be beneficial to them.

5. Improvising, or refocusing your attention on different aspects or topics can encourage your students to interact or speak up.

6. Classroom management. Different classes may require different approaches. If something doesn’t work you can easily apply different strategies.

7. Adjusting the pace. In every class there are faster and slower kids. We shouldn’t expect everybody to be able to work at the same pace.



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