In friendly conversation, people sometimes ask what I do. When I tell them one of the ways I earn income is by creating and selling lesson plans online, a common response goes something like, “Wow … that seems kind of lazy for the teachers to just buy lesson plans. I always thought that was part of their jobs… but I guess that’s cool you can earn money that way.”
After 10+ years of teaching, I burned out and went to work for an entertainment company in Burbank, CA as an administrative assistant. My desk was a famously busy one at the studio, but it was basically a huge volume of relatively simple tasks. Doing work with such low stakes was such a relief to me. At the end of the day, I got to be done. I could go home and have a life outside of work. It was bliss.
To the devil and his advocate, I say:
Yes, my co-worker’s lack of experience planning presentations would put him at disadvantage time-wise. He, however, also has a great number of advantages to consider:
Incidentally, I do agree with my co-worker’s number. It does take about 30+ hours of work to plan a one-hour lesson that is thoroughly engaging and addresses content standards in a deep and meaningful way for a diverse group of students. The whole-class instruction model my co-worker would use in his department meeting is the easiest kind of lesson to plan, in my opinion. Small-group, differentiated instruction requires even more time and careful planning.
By the way, since leaving teaching, I’ve not paid for a single marker, pen, stapler, piece of copy paper, or anything else needed to do my job. Not even once.
Regardless of the field or task, one considers the goal and the best methods to achieve it. Cancer doesn’t care how unique or “homemade” the doctor’s treatment plan is; it only matters that it works. Teachers who buy lesson plans are applying the same logic: when the best tools to help their students succeed already exist, they don’t hesitate in using them. That’s not lazy; it’s smart and it’s effective.
Linking up with some great bloggers this month — check them out:
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