More realistic lesson aims

One of the strongest criticism of PPP is that it never achieves typical lesson aims like “Students will be able to produce Future Continuous and use it in communication”. Or at least it seems like a strong criticism until you realize that no other approach can achieve that either in a single lesson and if they are more successful it is often simply by setting the bar lower. That’s a technique that I think we can all use, so here are some more realistic goals that you can set for your lessons, PPP or not:

“My aim for this lesson is:

  • Not getting any complaints
  • Students not being more confused about this language point than when they came into the classroom
  • At least not get any blank faces when I have to completely reteach this language point in three weeks’ time
  • Students vaguely remembering this language point when they learn it all over again in the next level class
  • Dodging any questions which I can’t answer
  • Getting through without racist comments by anyone
  • Students being motivated to learn the language by my lie that it’s useful for TOEIC
  • No one realizing how useless this lesson’s language point is
  • Not forgetting to do more than one of the stages on my lesson plan
  • Not allowing students to distract me into ranting about something or talking about my holidays again
  • Doing at least 40% of the things that I’ve planned
  • Finding all the problems with this lesson so that I can use it with a more important class next week
  • Proving that this lesson was never going to work
  • Not yawning
  • Not sighing
  • Not losing the will to live
  • Not letching at any students
  • Collecting at least two amusing student errors
  • Not getting any pen on my shirt or face
  • Not spitting on anyone when I’m demonstrating pronunciation or getting particularly passionate in my error correction
  • Not reminding anyone of Basil Fawlty or Mr Bean
  • Getting fewer than 10 yawns or patronizing looks
  • Not giving away too much personal information
  • Not using exactly the same stories to illustrate language points as in previous classes
  • Not using exactly the same example sentences to illustrate the grammar as in previous classes
  • Not having to explain the activities more than four times
  • Still having enough energy left to teach my other lessons without snapping at anyone or nodding off
  • Still having enough energy left to get through this month’s sex with my partner tonight without snapping at anyone or nodding off
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