Why Planning Matters

September 6, 2011

Inclusion Strategies

Something to think about…

I was observing a student a couple of weeks ago in a delightful third grade classroom. This teacher was a master at delivering content and helping kids stay engaged with her lesson. She did this in subtle, loving ways, without embarrassing anyone or making anyone feel inadequate. She had templates of notes for some of the students, making it easier for them to follow along. She paired some of the kids, knowing their strengths and needs, and allowing them to help each other. Some of the students had received pre-teaching materials in their folders the week before. Each student participated actively, at his or her own level, and the objectives of the lesson were accomplished.

I noticed, while I was observing, a poster at the back of the room that read,

“If you don’t have time to do it right,

                                          you must have time to do it over.”

She probably hung that poster at the beginning of the year, in hopes of inspiring her students. I’m sure she has read it countless times. But get this: She was LIVING it.

She was encouraging kids to learn the first time, with gentle reminders and careful prompts, knowing that a stray reprimand or a thoughtless remark could ruin a child’s day. Or the whole learning experience. She demonstrated an understanding that although planning her own teaching behavior takes extra time and effort, it very likely prevented issues with behavior, frustration and attention.

She was the kind of teacher who knew that the time it would take to “do it over,” would mean more than re-teaching content; it would mean repairing a broken spirit.

She took the time to do it right.


Katie Wetherbee loves teaching students of all ages! She is the Director of Education for Key Ministry, based in Ohio. Katie and her husband Tom have two teenagers, and a mutt named Mitzie. For more teaching and learning ideas, visit Katie’s blog, Diving for Pearls.

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2 Comments on “Why Planning Matters”

  1. Mike Says:

    We had a saying back in my military days: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
    Good planning benefits everyone whether in the school classroom…or Sunday school classroom!


  2. Doug Goddard Says:



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