Supporting Teacher Workload

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In a busy working week, how can teachers improve their cognitive thinking?

Teacher workload will never go away, but how a teacher approaches lesson planning can be streamlined so that a more cognitive approach improves teacher impact. Get access to my new digital planning tool.

A thought process …

Lesson planning; for teachers new and experienced will always be required. Sadly, detailed plans is one of those education fads that have little or no impact on learning and is still required in many institutions. With a welcomed focus on curriculum planning that considers, intent, implementation and impact, how teachers manage to do this and reduce their workload will always be a difficult balance.

Over the past 12 months, I have been working with Angel Solutions to redesign my digital lesson plan for teachers.

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Don’t stop thinking!

Although, the original 5 Minute Lesson Plan was shared (~2011) when detailed lesson plans were required for formal observations and inspections, thankfully, this dialogue has changed. However, this does not mean that teachers do not need to stop lesson planning and by this, I mean recording details on a piece of paper – even Ofsted no longer require detailed plans of any teacher, even a trainee!

Why use the 5 Minute Lesson Plan?

For me? If teachers can be ‘clear and precise about the learning, not the doing’, this should help support lesson planning as a thought process, rather than recording lots of details on a piece of paper – particularly to benefit an observer. Academic John Hattie and his research on effect sizes on student outcomes define this process as ‘teacher clarity’.

What does the research suggest?

“Fendick (1990) as “organization, explanation, examples and guided practice, and assessment of student learning — such that clarity of speech was a prerequisite of teacher clarity.” (Hattie 2009, 126) – the importance to clearly communicate the intentions of the lessons and the success criteria. Clear learning intentions describe the skills, knowledge, attitudes and values that the student needs to learn.”

On the original 5 Minute Lesson Plan, this was called ‘Stickability.’ in 2007 when it was first created. Listen to this short video of me explaining its importance on the plan. For more details about what each stage means, you can download this short guide or listen to a video demonstration inside the new software.

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Create a digital lesson plan?

Sign up to my new digital template at  (limited users) and follow on all the social media channels at @5MinLessonPlan with the hashtag, 

You can find all of my original 5 Minute Lesson Plan resources here, with templates and frequently asked questions. If you work in an Initial Teacher Training organisation, there is a training programme available to support you and your work with newly qualified teachers.

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

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