“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” 

—Dwight David Eisenhower, 1890-1969 (Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during WWII, 34th president of the USA)

EisenhowerWe have to make lesson plans. We have to anticipate student reactions. We must think about what we want to accomplish and what we want students to get out of it.

But we also need to be prepared to throw out those plans when the unexpected happens.

Eisenhower continues:

“There is a very great distinction because when you are planning for an emergency you must start with this one thing: the very definition of “emergency” is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning.

“So, the first thing you do is to take all the plans off the top shelf and throw them out the window and start once more. But if you haven’t been planning you can’t start to work, intelligently at least.

“That is the reason it is so important to plan, to keep yourselves steeped in the character of the problem that you may one day be called upon to solve–or to help to solve.”

It is the process of keeping ourselves “steeped in the character of the problem” that helps us when the unexpected happens in the classroom.Which is just about every day in my classroom.

Thanks for the reminder, sir. Makes me a better teacher.