As a teacher, you will need to do a fair amount of planning in order to engage students in the material being taught and convey all key concepts effectively. The best way to start doing so is to develop effective lesson plans. The most important thing to keep in mind when writing lesson plans is the fact that students respond well to consistency and may have difficulty with rough transitions. Your plans should therefore be created in some sort of logical chronology so concepts from one lesson will carry over into the next lessons.
Most teachers write lesson plans for every day of class. The plans should include only a few key concepts — too many key concepts can lead to confusion and can prevent retention of information. A good way to clearly define the concepts is to write them on the board at the beginning of class; if students know what they are about to learn, they are more likely to understand the progression of received information. Stated goals should be a part of all lesson plans you write. It may be helpful to do a quick recap at the beginning of every class period to briefly remind students what was taught in the previous lesson, as well as how that learned information pertains to the current lesson.
Your lesson plans should also include learning objectives and the learning standards of your state or region. This will give you, the teacher, a better understanding of what you are teaching and why you are teaching it. You must be more prepared than the students, and you must have confidence in the material you are presenting. Sometimes an English teacher may need to refresh himself on the definition of a gerund, or a math teacher may need to go back and research the Pythagorean theorem. The teacher needs to be prepared and confident in the material before presenting it to the students.
Sometimes the most well laid-out lesson plans fall flat. The students do not respond to the materials or the activities, or the activities you thought would work well become too complicated or tedious. It is okay to stray from the lesson plans if this happens. Having a back-up plan is always a good idea, and allowing students to help guide the lesson is an even better idea. If your plans don't work, modify them for next time, and keep in mind that plans you used last year for a different group of students may not work exceptionally well for this year's students. Be willing to adapt, even if it means shifting gears mid-lesson.