By asking a mentor, you are likely to learn ideas and tips that may be helpful to you in future lesson planning.
After a difficult week with a particular class that I am still having trouble with from the beginning of the school year, I decided on a plan to help me reevaluate my work, mainly my lesson plan. After twelve years of teaching, I still ask my colleagues at work what other ideas or ways they might suggest for teaching a particular class. Another objective set of eyes can be really helpful especially when you are really unsure about what to do with a particular class.
Below are seven questions about lesson preparation that I wrote for an action research project back in my undergraduate days of teaching. I decided to review them again. It was actually quite refreshing. Start by answering them yourself, in writing. If you are a trainee with limited experience, then note how you hope to prepare lessons yourself, or how you have done so in teaching practice.
How long before a specific lesson do you prepare it?
Do you write down lesson notes to guide you or do you rely on a lesson format provided by another teacher, the textbook, or a teacher's Guide?
If so, are these notes brief (a single page or less) or long (more than one page)? What do they consist of?
Do you note down your objectives?
Do you actually look at your notes during the lesson? If so - rarely? Occasionally? Frequently?
What do you do with your lesson notes after the lesson?
For those who would like to interview at least two other teachers who are experienced and (as far as you can tell) conscientious and competent professionals, make sure you ask them the same questions. Stress that what you want to know is what they actually do in daily practice, not what they think they out to do! Note their answers on a separate piece of paper.
Can you make any generalizations, or does lesson preparation seem to be entirely idiosyncratic?
Think about or discuss the evidence you have gathered from your interviews and your own observations. Try to assess critically its relevance and usefulness for your own practice.
Finally, revert to the answers you wrote yourself at the beginning of this process, and add notes below each one, recording ideas you have learned from this inquiry that may be helpful to you in future lesson planning.