Lesson Diary, or, Stuff I Might Do Next Semester

diaryI used to keep a lesson diary. I might start doing it again.

I’ve been participating in the Castle Book Club discussion of Daniel T. Willingham’s Why Don’t Students Like School? – half-heartedly, I admit, for two reasons. First, my beloved cat died last week, and since then I’ve been doing everything with only half a heart. Secondly, much of the discussion in my group has centred around American education curriculum and policy – things I know little about – or educational technology – something I know little about and have little interest in.

However, when we were discussing Chapter One, I pointed out Willingham’s suggestion that teachers keep lesson diaries in which they chronicle the strengths and weaknesses of specific lesson plans. I did this when I started teaching, and I still have those diaries – sometimes they consisted of just a line or two of commentary, and sometimes the comments addressed student behavior more than lesson content, but they are still a useful reference all these years later.

Today I came across this article about the advantages of teacher journals, and started to think once again about how helpful keeping a lesson-by-lesson diary can be.

I’m considering keeping a lesson diary next semester as an offshoot to this blog. It would be accessible to anyone interested, and I might occasionally provide links when a lesson brought up a subject I wanted to address further.

I’m not sure, however, whether there’s an advantage to keeping this diary publicly, beyond my natural exhibitionism. It would mostly consist of lesson plans, commentary on their success, and notes on possible future adjustments.

Would such a lesson diary be of interest to anyone? Do you keep one? Do you keep it online? If so, can I see it?