We're talking about practice?

It's not uncommon at all to hear practicing teachers reminisce about their time in their education program and complain about writing lesson plans. "The lesson plans I write now are nothing like the plans I wrote in college!" they say. And it's a fair point. The lesson plans my students write are pages long. In their careers they'll be a paragraph or two, or maybe even a bullet point.

The implication is that us teaching in ed. schools are wasting our students' times by having them write out these detailed lesson plans. The implication is that we are giving students busywork. The implication is that ed. schools are disconnected from classroom teaching.

I respectfully disagree. For me the long lesson plans I require are a form of practice. Think about it like practice for soccer or tennis. In soccer practice a student-athlete might find herself running laps around the field. We know this is not how soccer is played; I've never seen a player simply circle the field during a game. In tennis practice she might find herself serving ball after ball into an empty court. While it would be nice to serve nothing but aces, we understand that some balls will be returned and she'll have to play a volley or two. Are coaches wasting these athlete's time with busywork?

Of course not. They're building conditioning and muscle memory. That's what the long lesson plans are all about. I want my students to think about and explain every aspect of their lesson, so later these things are second-nature.