Nothing beats an epic lesson plan.

At a time when teaching seems to get more and more challenging, with so many factors outside of your control, one thing you can get right is your lesson plan. It's the core of our craft as teachers.

And doing it well isn't luck or magic. There are time-tested, fundamental principles for lesson plan design, and if you understand them well and follow them closely, your students will learn better and you'll feel more satisfied with your work.

If you're already a master teacher, if you already confidently design your instructional plans and you regularly see clear evidence that your students are really learning, then you've probably already internalized these principles. For everyone else — from brand-new teachers to those who want to do better — grounding yourself in the fundamentals will dramatically improve your teaching.

Mastering the Lesson Plan is a self-paced online course that will teach you how to build solid, engaging lesson plans and sequence them into comprehensive units of instruction.

What's Inside

Over 50 Videos

Every lesson starts with a video where I explain each concept and process in clear, simple language.

Course Workbooks

Every module comes with its own printable workbook that offers guided notes for you to complete as you work through the modules, plus space to take your own notes.

Strategy Library

A huge library of teaching, assessment, and differentiation strategies you can use again and again.

Plus a Q&A section in every lesson, moderated by experienced teachers, so you can get answers to your specific questions.

Course Curriculum

Note: Although you will be able to click on these modules, the contents are not yet available.

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  Module 1: The Big Picture
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  Module 2: Setting Objectives
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  Module 3: Designing Assessment
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  Module 4: Building the Lesson Plan
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  Module 5: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access
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  Module 6: Integrating Technology
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  Appendix A: Content Delivery Strategies
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  Appendix B: Application Strategies
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  Appendix C: Assessment & Review Strategies
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  Appendix D: Differentiation Strategies
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  Appendix E: Lesson Plan Library
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  Appendix F: Template Library
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  Glossary of Teaching Terms
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Who Is This Course For?

New Teachers

Get a solid start by nailing the fundamentals right away. You'll return to this course again and again as you grow in your practice.

Experienced Teachers

Even with some years under your belt, it helps to return to the basics. This course will reinforce the good things you're already doing and help you fill in the gaps where you may still need growth.

Teachers of Teachers

If you teach pre-service teachers, work as an instructional coach, or otherwise supervise teachers, the materials in this course will be an outstanding resource for supporting them.

K-12 Teachers

The skills you'll learn in this course are appropriate for teaching any grade level, K-12, and any subject area.

Postsecondary Instructors

Teaching at the college level, at trade or vocational schools, or in a pre-professional programs all follow the same principles for instructional planning.

Course Creators

If you teach your own course in gardening, first aid, personal finance, cooking, auto repair, you name it, this course will help you build your lessons on sound pedagogy.

So Who Am I?

Hey, I'm Jennifer Gonzalez. I was a middle school language arts teacher for a little more than seven years, and then I taught pre-service teachers at the university level for another four years. I loved teaching teachers so much I decided to start doing it on the internet.

Since 2013, I've been running a website and podcast for teachers called Cult of Pedagogy, where I share everything I can find about how to get better at teaching. All those years of interviewing researchers, talking to practicing teachers, attending conferences, and reading education books have given me a front-row seat to some of the most powerful teaching practices available.

Now I've synthesized and curated the best things I've learned into a program of study that will help any teacher sharpen their pedagogical skills.

Some questions you might have about the course...

When will this course be open?

I am hoping to have everything done by mid-July 2024. If you sign up for our waiting list here, I will email you the moment it's ready.

Does this course come with PD credit or a certificate of completion?

Although we do not offer PD credit, we can issue a certificate of completion once you have completed all the modules. Should your institution choose to use this curriculum as part of its own professional development or coursework (which I think would be a phenomenal idea), they can determine how to credit you for the work that is generated from the course.

I am not a new teacher. Will this course be too basic for me?

That really depends on the kind of training you got in your early years. I've found that even teachers with years of experience still have gaps in their foundational skills. For myself, even several years into my career, I would often turn to my teaching textbooks for guidance when I planned lessons.

Beyond the instruction this course offers on lesson and unit planning, you'll also get a ton of value from the huge library of teaching strategies at the end of the course. These will give you fresh ideas and will be a great resource for lesson planning for years to come.

With all of that said, experienced teachers will also get a lot of value from a mini-course I'll be releasing in 2025, Fine-Tune Your Teaching Delivery, which will offer more advanced skills that go beyond basic lesson planning.

Can I find a lot of this stuff on Cult of Pedagogy for free?

While some of the material for this course has been curated from past articles, podcasts, and videos that were previously published on Cult of Pedagogy, this course will give you a very different experience from just clicking around the website. Here's how:

  1. More than half of what's here is new material that has never been published on Cult of Pedagogy.
  2. Previously published material has been synthesized and updated into more concise summaries so you can learn the basics quickly.
  3. This course's content is organized and ordered so that you can find exactly what you need, when you need it, rather than hunting through over 10 years worth of material on Cult of Pedagogy.
  4. Any previously published videos have been updated and re-recorded exclusively for this course.

I teach at a university and would like to use Teaching 101 as part of my course. Can you give my students a discounted rate?

Yes, after the course is open we will set up a form where you can request a coupon code for your students.

Does this course cover anything about classroom management?

No. I am creating a completely separate course on classroom management that should be out later in 2024.

How is this course different from the Rocket PD Cohort on Powerful Lesson Design?

In November of this year, I will be leading a 5-week live cohort through the RocketPD platform called Build Teaching Confidence with Powerful Lesson Design. Here are the main differences between the two:

  • I will use a small amount of the material from Mastering the Lesson Plan in the RocketPD cohort, but it will only represent a small portion of this course. The RocketPD cohort consists of five 90 minute sessions, while this course contains over 20 hours of instruction.
  • The RocketPD cohort is designed to be a live, interactive session with me through Zoom, whereas Mastering the Lesson Plan has no live component; everything is self-paced, asynchronous, and pre-recorded.
  • The RocketPD content will only be available for a limited time; course materials in Mastering the Lesson Plan do not expire. Once you have enrolled you'll have access to them as long as you like.

Can I purchase this course through DonorsChoose?

Yes! Because we are not a DonorsChoose vendor, you will need to create a Special Request project. Once your project is fully funded, DonorsChoose will purchase the course for you in one of three ways. If the course will be paid by check and you need an invoice from us, just fill out this form. Once we receive payment, we will email you a coupon code so you can enroll in the course with the tuition waived. If you have any questions, please reach out to the DonorsChoose Help Center.

Course Tuition

Single User License

Group of 5

Group of 10

For larger groups, please contact us when the course is open.

We accept purchase orders from U.S. customers for any order of $25 and over; for international customers, the minimum amount for a purchase order is $99. To generate a quote for a purchase order, please fill out this form and someone from our team will contact you with an invoice.

Get notified when the course opens!

This course should be open for enrollment by the end of July. Click the button below to sign up for the waiting list and I'll let you know as soon as it's ready.