“It’s not like I don’t make lesson plans. You’ve seen my lesson plans, right?” Alexis Bisset asks her sympathetic colleagues. They avoid her gaze.

Having received the last-minute announcement from Karen that her lesson would be observed, Alexis has been unable to locate her lesson plan.

After a minute or two of frantically leafing through the coursebook and attendance list repeating, “where is it?” she has been unable to find anything but a piece of paper on which the words Questions 1-7 then show a video or something are scrawled in her handwriting. She has, of course, assured Karen that the the piece of paper does not constitute her lesson plan, and that the document in question was, “typed up and well thought-out.”

“After the presentation stage, which I can’t find the slides for, I was going to have the students sit opposite each other in a sort of sushi-line and have them use the target language to find out meaningful information about each other,” she assures her colleagues. “It was going to be… you know… weak-end task-based.”

“Lesson-plan loss is one of the leading factors in a poor result from a pop-in observation,” say Karen through narrowed eyes. “Statistically, it’s weird that though 100% of the teachers’ lessons are thoroughly planned, this phenomenon tends to strike at the same time as unannounced observations.”

“I had a warmer and everything,” Alexis continues, back in the staffroom. “It needed balloons. I asked Tuan to buy balloons but I guess she must not have understood me. This is so frustrating.”

Her colleagues nod in sympathy before getting back to something unspecified that they had been busy with.

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