My first year of teaching, I would wing lessons quite a bit. I did not plan as often as I should have and I would say that my classes did ok, but not exceptionally. Nevertheless, my personality helped the students enjoy class for the most part. Last year, I became an over-planner. I got home and would plan each class for hours at a time. When I wasn't doing homework for college, I was designing new worksheets and PowerPoints for my classes.
I think the beauty of the TPRS method is that you really do not have to plan as much. Provided that you know the language enough to tell stories with your class, you just get better by practicing it with your class. I am by no means an expert. But I have really been enjoying this method with my classes so far this year and they are also.
Part of the lack of planning does make me nervous. I feel like I might just lose control and the class will be a complete disaster. I just hate the idea of something going wrong because I didn't plan enough. In college they taught us that your lesson plan must be indepth and you should make sure to have differentiation planned in.
TPRS is such a simple method on paper but much more complex in the classroom. The reason that it requires less planning is because the students have to help deliver the lesson to the class. I do not know what the lesson will look like at the end of class until it happens.
Each class can take three or four structures and do completely different things with them.
That's what makes it fun. The class isn't about my perceptions of Spanish anymore. It's not about my expertise of the Spanish language. Instead, it is about what the students want to get out of the class. They're in control and I facilitate the learning.
What a beautiful model.