Teacher’s guide: a Guide or a Strait-Jacket?

When it comes to preparing our class, our main frame is the Teacher’s Guide. There is a point in which we wonder if it is helpful or if, eventually, it restricts our creativity.
Let’s analyze the facts.
Novice vs experienced teachers
For novice teachers, a Teacher’s Guide is like a bible: it contains all pedagogical aspects to be taken into account; it tells them what to do step by step so it is an excellent back up.
Tailor-made or ready to use?
The information in the Teacher’s Guide does not necessarily fit our institution’s goals. However, it may be helpful and supportive.
Below, a list of pros:
  •  It definitely saves time.    
  •  It explains how activities can be used since they   are suggested by their own authors.
  •  It describes the methodological approach of the textbook.
  •  It supplies extra materials such as exams, exercises, handouts, CDs and even an eZone!

And now, a list of cons:

  •  It restricts your creativity.
  • ·You may feel that the sequence of your class is imposed by what the           book states for a specific unit or chapter.
  •  You do not have the chance to create your own examples.
  •  You may not include your own experience or know-how.

Do any of these reasons sound familiar to you? There has always been a debate about the usefulness of such a guide: some teachers are convinced that they bring not only variety to class but also invaluable help. On the other hand, there is also a number of teachers that think it is a good start, but it should not be definite.
Your turn:
How do you see the teacher’s guide?
Has it always meant the same to you?

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