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Welcome to the forefront of educational transformation! Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the never-ending demands of lesson planning? 

You’re not alone. Recent studies show that educators spend up to 30% of their time preparing lessons, often feeling that this time could be better spent interacting directly with students. 

But what if there was a way to reclaim your time and energize your teaching process?

Enter the world of Generative Pre-trained Transformers—GPTs for short. 

These advanced AI tools are not just for tech experts; they’re here to revolutionize your classroom. Customizing GPTs can tailor lesson plans, generate engaging content, and even interact with students in real-time. 

This guide is your personal roadmap to harnessing these capabilities, crafted specifically with you, the K-12 educator, in mind.

In the following pages, we’ll explore how GPTs can be customized to enrich your teaching and provide a more personalized learning experience for your students. 

I’ll walk you through each step of the process, from the basics of what GPTs are, to setting them up, and finally, to implementing them in your classroom. 

You’re not just reading a guide—you’re stepping into a community of forward-thinking educators ready to embrace the future of teaching.

Let’s embark on this journey together. Your classroom is about to get a lot more exciting!

Understanding GPTs and Their Capabilities

Welcome to the fascinating world of Generative Pre-trained Transformers, or GPTs, which are revolutionizing not just how we interact with technology, but how we teach and engage our students. 

This section is dedicated to unveiling the immense potential of these AI-driven tools in enhancing personalized education through tailored lesson planning and interactive learning experiences.

What are GPTs?

At their core, GPTs are advanced AI models that generate text based on the input they receive. 

They can compose emails, write essays, simulate dialogues, and much more.

guide to customizing GPTS

In the educational context, this capability transforms into customizing lesson content, automating administrative tasks, and facilitating one-on-one student interactions that are nearly indistinguishable from human engagement.

Benefits of Using GPTs in Education

The incorporation of GPTs into educational settings can significantly lighten the load on educators, providing them with more time to focus on direct student interaction and personalized teaching.

GPTs have the potential to revolutionize the game in the following way:

  • Personalized Learning: Adapt lesson content to fit the needs of each student, considering their learning pace, style, and preferences.
  • Efficiency: Automate routine tasks like grading and answering frequently asked questions, allowing you to focus on creative and impactful teaching.
  • Engagement: Use interactive AI to stimulate and maintain students’ interest in subjects by adapting in real-time to their responses.

Introducing the CAPITAL Framework

Understanding and harnessing the power of GPTs requires a structured approach, and this is where the CAPITAL framework comes into play. 

It provides a methodical way to customize how GPTs converse, ensuring they meet the specific needs of their educational environment. 

Here’s a brief overview of what each element stands for and how it impacts GPT interactions in educational settings:

  • Confidence (C): Choose between an assured tone for subjects requiring authority, like science, or a measured tone for areas needing thoughtful consideration, like ethical discussions.
  • Amicability (A): Decide if the GPT should appear friendly and approachable for younger students, or maintain a neutral tone for factual subjects like mathematics.
  • Professionalism (P): Set the language style from formal for scholarly content to casual for interactive and relatable student engagement.
  • Interactivity (I): Opt for high interactivity in simulations and role-playing or low interactivity in structured settings like lecture delivery.
  • Transparency (T): Be open about the AI’s capabilities and limitations, especially in sensitive areas like health education, to build trust and credibility.
  • Adaptability (A): Allow the GPT to adjust its responses based on student feedback and context, creating a responsive learning environment that mimics human-like adaptability.
  • Lexicography (L): Tailor the vocabulary level to the audience—use specialized terms for advanced students or simpler language for younger learners.

Each component of the CAPITAL framework acts as a setting that fine-tunes how your GPT interacts with students, much like adjusting a camera lens to capture the perfect photograph. 

By understanding and applying these settings, you can customize your GPT to be not just a tool, but a dynamic participant in the educational process.

Guide to customizing GPTS

In the following sections, we will dive deeper into setting up your custom GPT and exploring practical applications, ensuring you have all the tools needed to bring this innovative technology into your classroom. 

Setting Up Your Custom GPT for K-12 Education

Getting started with your own custom GPT might seem daunting at first, but I promise it’s more straightforward than you might think.

This section provides a step-by-step guide tailored specifically for you, the K-12 educator, to help you integrate this powerful tool into your classroom.

Whether you’re a tech novice or savvy, these steps will guide you through setting up a GPT that feels like it was made just for your teaching needs.

Step 1: Define Your GPT’s Educational Goals

Before diving into the technical setup, it’s crucial to clarify what you want your GPT to achieve in your classroom.

Are you looking to automate administrative tasks, provide personalized tutoring, or enhance creative writing classes? Your goals will dictate how you customize your GPT.

  • Identify the Needs: Consider the specific needs of your students and how a GPT could address them. Is it to assist with reading comprehension, solve math problems, or perhaps facilitate science experiments?
  • Set Clear Objectives: Outline clear, achievable objectives. For example, “My GPT will help create interactive history quizzes to engage students more deeply with the subject.”

Step 2: Access and Setup the GPT Platform

Before getting started you must have a ChatGPT Plus or teams account. If you do log in to get started!

Select “Explore” from the Sidebar:

Begin by navigating to the “Explore” option in the sidebar of your GPT platform. This is your gateway to discovering various tools and features that can aid in lesson planning.

Guide to customizing GPTS

Initiate the Creation of Your GPT:

Click “Create a GPT.” The interface will present a split screen with two panels: the “Create” panel, where you input specific prompts and parameters tailored for lesson planning, and the “Preview” panel, which lets you interact with your GPT to test and refine its utility in real-time lesson planning.

guide to customizing GPTS

Enter Your Initial Lesson Planning Commands:

In the Create panel’s message box, type in specific lesson planning tasks you want your GPT to assist with, such as “Generate a weekly lesson plan for 5th-grade science” or “Create engaging discussion questions for a high school history class on the Civil War.” Press Enter or Return to submit these instructions.

guide to customizing GPTS

Review and Customize GPT Suggestions:

After your initial command, the GPT builder will offer a few suggestions like a name for your GPT (e.g., “PlanMaster”), a profile picture, and default lesson planning templates or queries.

Guide to Customizing GPTS

You can accept these or request modifications to better align with your teaching style and subject matter needs. It’s also easy to update these elements later to keep the tool aligned with evolving educational strategies.

Fine-Tune Your GPT for Specific Lesson Planning Needs:

You will be prompted to provide more detailed instructions to better tailor your GPT’s outputs to your teaching requirements.

If you’re initially unsure, interact with your GPT in the Preview panel by asking it to perform real lesson planning tasks.

For instance, if it suggests overly complex activities for younger students, instruct it to simplify the activities.

Or if it lacks detail necessary for advanced topics, direct it to incorporate more in-depth content and relevant educational standards.

Iteratively Refine Your GPT’s Capabilities:

Continue refining your commands and interactions with the GPT based on the outputs you observe in the Preview panel.

This process is essential to ensure that the GPT accurately aligns with your lesson planning needs and adapts to various educational contexts.

guide to customizing gpts

For example, if the GPT initially generates lesson plans that are too rigid, you might instruct it to include optional activities that allow for student choice and variability based on class dynamics and student responses.

Step 3: Harnessing the Capital Framework for Prompt Engineering in Education

As educators strive to integrate technology into the classroom, understanding and utilizing the Capital Framework for prompt engineering can greatly enhance teaching methodologies, particularly when implementing Custom GPTs.

This framework can be a cornerstone in creating lesson plans that are effective, engaging, and tailored to meet the diverse needs of students across various educational settings.

Confidence (C)

When crafting lessons, the tone of delivery is crucial. For subjects that require a firm foundation, such as STEM disciplines, setting an assured tone can help establish authority and clarity.

Example scenarios include:

  • Science Experiments: Utilizing an assertive tone to explain complex theories or procedures ensures that students receive clear and direct instructions.
  • Mathematical Proofs: An authoritative voice aids in delivering step-by-step solutions, making intricate concepts more digestible. (Add screen shot of instructions and output)

Prompt Example: “Explain the principle behind Newton’s Third Law of Motion with precision and authority to a high school physics class.”

Guide to customizing GPTs

Conversely, topics that involve ethical considerations or open discussions, such as social studies or literature, may benefit from a measured tone.

This approach fosters an environment where students feel comfortable exploring different perspectives and engaging in deeper discussions.

Amicability (A)

The tone of the GPT can significantly affect student interaction and learning outcomes.

For younger audiences or in subjects that require building a rapport, such as language arts or early education, a friendly and approachable tone can make learning more enjoyable and less intimidating.

For example:

  • Storytelling Sessions: Implementing a warm, engaging tone can captivate young minds and enhance their imaginative capabilities.
  • Group Discussions: A friendly GPT can encourage more students to participate, sharing their thoughts and opinions openly.

Prompt Example: “Describe a cozy, imaginative setting for a children’s story to a group of elementary students using a warm and engaging tone.”

Guide to customizing GPTs

In more objective subjects like mathematics, maintaining a neutral tone focuses on delivering content without emotional bias, ensuring that facts stand clear and unambiguous.

Professionalism (P)

The language style should match the content’s nature and the audience’s expectations. In academic settings, such as university lectures or research presentations, a formal language style enhances the seriousness and scholarly quality of the information presented.

Prompt Example: “Provide a formal overview of the causes of World War II for a university history lecture, using scholarly language and citations.”

Guide to customizing GPTS

In contrast, more casual interactions, perhaps in creative writing classes or modern media studies, call for a casual style to foster a relatable and engaging learning environment.

Interactivity (I)

Custom GPTs can dramatically vary in their level of interactivity based on the educational goal:

  • High Interactivity: In subjects like drama or computer programming, role-playing simulations or interactive coding sessions can enhance practical learning and keep students engaged.
  • Low Interactivity: For lectures or when introducing new concepts, a more structured and focused approach helps ensure students grasp the foundational knowledge before engaging in interactive activities.

Prompt Example: “Conduct a role-playing exercise where students debate the ethics of artificial intelligence, encouraging active participation and dialogue.”

Guide to Customizing GPTS

Transparency (T)

Being transparent about the capabilities and limitations of AI technologies is vital, especially in sensitive areas. Health education, psychological topics, and ethical discussions benefit from clear disclaimers and factual accuracy to prevent misinformation and build trust.

Prompt Example: “Discuss the limitations of AI in diagnosing medical conditions in a health education class, emphasizing the importance of human oversight.”

Guide to customizing GPTS

Adaptability (A)

The ability of a GPT to adjust its responses based on real-time feedback allows for a dynamic learning environment that can emulate a more human-like interaction. This adaptability can be particularly useful in:

  • Adaptive Testing: Where the difficulty of questions adjusts based on the student’s performance.
  • Personalized Learning: Tailoring explanations and content according to the student’s pace and understanding.

Prompt Example: “Adjust the complexity of math problems in real-time based on the student’s answers during an adaptive assessment session.”

Guide to customizing GPTS

Lexicography (L)

Choosing the appropriate vocabulary level ensures that the GPT’s responses are accessible and comprehensible to all students.

For advanced courses, using specialized terminologies demonstrates expertise and prepares students for higher academic or professional levels.

Prompt Example: “Simplify the explanation of photosynthesis for a younger audience, using basic terms and analogies suitable for third graders.”


In contrast, for younger or less advanced students, simplifying the language aids in building confidence and understanding.

Step 4: Guide to Testing Your Custom GPTs for Lesson Planning

Creating effective test cases is a crucial step in ensuring that your custom GPTs function as intended in educational settings.

This process involves systematically evaluating the GPT’s responses to a variety of inputs to ensure it handles real-world educational tasks efficiently and accurately.

Below, we’ll provide a detailed guide on how to develop and implement these test cases, ensuring that K-12 teachers can confidently use this technology in their classrooms.

Creating a Structured Testing Framework

To effectively test your custom GPT, it’s important to organize your testing process systematically. Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting up your test cases:

  1. Prepare a Test Case Table:
    • Begin by creating a table in a spreadsheet or document. This table will help you organize test cases clearly. Columns should include: Test ID, Description, Input (Prompt), Expected Output, Observed Output, Pass/Fail, Notes.
  2. Detail Each Test Case:
    • For each test case, provide a clear description of what you are testing. For example, if your GPT is designed to help with creating English lesson plans, a test might be “Generate a lesson plan for teaching adjectives to 3rd graders.”
  3. Define Expected and Observed Outputs:
    • Specify what you expect the GPT to produce in the ‘Expected Output’ column. After running the test, record what the GPT actually produces in the ‘Observed Output’ column.
  4. Evaluate the Outcome:
    • Compare the expected and observed outputs to determine if the test case passes or fails. Note any discrepancies or issues in the ‘Notes’ column for further analysis.

Example of a Test Case Table:

Test IDDescriptionInput (Prompt)Expected OutputObserved OutputPass/FailNotes
1Generate a 3rd-grade adjective lesson“Create a lesson plan for 3rd-grade adjectives.”A detailed plan including definitions, examples, and exercises.A plan with examples but no exercises.FailMissing exercises.

Integrating Test Cases into Your GPT Development Process

  1. Input Test Prompts into Your GPT:
    • Use the ‘Input (Prompt)’ column from your table to test how your GPT responds. This can often be done through a user interface provided by the GPT platform, where you can enter prompts and view responses.
    • But I recommend saving or updating your GPT then testing it in a regular window not in the preview window. It seems to work fully in a regular chat.
  2. Document the Results:
    • After entering each prompt, record the GPT’s response in the ‘Observed Output’ column. This helps you track the GPT’s performance over time.
  3. Identify Common Problems:
    • Look for patterns in where the GPT fails. Common issues might include:
      • Misinterpretation of the prompt: The GPT does not understand the task.
      • Incomplete responses: The GPT’s output lacks necessary detail or components.
      • Inaccuracy: The GPT provides incorrect or misleading information.
      • Formatting issues: The GPT presents information in an unusable or difficult-to-understand format.
  4. Refine and Repeat:
    • Use the insights gained from testing to refine your GPT’s training and parameters. Adjust the instructions or training data based on specific areas where the GPT struggled.

Continuous Improvement

After initial testing, continuously update your test cases to challenge and refine your GPT as its capabilities expand or as you introduce new topics and materials into your lesson plans.

Regular testing ensures that your GPT remains a reliable tool for educational purposes, adapting to both teacher and student needs over time.

By following these detailed steps and regularly updating your test approach, you can ensure that your custom GPT is a robust and effective assistant in your teaching toolkit, capable of supporting a dynamic learning environment.

Step 5: Integrate and Monitor

  • Integrate Gradually: Start by integrating the GPT into one aspect of your teaching, such as homework help or lesson preparation, and gradually expand its use as you become more comfortable.
  • Monitor Performance: Regularly assess how well the GPT is meeting your educational objectives and make adjustments as needed.

Remember, setting up your GPT is just the beginning.

As you and your students become more accustomed to interacting with this technology, you’ll find numerous ways to enhance your teaching methods and make your classroom a more engaging and effective learning environment.

Prompting Patterns for Custom GPTs in K-12 Education

When you’re customizing your GPT for classroom use, understanding and implementing effective prompting patterns is key.

These patterns will guide your GPT to produce outputs that are not only relevant and practical but also aligned with your educational goals.

Below, I’ll explain each prompting pattern with specific examples tailored for K-12 educators to enhance lesson planning and create engaging activities.

Utilizing the Persona Pattern in Custom GPTs for Enhancing Lesson Planning and Activities

As an experienced educator, I’ve discovered an innovative way to enrich our lesson planning and classroom activities—by integrating what I call the “Persona Pattern” into custom GPTs.

This strategy involves programming our AI tools to adopt specific character traits or professional personas that align directly with our educational goals and the dynamics of our curriculum.

Why Adopt the Persona Pattern?

Utilizing a Persona Pattern allows us to transform our GPTs into more than just tools; they become collaborators in teaching. Here’s how this can make a substantial difference:

  • Targeted Expertise: Imagine having a GPT that channels the mind of Marie Curie for a science lesson or Shakespeare for English literature. This persona can delve deep into subjects with accuracy and an authentic perspective, enriching the content we deliver.
  • Creative Boost: Each persona brings a unique angle to lesson design, encouraging us to break free from conventional methods and explore innovative teaching strategies that captivate our students.

Implementing the Persona Pattern for Lesson Planning:

  1. Choose an Appropriate Persona:
    • Select a persona that offers a unique perspective or expertise relevant to the lesson’s topic. For example, a persona of a renowned scientist for a science lesson plan or a celebrated author for a literature class.
  2. Define the Persona’s Characteristics:
    • Detail the persona’s expertise, style of communication, and any specific knowledge areas that can contribute to the development of lesson plans. This includes understanding the historical context, scientific principles, or literary techniques they might specialize in.
  3. Customize GPT Settings to Reflect the Persona:
    • Adjust the GPT’s settings so that it can emulate the persona’s voice and knowledge base. This customization should align with the goals of the lesson plan, ensuring that the GPT can offer practical and innovative input.
  4. Use the Persona to Develop Lesson Plans:
    • Integrate the persona into the planning process by having it suggest activities, critical questions, and resources. This interaction should aim to enrich the curriculum and provide teachers with fresh ideas and perspectives.

Example of a Persona Pattern in Action:

Subject: Environmental Science
Persona: A renowned environmentalist and conservation expert
Task: To assist in creating a lesson plan on sustainable practices and environmental conservation

Sample Prompt for the GPT:

“Assume the role of an environmental expert. Help me draft a lesson plan focused on sustainable living. Provide insights on key topics to cover, suggest interactive activities that highlight environmental impact, and recommend engaging resources for middle school students.”

This prompt directs the GPT to function as a subject-matter expert who not only suggests content for the lesson but also offers innovative teaching strategies and resources.

Guide to customizing GPTs

The persona can guide the creation of a lesson plan that might include segments on recycling, renewable energy experiments, and field activities that promote environmental awareness.

Utilizing Markdown for Output Formatting in Custom GPTs

The Output Formatting with Markdown strategy involves programming your custom GPT to structure its responses using Markdown syntax.

This approach is particularly valuable in educational settings where clarity and organization of the presented material are paramount.

Advantages of Output Formatting with Markdown:

Enhanced Readability: Markdown formatting helps in structuring the output in a way that is easy to navigate and understand, making it ideal for educational content that often includes various elements like headers, lists, and links.

Consistency in Presentation: Using Markdown ensures that the content generated by the GPT maintains a uniform appearance across different platforms and devices, which is crucial for educational materials used in diverse tech environments.

Implementing Markdown Formatting for Lesson Planning:

  1. Incorporate Markdown Rules in GPT Configuration:
    • Train your GPT to use Markdown syntax when generating text. This includes using hashtags for headers, asterisks for bullet points, and other Markdown elements that enhance the structural clarity of the text.
  2. Customize GPT Settings to Enforce Formatting Standards:
    • Set parameters that require the GPT to format all outputs according to specified Markdown rules. This consistency is key in producing materials that are not only informative but also visually accessible and engaging.
  3. Review and Refine GPT Outputs:
    • Regularly review the GPT-generated content to ensure that the Markdown formatting is applied correctly and effectively enhances the readability and utility of the educational materials. Adjust the GPT’s programming as needed to correct any inconsistencies or errors in formatting.

Example: For a writing assignment, you might instruct the GPT to format a feedback template as follows:

**Assignment Grade:** [Grade Here]

**Student Name:** [Name Here]


– **Strengths:** [List strengths]

– **Areas for Improvement:** [List areas to improve]

Markdown Text format

This structured output can help educators provide consistent and clear feedback to students.

You can copy and paste the code into a markdown convertor from a site like W3 Docs to change the ChatGPT code into useable text.

W3Mark Down

Implementing the Menu Action Pattern in Custom GPTs for Classroom Management

The Menu Action Pattern is a strategy for configuring your custom GPT to recognize and execute predefined commands, effectively acting as shortcuts for frequent educational and administrative tasks.

This pattern is instrumental in enhancing the functionality and interactivity of GPTs within the educational environment.

Advantages of the Menu Action Pattern:

Streamlined Task Management: By setting up menu actions, teachers can quickly prompt the GPT to perform routine tasks such as sending out reminders, organizing student data, or generating standard communications, saving time and reducing workload.

Increased Interactivity: This pattern allows the GPT to interact more dynamically with users, responding to specific commands with appropriate actions.

This can make the tool feel more responsive and tailored to the user’s needs, improving the usability and efficiency of classroom management tools.

Implementing the Menu Action Pattern for Educational Tasks:

  1. Identify Common Tasks:
    • Determine which tasks are performed frequently and could benefit from automation. Examples might include updating attendance records, sending weekly updates to parents, or generating performance reports.
  2. Create Specific Commands for These Tasks:
    • Develop simple, easy-to-remember commands for these tasks that the GPT can recognize and execute. Ensure these commands are intuitive and clearly related to the tasks they perform.
  3. Program GPT to Recognize and Respond to Commands:
    • Integrate these commands into the GPT’s programming. When a command is given, the GPT should be able to carry out the associated action without further input, streamlining the process.
  4. Test and Refine Command Functionality:
    • Once the commands are set up, conduct thorough testing to ensure they are recognized and executed correctly by the GPT. Observe how the GPT handles these commands in real-world scenarios and make adjustments as needed to improve reliability and effectiveness.
  5. Educate Users on Command Use:
    • Ensure that all potential users, such as teachers and administrative staff, are aware of these commands and know how to use them. Providing a simple guide or training session can help integrate the use of these GPT functions into everyday activities.

Example: For a classroom activity manager, you might configure:

Whenever I type: “start quiz”, you will initiate the day’s quiz.

Whenever I type: “collect homework”, you will log the submission of homework.

menu action
For this Custom GPT I added my English textbook to the knowledge base.

This pattern can help automate routine classroom tasks, allowing teachers to focus more on teaching.

Implementing the Cognitive Verifier Pattern in Custom GPTs for Education

The Cognitive Verifier Pattern involves programming your custom GPT to seek additional information through targeted questions, enhancing its understanding and refining its responses.

This method ensures the outputs are precise and contextually appropriate, which is especially crucial in educational environments.

Advantages of the Cognitive Verifier Pattern:

Increased Accuracy and Relevance: By encouraging the GPT to verify information and clarify ambiguities, the quality and applicability of its responses improve significantly.

This ensures that the educational content provided is accurate and tailored to specific learning scenarios.

Deeper Interaction and Learning: This pattern fosters a more interactive educational process. By engaging in a dialogue that seeks to clarify and verify information, students and educators can achieve a greater depth of understanding and retention of the material.

Implementing the Cognitive Verifier Pattern in Educational Settings:

  1. Identify Key Information Needs:
    • Determine which topics or types of interactions typically require additional context or clarification to ensure the GPT generates relevant and accurate responses. This might include complex subjects like science experiments, mathematical problems, or interpretive literature discussions.
  2. Develop a Protocol for Verification Questions:
    • Create guidelines for how the GPT should formulate verification questions to gather necessary information without overwhelming or confusing the user. These questions should be concise, clear, and directly related to enhancing the GPT’s response quality.
  3. Program GPT to Initiate Clarifications:
    • Integrate this questioning mechanism into your GPT’s programming. Ensure that the GPT can recognize when a response may require additional context or information and know how to ask for it effectively.
  4. Test and Refine the Process:
    • Implement the Cognitive Verifier Pattern and monitor its impact on the GPT’s performance. Evaluate whether the additional questions lead to more accurate and contextually appropriate responses. Make adjustments based on feedback from users and observed interactions.
  5. Educate Users on Interactive Dynamics:
    • Train educators and students on how to interact with the GPT when it employs the Cognitive Verifier Pattern. Understanding how to respond to verification questions can greatly enhance the effectiveness of this strategy, leading to better educational outcomes.

Example: When planning a field trip, the GPT could be set to ask:

When you are asked to plan a trip, follow these rules. Ask about the number of students, their age group, any special needs, and the educational focus of the trip. Combine the answers to these questions to suggest the most suitable locations and activities.

This pattern ensures that the trip is well-suited to the specific requirements of the class and the educational goals of the outing.

Ask Questions pattern

By implementing these prompting patterns, you can customize your GPT to be a more dynamic and useful tool in your K-12 classroom, enhancing both lesson planning and student engagement. 

Each pattern offers specific benefits that cater to the diverse needs of educational environments, ensuring that your GPT becomes an integral part of your teaching toolkit.

Practical Applications in the Classroom

Integrating technology into education isn’t just about keeping up with trends; it’s about making real, impactful changes that enhance how we teach and how our students learn.

As an English professor at a South Korean university, I’ve personally experienced the transformative power of Custom GPTs.

Here’s how I’ve used these advanced tools to refresh my teaching methods and create a more dynamic classroom environment.

Personalized Lesson Plans with Custom GPTs

I’ve found great success in using Custom GPTs tailored to align with the chapters of our textbooks. 

This approach has allowed me to develop lesson plans that are not only relevant but also deeply integrated with the course content. 

These AI-enhanced plans supplement my traditional teaching methods, allowing me to introduce new ideas and update activities that I have been using for years. 

The result? Lessons that are fresh, up-to-date, and more engaging for my students.

Streamlining Assessments and Interactive Activities

Creating exam questions and designing speaking activities can be quite time-consuming. 

Here, Custom GPTs have been invaluable. By generating initial drafts of exam questions, I can focus more on refining these assessments to better meet our learning objectives rather than starting from scratch. 

Similarly, for speaking activities, Custom GPTs help me incorporate current linguistic trends and idioms, making these exercises more relevant and enjoyable for students.

Revitalizing Classroom Engagement

One of the most notable changes has been the increase in student engagement.

 By integrating their current interests into the curriculum through Custom GPTs, I’ve made my classroom activities not only more educational but also genuinely fun. 

This adjustment has led to more lively and participative classes, with students showing a keen interest in the activities designed specifically for them.

Navigating Challenges: Accuracy and Reliability

Despite the advantages, integrating Custom GPTs comes with its set of challenges. 

The main issue I’ve encountered is the occasional inaccuracy in the content generated—what we often refer to as “AI hallucinations.” To tackle this, I rigorously fact-check all GPT-generated material before introducing it in the classroom. 

This step is crucial to ensure the reliability of the information I present to my students and to maintain the educational integrity of my courses.

My Reflections

Using Custom GPTs has revolutionized the way I approach teaching. It has not only saved me time but also made my lessons more impactful. 

While there are hurdles, such as ensuring content accuracy, the benefits—enhanced student engagement and streamlined lesson planning—far outweigh these challenges. 

I encourage my fellow educators to explore the potential of these tools. With a bit of customization and creativity, the possibilities are truly endless.

Best Practices and Tips for Customizing GPTs in K-12 Education

As educators, our goal is to harness the full potential of emerging technologies to foster an engaging, inclusive, and effective learning environment. 

Custom GPTs offer promising possibilities in this regard, from automating routine tasks to personalizing student learning experiences. 

Here, we will explore essential do’s and don’ts, ways to evaluate the effectiveness of your Custom GPT, and strategies for troubleshooting common issues.

Do’s and Don’ts When Customizing GPTs


  • Start with Clear Educational Objectives: Define what you want your GPT to achieve in your classroom. This clarity will guide the customization process and ensure the technology meets your educational goals.
  • Use Diverse and Inclusive Training Data: To avoid biases and ensure the GPT can serve all students effectively, incorporate a wide range of data that reflects varied experiences and perspectives.
  • Regularly Update the GPT: As your curriculum evolves and new teaching methods are introduced, continuously update your GPT to keep it relevant and effective.


  • Overlook Privacy and Data Security: Always prioritize the security of your students’ data when implementing GPTs in the classroom. Adhere to your institution’s privacy policies and guidelines.
  • Ignore Feedback: Regular input from students and fellow educators is crucial. It helps identify what’s working and what needs improvement.
  • Rely Solely on the GPT: While GPTs are powerful tools, they should complement rather than replace traditional teaching methods. Maintain a balanced approach to education.
Dos and Don'ts for Customizing GPTs

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Your Custom GPT

  • Set Clear Metrics: Define success metrics for your GPT. These could range from enhanced student engagement and improved test scores to increased efficiency in lesson planning.
  • Gather Feedback: Implement surveys, conduct interviews, and observe classroom interactions to gather comprehensive feedback on how the GPT is performing.
  • Analyze Performance: Regularly review the data. Are students more engaged? Are the GPT’s responses accurate and timely? This analysis will help you fine-tune your approach.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Technical Glitches: Address common issues such as software updates, connectivity problems, or AI responsiveness to ensure smooth operation.
  • Content Relevance: Keep the GPT’s content up-to-date with current educational standards and curriculum changes to maintain its relevance and usefulness.
  • User Experience: Continuously improve how educators and students interact with the GPT. Simplify the interface and enhance usability based on user feedback.

Adopting Custom GPTs in your classroom is an ongoing journey of learning and adaptation. As GPT technology evolves, so too should our methods of using it. 

By following these best practices and remaining open to feedback and new ideas, you can maximize the benefits of this technology for both teaching and learning. 

I encourage you to share your experiences and learnings with fellow educators, fostering a community of collaborative improvement and innovation in education.

Richard Campbell

Richard Campbell is an experienced English professor in South Korea with over 20 years of teaching experience across all levels of education. With a doctorate in education, Richard is passionate about promoting language learning and using innovative approaches, including AI writing tools, to inspire his students.