Effective Teachers and Effective Teaching
The skills needed for effective teaching involve more than just expertise in an academic field. One must be able to interact and help learners understand a new way of looking at the world. This is not an easy task! Although there are many different ways to teach well, effective teachers have several qualities in common. They are prepared, set clear and fair expectations, have a positive attitude, are patient with students, and assess their teaching on a regular basis. Effective teachers are able to adjust their teaching strategies to the understanding of the students, recognizing that different students learn in different ways.
A teacher is a role model who sets the tone for the class. If a teacher is able to show enthusiasm and commitment, the students are more likely to reciprocate positively. On the contrary, if the teacher is negative, unprepared, or impatient, these qualities will be reflected in the attitudes of the students. Below is a look at some of the things more #effectiveteachers tend to do right and less effective teachers tend to do wrong.
It is necessary to keep the students engaged with a positive attitude. Teaching is most effective when students are motivated by the desire to learn, rather than by grades or degree requirements. Learning and teaching are challenging, but that would not mean that learning cannot be made fun in the classroom or even when teaching online. Effective teachers should be able to stay focused, but unafraid to be creative, innovative, and enthusiastic, finding ways to let students see what is interesting about the subject being taught.
The teacher should know the course material. If students are required to attend lectures and read assignments, it is also important for the teacher to review key concepts and ideas of the topics that will be taught. It is also important to think about how the material can be most effectively demonstrated and design a strategy accordingly.
It necessary for all teachers to have a plan for what to teach. The job of any good teacher is to illustrate key points and essential context. Given that there is never time to teach everything, the teacher must choose the most important concepts and show how they are related. Effective teachers would keep both long- and short-term goals in mind.
Effective teachers can explain complex ideas in simple ways. They help students understand and use new terminology, explaining many concepts that can be more effectively demonstrated with visual aids such as diagrams, drawings, charts, slides, etc.
A good teaching trick is to keep the students thinking. Unless they are actively using the concepts being taught, most students will remember only a small fraction of what happened in the classroom or e-learning course. It is important to use some teaching time for activities other than traditional lectures, discussions or question and answer sessions. Problem solving exercises in small groups can take no more than a few minutes, yet allow students to engage with the material being covered.
Remember what it was like to learn something for the first time? Students should be given time to process information and answer questions. Effective teachers would know that it is fine for students to make mistakes if they can learn from them and realize that learning can be hard work, even for the most motivated students. Rather than blaming students when things don’t go right, an effective teacher would consider ways to change the approach to reach them more effectively. Teachers should be patient with themselves too. Teaching can be difficult and frustrating at times.
From the teachers’ perspective, it is better to consider what it would be like to be one of the students. Chances are, they would want an instructor who sets clear expectations, applies them consistently and could admit when they were wrong. Once standards are set, it is very important to apply them equally and consistently, otherwise teachers can lose credibility.
Effective teachers reflect on their teaching to evolve as teachers. On a personal note, I appreciate teachers who are truly passionate about teaching; the teacher who wants to be an inspiration to others; the teacher who is satisfied with his/her job; the teacher that every other child in the school would love to have; the teacher that kids remember for the rest of their lives.
Are you that teacher?