The Essential Characteristics of Effective Teaching

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THE ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE TEACHING

What distinguishes a good teacher from a great teacher? Traditionally, a teacher was defined as an educator who instructed students in a classroom. Nowadays we no longer look at a teacher as a respected figure who educates a room full of children but as a motivator, a knowledgeable and approachable member of the community who is there to make a student reach his/her maximum potential. Effective teaching basically comes down to the characteristics a teacher upholds. Throughout this assignment, these characteristics will be questioned and analysed alongside the roles a teacher plays in a classroom and also alongside the video of Melcombe Primary School of year five maths, in which mathematics is taught using “grid method”.

The amount of time children spend in school is substantial; as a result, teachers become familiar and play a very important role in a child’s life. Although a desire to teach is not fundamental it undeniably helps. Having a desire for teaching will encourage characteristics such as enthusiasm and compassion, which will have positive effects on a child’s learning abilities and behaviour. Although it is legally a teacher’s responsibility to ensure a child’s safety at all times, these characteristics are necessary in primary school teaching as it will build a positive learning environment and a child will feel secure and in a safe environment. Watching a child grow intellectually and personally is gratifying.

Even though a teacher’s main role is seen to be as an information provider, a teacher must hold certain characteristics to help his/her students achieve their best. If a teacher was simply told to follow a curriculum, or is basically told what to teach, how to teach, and when to teach it, students will not fully comprehend what is being taught. Regurgitating information will not show a complete understanding. It is a teacher’s duty to teach in a way that will prove that students have acquired or gained a skill. This can start by showing enthusiasm. It will not only engage students but stimulate and excite students. This is when a teacher’s role as a motivator falls into place. Motivation will capture a student’s attention and engage a student’s curiosity which means a student is more likely to be interested in the lesson and achieve better results. In the video of Melcombe Primary School of year 5 maths, the teacher engages a child’s interest in multiplication using two digit numbers by enthusiastically involving her students. She does this by letting her students openly discuss the task and then makes sure they are on the right task by involving herself in their discussion and asking them questions. By gathering the students on the floor and using a projector, she is using an alternative method of teaching other than the traditional book, pen and instruction method. This is a great alternative as this could be another characteristic of a good teacher: being able to make the classes interesting, respond to different learning styles: for example a visual learner, or a kinaesthetic learner. It is also not be a repetitive method for the class and makes a more entertaining way of learning math. Enthusiasm is contagious. If the mood in the classroom is of a happy nature, the children will respond.

If you were to ask a former student who his/her favourite teacher is, the response will most likely be the teacher who made them feel important rather than a teacher who gave them the best academic results. Students are more inclined to react to positive reinforcement. Teachers who in constantly praising his/her students for their efforts and good behaviour will most likely have students wanting to achieve their best because they believe in themself rather than students who’s “bad” behaviour is called to attention. Children thrive on recognition. It makes them feel accepted. A teacher who understands that her students come from...
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