Have you ever wondered what makes a good teacher? What separates a mediocre teacher from a terrific teacher? Teachers play an important role in the education of our society. Important skills and aspects to have are knowledge of the learning materials, respect for the children, good communication, and an understanding of the needs of the children. These are the qualities a good teacher to should have. Knowledge
One of the most important qualities for a teacher to have is knowledge. A good teacher should understand the central concepts and have an understanding of the subject that they teach and be able to demonstrate a vast knowledge of the subject matter. Knowledge enables students to approach head-on the topics at hand and bring forth from those topics a variety of perspectives, interests and points of view. In addition a teacher needs to communicate an accurate knowledge of the subject matter in a language and style appropriate to the learner. Teachers should have the confidence to teach the required subject matter. “To teach is to first understand purposes, subject matters structures, and ideas within and outside the discipline” (Shulman, L. 1986). Teachers need to have an understanding of what they teach and, when possible, to understand it in several ways. This is described this as the process of fitting the represented material to the characteristics of the students.(Glatthorn) “The teacher must consider the relevant aspects of students’ ability, gender, language, culture, motivations, or prior knowledge and skills that will affect their responses to different forms of presentations and representations”(Ewell). Teachers also serve as role models. To a teacher the world is a fascinating place and they pass on to the students a high-level of interest in and a curiosity about all aspects of knowledge. All teachers have a background in the basic subject areas; good teachers take that knowledge and expand on it beyond the content that they are expected to teach. In addition a teacher should be able to provide students with the tools necessary for their academic future. When a teacher has the required knowledge this becomes beneficial in the success of the student’s current and future academic lives (Paltridge). While a teacher cannot hope to predict all a student’s possible future needs, a good teacher can provide the essential basics for a student’s future by having the required knowledge of the subject matter being taught. (Paltridge) Understanding
Every student learns differently, and needs a different approach when being taught. A good teacher understands that students have different learning styles- some are visual learners, some auditory learners, and others kinesthetic-tactual learners. Following the universal learning principles, a teacher is able to achieve, identify and remove barriers from the teaching methods and curriculum materials. By understanding the individual needs of the students, such as students with disabilities and how these students learn differently, a good teacher recognizes the differences between the two and adjusts the learning process to fit the individual needs of the child. (NJCLD) This is also the case with students whom come from multicultural backgrounds. Teachers maintain high expectations for children of all backgrounds and they do not allow subtle or overt intolerance or bigotry in their classrooms or schools, and they actively select materials and develop lessons that counteract stereotypes. (NCPTS) Our neighborhoods and communities require the ability to work with others and identify teamwork for a high quality of life. There is no better place to teach teamwork and cooperation than in schools, where children come together daily from diverse backgrounds. Teachers take advantage of this opportunity to teach students how to live and work together productively and in a positive manner. (NCPTS) With an understanding that students come from many...
References: Chandler, Jennifer - Teaching Tip: Creative Communication with Caregivers, (www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3006)
Detlef R Prozesky MBChB MCommH PhD, Communication and Effective Teaching, J Comm Eye Health 2000; 13(35): 44-45
Glatthorn, A. A. (1990). Supervisory leadership. New York: Harper Collins.
Phelan, Patricia, Ann Davidson, Hanh Locke, and Cao Thanh. “Speaking up: Students ' Perspectives on School.” Phi Delta Kappan 73.9 (1992): 695-704.
P.T. Ewell 's Organizing for Learning: A Point of Entry, INTIME, Teacher 's In-Depth Content Knowledge, www.intime.uni.edu/model/teacher/teac2summary.html
The National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities. (NJCLD), (http://www.ldonline.org)
NC Professional Teaching Standards Commission (NCPTS), August 28, 1999, EVERY CHILD’S TEACHER IN NORTH CAROLINA (www.ncptsc.org/EveryTeacher.htm)
Paltridge, B., Genre knowledge and teaching professional communication, Volume 43, Issue 4, Dec 2000 Page(s):397 – 401
Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57 (1), 1-22.
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