A teacher is one who can inspire students through her knowledge and teaching styles. He/she is the instrument who can ignite the imagination of students. As the famous maxim goes: “One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world”, teachers who have chosen teaching as their profession influence the lives of students in more ways than you can imagine. To bring about such long-standing impacts, it is important for teachers to be equipped with certain skills that will make them more approachable and interesting to all the seekers of knowledge.
Here is the rundown of the skills that are required by teachers to tread the path of effective teaching.
1. Discipline and Its Three Arms
Disciple is the first skill that a teacher should possess so as to be labelled as an effective teacher. Tagged as an important component of effective classroom management, discipline on part of the teachers ensures that the rules and guidelines of a class are adhered to at all times. Also since it is a common behavior of students to imitate their teachers, disciplined teachers will have a profound influence on the lives of students looking for a well-organized lifestyle.
Disciplined teachers employ preventative discipline to nip off the unruly behaviors of certain students. Supportive discipline, true to its name is another sub-set of discipline which allows teachers to first come up with a verbal warning to correct the bad behavior of students. If the verbal warning falls on the deaf ears of troublesome students, the next step the teacher should take is to offer a suggestion so that punishment can be avoided. Last but not the least is the principle of corrective discipline. For a teacher to be effective, he/she should incorporate strategies of corrective discipline according to the age of the students. Giving a “time out” is part of corrective discipline that is often practiced in kindergartens.
2. Classroom Management Skills
Alongside good behavior of students, an effective teacher should also ensure that students develop study and work habits. You as a teacher should impress upon the importance of classroom dignity. A combination of all these things make up effective classroom management skills that every teacher should possess and demonstrate. Teachers should exercise patience along with a deep sense of care and kindness towards their wards. You as an empathetic teacher will win over the hearts of your students by demonstrating sensitivity, especially during student rifts.
Better student-teacher relationships emerge when you as a teacher will demonstrate a willingness to lend an ear to the problems faced by your students. It is hence the need of the hour for teachers to establish a good rapport with students so that a positive, productive and safe learning environment is created in classrooms.
3. Observation Skills
It is the prime responsibility of teachers to have a thorough understanding about the cognitive, emotional and social development of students. Since a classroom is filled with students coming from different parental backgrounds, it makes sense to a teacher to be aware of the learning capabilities of different students. Here, observation is the key skill that every teacher should possess to become an effective tutor.
A class can be a mix of slow learners and intelligent students. This is a challenge that teachers face day in and day out when they need to adopt specific teaching patterns so that no student is left behind. Data points concerning the innate abilities of students help teachers to match their teaching pace with a strong belief that “one size does not fit all”. Once you monitor your teaching pace taking into consideration the overall IQ level of your class, you can ensure that every student benefits from your classroom lecture.
4. Student Engagement Skills
Day in and day out, every teacher handles a bunch of students with different mentalities towards learning. While some students demonstrate a keen interest in learning, others are distracted with the smallest provocation. Hence for you to be called an effective teacher, you should develop student engagement skills so that you can motivate your students. It is through strong student engagement strategies that you can also make the educational content interesting for them.
Developing a strong rapport with students is one of the best ways to establish a strong teacher-student bonding. While you begin to work in tandem with your students, you begin to understand their lives and problems better. Providing you enough room to influence your students, it is through student engagement skills that you can become the “go to” source for emotional or educational support that every student longs for.
5. Strong Communication Skills
Being a teacher, you are always putting your communication skills to test, every single day. Hence it is very important for a teacher to possess effective communication skills. Your oratory skills coupled with a strong understanding of the subject matter will attract the attention of your students, paving the way for a high level of concentration towards the topic you are discussing. Your preparedness comes to the fore when you are in a position to clarify the doubts of students so that you can make the subject material interesting to them.
An effective teacher is also expected to communicate with the parents of the wards. When you begin to constantly interact with parents, you will be able to bridge the gap between what is happening in school to what is expected from a particular student. Parent-teacher meetings, along with phone and email conversations with parents are the tools that will help teachers stay in constant touch with parents. With such conversations, it makes it possible for teachers to update parents of the progress and weaknesses of their wards.
6. Teaching Skills
You should be very lucky that you have chosen teaching as your profession. Tagged as a noble profession that can change the lives of students for the better, every effective teacher should possess inter-personal skills along with effective speaking and strong presentation skills. All these attributes come under the umbrella of teaching skills along with great organizational skills. Teachers should be well-prepared for their lectures ensuring that they carry all the material that aids in teaching, to the class.
For a teacher to present effective teaching skills, he/she should demonstrate a keen inkling towards working in groups. Along with motivational skills that will keep the fire burning in the bellies of students, an effective teacher should rank high on empathy and rapport-building strategies. Giving timely feedback about the behavior and performance of your wards can also make you an effective teacher.
7. Subject Matter Expertise
Every teacher comes with a specific specialization. Putting in years of teaching experience, effective teachers stand in line with the changes to the curriculum of their favorite subject. Keeping themselves abreast with the new topics that are added to the course, effective teachers will ensure that their students receive the best education from them.
When teachers demonstrate a high-level of subject matter expertise, students will be encouraged to pose questions with a belief that they will be clarified then and there. This overall knowledge about the subject you have chosen to teach will thus pave the way for interesting classroom sessions.
8. Time Management Skills
You as an effective teacher should be good at managing your classroom time. Alongside ensuring that the curriculum is completed within the pre-defined time frame, you should also attach importance to the time taken by students to complete their assignments. You should follow a strategy to organize your working day around educational and non-teaching priorities.
An effective teacher, with an intention to offer repetitive practice to students, should strategically plan homework tasks. Effective teachers ensure the best use of classroom time by framing and structuring assignments which will help students sit for studies while at home. It is through effective time management skills that teachers across the globe provide quality education to students alongside meeting the specific learning needs of students.
In pursuit of being respected as an effective teacher, it is in your hands to motivate students towards learning so that they are well-equipped to deal with challenges life throws at them. With all the above skills in place, you will invariably take on the title of an effective teacher who inspires students in more ways than one.
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