“Better than a thousand days of diligent study, is one day with a great teacher.” ~Japanese Proverb
It takes more than pure knowledge to be a great teacher. Being able to impart knowledge to a student depends more on how the information is received than the actual information itself. Setting a student up to receive, retain and practice information means learning more than just your subject or craft – it means learning how to actually be a teacher, which is a craft on its own.
The applied qualities of effective teachers can transform a dreary classroom into a world of wonder – let’s take a look at some of those qualities.
If you think back to the first time that you learned something, you’ll remember the feeling of stumbling over it, grasping at concepts and ideas, painstakingly piecing it all together. Making sense of something new can be daunting and slow, and a good teacher remembers this with their students. It may be necessary to review tricky concepts and sometimes approach it from several different angles to help students master it.
2- Understanding of Learners
One of the many qualities of effective teachers is to know and understand the development stage of the learner. Being aware of where the student is at – emotionally, mentally and developmentally – prepares the teacher to communicate at a level that the learner will receive and retain information more effectively. A good teacher is then able to set a suitable pace for learning, within an environment that favours it.
3- Embrace and Emanate Clarity
The killer of confidence is uncertainty – a great teacher learns how to explain complex concepts in simple ways that make sense. The great teacher learns how to be concise, not chaotic, when teaching, and to establish clear objectives and assignment expectations. In the same way that small children thrive within strong boundaries, the student excels in a classroom environment that is presented with simplicity, clarity and certainty.
4- Personal Connection
Research into the psychology of teaching has shown that students perform far better when the teacher has taken the time to develop a mutually respectful and trusting relationship with them. Learners excel in an environment that feels safe and positive, and where questions are not only welcomed, but they are encouraged.
5- Stimulating Learning Environment
One of the qualities of effective teachers is the ability to create a learning environment that favours and promotes learning. This can be achieved in the following ways:
- Maintain an organized schedule
- Invite engagement from students on topics while teaching
- Be fully prepared for each lesson
- Set goals for yourself and your students
- Use non-verbal communication, such as hand gestures, walking around and eye contact
- Use audio-visual media to demonstrate concepts
6- Have a Sense of Humour
As with anything in life, maintaining a healthy sense of humour not only promotes relaxed engagement with learners, but is a teacher’s sanity in challenging times. As American journalist, Mignon McLaughlin writes, “A sense of humour is a major defence against minor troubles.”
Learning the Qualities of Effective Teachers
While some qualities may come naturally to some, many teaching qualities are learned and developed with intention and hard work. At Assessment College, our educational short courses and qualifications will train teachers to cultivate the qualities that bring classrooms to life.
Talk to us to find out more about how you can become an effective teacher in your craft.