Effective teachers unconsciously develop positive and engaging relationships with their students. Through their daily interactions they not only get to know them but also take a particular interest in their overall development and progress. As a school leader I have the privilege of observing teachers in action every day and am in admiration of the ease that some teachers have in the teaching and learning process.
Here are some of the qualities that I have observed effective teachers doing unconsciously during my countless hours wandering classrooms. Besides having strong curriculum knowledge, effective and competent teachers:
- Begin class promptly and in a well-organized way.
- Deal with all students with respect.
- Explain the significance/importance of information to be learned.
- Provide clear explanations.
- Hold attention and respect of students and practices effective classroom management.
- Use active, hands-on student learning.
- Vary their instructional techniques to meed student needs.
- Provide clear, specific expectations for tasks.
- Provide frequent and immediate feedback to students on their performance.
- Praise student answers and uses probing questions to clarify/elaborate answers.
- Provide many concrete, real-life, practical examples.
- Regularly draws inferences from examples/models….and uses analogies.
- Create a class environment which is comfortable for students and are an advocate for student voice
- Teach at an appropriately fast pace, stopping to check student understanding and engagement.
- Communicate at the level of all students in class.
- Have a sense of humour!
- Use nonverbal behaviour, such as gestures, walking around, and eye contact to reinforce expectation.
- Present themselves in class as “real people.”
- Focuses on the class objective and does not let class get sidetracked.
- Use feedback from students (and others) to assess and improve teaching.
- Reflect on own teaching to improve it. (and wants to improve!!)
Effective teachers are simply committed to their students’ learning.