EFFECTIVE TEACHING: The Knowledge Base of Teaching

In my opinion, effective teaching happens when  the teacher is able to create an environment for learning where students are  participating actively as individuals and as members of collaborative groups and when students are motivated and  nurtured to learn in a supportive, healthy and safe environment that develops mutual respect. The teacher should respect and take into consideration individual differences and diversity, cultivate cross cultural backgrounds  and encourage students to accept responsibility for their own learning. An effective and proper classroom management that includes classroom routines should also be evident.  For teaching to become effective, there should be  access to technology, proper resources,  space, tools and time and students should also be given time to engage in hands-on experiences, discuss and process content and make meaningful connections to the outside world. An effective teacher should also design lessons through proper instructional planning that allow students to participate in empowering activities in which they understand that learning is a process and mistakes are a natural part of learning. An environment where student work is valued, appreciated and used as a learning tool should also be created.
All these lie on the knowledge base of teaching. I believe that teachers should always be equipped with a wide range of knowledge, may it be the content or educational context, environment, students, strategies and skills, and setting of instructional goals….
I have always wanted to know if I am being an effective teacher to my students. I sometimes look at the results of their tests to know if I am being effective or not and sometimes it could be frustrating handling a class  when you thought all the while that you are being effective and yet in the end you are not. Do I lack the knowledge of context? Do I know my learners well? Am I knowledgeable of the curriculum? Maybe I lack experience or maybe I need enhance my strategies and methods of teaching?
I have come to realize through this module that there is more to just knowing your subject matter. Effective teaching requires a lot of factors which should actually be applied on the the teaching and learning process. It may take sometime to be an effective teacher but with the passion and commitment to quality education and developing well achieved students– knowledge would be easier to acquire to become a more effective educator.

Learning the basic skills necessary  to become an effective educator can be especially difficult for the first year of teaching. Becoming an effective teacher takes a lot of practice and special guidance from mentors and administrators. Effective teaching does not involve presenting your exciting lessons or activities to the class, it is a craft learned over time and not over night. Effective teaching is a teaching philosophy that can distinctly change given the situation. One of the most important skills for an effective teacher to master is how to design and deliver the lessons in the classroom. Designing lessons involves how to cater the needed curriculum into discussions, activities and assignments. In addition, an effective teacher should also be able to evaluate whether or not their students mastered the lesson. We should always reflect on our lesson, and right after it is delivered. We need to check if the student completely understood the lesson or there is a need to revise it.

An effective teacher should always establish  interpersonal relationships with students as it is crucial to form a trusting bond and rapport with each student. Effective teachers should be available outside of class to answer questions and provide additional help to students. Feedback should always be given to students after every assessment, may it be formative or summative assessment, at least to let them know where they need to improve and in which area they are performing well.

All the above mentioned aspects of effective teaching  greatly rely on the knowledge base of teaching…….

References:

http://www.psy.cmu.edu/edbag/Hiebert,Gallimore,Stigler2002.pdf

http://edr.sagepub.com/content/31/5/3.abstract

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar02/vol59/num06/Creating-a-Knowledge-Base-for-Teaching@-A-Conversation-with-James-Stigler.aspx

https://teachingcommons.stanford.edu/resources/teaching/planning-your-approach/characteristics-effective-teachers

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/oct/31/effective-teaching-10-tips

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