TEACHING SKILLS….

Teaching is not a joke. It can certainly be a challenge but it is also one of the most rewarding careers out there. Teachers need to always remember that, aside from parents, they are one of the most consistent mentors in a child’s life. That means setting a good example, at all times. Teachers may also have students that they spend extra time with being a mentor, which means that being a good role model is even more important. Teachers constantly try to find and discover different ways to be effective. Teaching skills are very important to be an effective teacher.

In Module 3B, there were several teaching skills that were discussed. Instructional planning skills, could be the key to successful teaching and motivating the students’ academic growth. Successful teachers say it matters how a lesson is introduced, how meaningful the content appears to students, the pace at which information is imparted, the amount of variety introduced, and the amount of student involvement. Planning and preparing for instruction is the best way to ensure that a lesson is implemented smoothly.  This is particularly true for student and beginning teachers. Adequately planning and preparing allows one to anticipate challenges, estimate timing, and improve delivery quality. In order to properly plan and prepare for instruction, a teacher must consider some, if not all, of the following:  significant content, challenging learning goals, prior knowledge, range of abilities, experience and interest of students, diverse perspectives, motivation and self-directed learning, developmental differences, suitable resources, technology, variety of instructional strategies, and coherence. Classroom management skills, refers to how the teacher delivers the curriculum, as well as the environment in which students will learn. There are a lot of strategies that a middle school or high school teacher can use in order to create an optimal learning environment. Teachers with the best classroom management usually have their class working and learning seamlessly. There are few management rules to be observed: Student engagement strategies keep students on task; Use classroom procedures to create consistency; Always check for understanding; Create a safe classroom environmentusing respect; Use classroom consequences to correct wrong student behavior; Use the tone of your voice and body language to communicate information; Academically challenge every student; Get your students’ attention; Use a classroom seating chart; and Increase participation by   learning and group projects.

The most important classroom management strategy is keeping every student on task. How do you keep students on task? The answer is good curriculum.  How many great teachers have you had in your life? Ask this question to other adults. Most people will say that they have had one to five great teachers in their life, when they have probably had over thirty teachers during the course of their schooling. That is a big gap. A great teacher needs great curriculum. But writing great curriculum is both difficult and time consuming.Procedures are the second most important rule to establish in your classroom. Most discipline problems arise when procedures are not in place. Every classroom should have very few rules but many procedures and routines.

Motivational skills in my mind is being able to encourage the students to  listen, participate, study and learn. it is a skill to make them interested to the lesson. One of the most difficult aspects of becoming a teacher is learning how to motivate your students. It is also one of the most important. Students who are not motivated will not learn effectively. They won’t retain information, they won’t participate and some of them may even become disruptive. A student may be unmotivated for a variety of reasons: They may feel that they have no interest in the subject, find the teacher’s methods un-engaging or be distracted by external forces. It may even come to light that a student who appeared unmotivated actually has difficulty learning and is need of special attention.

There are effective ways to get your students excited about learning: Encourage Students– Students look to teachers for approval and positive reinforcement, and are more likely to be enthusiastic about learning if they feel their work is recognized and valued. You should encourage open communication and free thinking with your students to make them feel important. Be enthusiastic. Praise your students often. Recognize them for their contributions. If your classroom is a friendly place where students feel heard and respected, they will be more eager to learn. A “good job” or “nice work” can go a long way. Get them Involved– One way to encourage students — and teach them responsibility — is to get them involved in the classroom. Make participating fun by giving each student a job to do. Give students the responsibility of tidying up or decorating the classroom. Assign a student to erase the blackboard or pass out materials. If you are going over a reading in class, ask students to take turns reading sections out loud. Make students work in groups and assign each a task or role. Giving students a sense of ownership allows them to feel accomplished and encourages active participation in class.Offer Incentives- Setting expectations and making reasonable demands encourages students to participate, but sometimes students need an extra push in the right direction. Offering students small incentives makes learning fun and motivates students to push themselves. Incentives can range from small to large — giving a special privilege to an exemplary student, to a class pizza party if the average test score rises. Rewards give students a sense of accomplishment and encourage them to work with a goal in mind. Get Creative- Avoid monotony by changing around the structure of your class. Teach through games and discussions instead of lectures, encourage students to debate and enrich the subject matter with visual aids, like colorful charts, diagrams and videos. You can even show a movie that effectively illustrates a topic or theme. Your physical classroom should never be boring: use posters, models, student projects and seasonal themes to decorate your classroom, and create a warm, stimulating environment. Draw Connections to Real Life-Showing them that a subject is used everyday by “real” people gives it new importance. They may never be excited about geometry but if they see how it applies to them, they may be motivated to learn attentively.

Interpersonal skills, is the key to develop a positive teacher-student relationship. Interpersonal skills are the tools people use to interact and communicate with individuals in an organizational environment. There are seven main areas of interpersonal communication: Verbal communication, Non-verbal communication, Listening skills, Negotiation, Problem-solving, Decision-making. Rapport, arises when the teacher has good relationship with the student and it is defined as “the ability to maintain harmonious relationships based on affinity.”   Good interpersonal skills of teachers often lead to the following:

  • Higher motivation—When students feel rapport with their teachers and feel that their teacher’s personalities are something like their own, motivation is higher.
  • Increased comfort—When there is rapport, students tend to answer more freely and with a greater degree of frankness.
  • Increased quality—In a degree program, when students feel rapport with faculty, their perceptions of the quality of that program increase.
  • Satisfaction—Rapport leads to satisfaction—supported by much research, including research done in classrooms. When students report having rapport with the instructor, their satisfaction with the course increases.
  • Enhanced communication—As rapport grows, so does understanding and comprehension. Teachers and students understand each other better when there is rapport between them.
  • Trust—Sometimes trust is necessary for rapport to develop. But trust can also be an outcome. Once rapport has been established, trust between parties grows.

Aside from being competent in the subject or subjects they teach, teachers must possess extraordinary interpersonal skills. They have to be a good listener and speaker and sometimes at the same time. A teacher that is confident in the subject matter they teach will inspire confidence in the student and provide a vehicle to better learning.

Working effectively with Diverse learners is one skill that a teacher should possess. As a special needs teacher I manage students with individualized education plans, but general classroom teachers may wonder how to modify curriculum to adapt to the needs of all of their learners. Whether or not students are on IEPs, they deserve individualized attention that helps them achieve the best possible learning. Teachers know how the personalities, challenges, and strengths of their students can fundamentally change the flow of a classroom. Adapting to this diverse body of learners is both challenging and rewarding. Content, process, and product are what teachers address all the time during lesson planning and instruction. These are the areas where teachers have tremendous experience in everything from lesson planning to assessment. Once the curtain is removed for how these three areas can be differentiated, meeting diverse needs of students becomes obvious and easy to do — because it’s always been present.  Teacher should maintain good behavior towards diversity:

Teachers should appreciate and accommodate the similarities and differences among the students’ cultures. Effective teachers of culturally diverse students acknowledge both individual and cultural differences enthusiastically and identify these differences in a positive manner. This positive identification creates a basis for the development of effective communication and instructional strategies. Social skills such as respect and cross-cultural understanding can be modeled, taught, prompted, and reinforced by the teacher. Teachers should build relationships with students. Interviews with African-American high school students who presented behavior challenges for staff revealed that they wanted their teachers to discover what their lives were like outside of school and that they wanted an opportunity to partake in the school’s reward systems. Developing an understanding of students’ lives also enables the teacher to increase the relevance of lessons and make examples more meaningful. Teachers should focus on the ways students learn and observe students to identify their task orientations. Once students’ orientations are known, the teacher can structure tasks to take them into account. For example, before some students can begin a task, they need time to prepare or attend to details. In this case, the teacher can allow time for students to prepare, provide them with advance organizers, and announce how much time will be given for preparation and when the task will begin. This is a positive way to honor their need for preparation, rituals, or customs. Teachers should teach students to match their behaviors to the setting. We all behave differently in different settings. For example, we behave more formally at official ceremonies. Teaching students the differences between their home, school, and community settings can help them switch to appropriate behavior for each context. For example, a teacher may talk about the differences between conversations with friends in the community and conversations with adults at school and discuss how each behavior is valued and useful in that setting. While some students adjust their behavior automatically, others must be taught and provided ample opportunities to practice. Involving families and the community can help students learn to adjust their behavior in each of the settings in which they interact.

Through the module I have come to realize that teachers should possess almost all the skills to be effective.  As you teach, you gain experiences and gradually learn. In my mind, for a modern teacher to be called competent, he or she should be committed, organized, prepared, innovative, patient, confident, social, open-minded, technology enthusiast and willing to learn not only the above mentioned skills but as well as any other skills.  This module has truly enlightened me and inspired me to never give up whenever I feel frustrated  because of my students’ misbehavior. I am more challenged now to search for different strategies and approaches and develop and enhance important skills that could help me become a  more effective and better teacher to my students. I would continuously search and read  to find solutions to my classroom management issues and instructional planning. ..

References:

https://www.examtime.com/blog/teaching-skills/

https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2014/06/16/video-playlist-new-teachers/

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar02/vol59/num06/Essential-Skills-for-New-Teachers.aspx

https://www1.imperial.ac.uk/resources/D75EBC61-625E-4865-88AF-BE45D9E96236/

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