Teaching is hard work. The lack of consistency in accepted practices makes it even harder. While the nation has made some progress in developing common standards, there is still a lack of agreement on what methods work best to transmit information and problem-solving skills to students. Effective teaching demands a commitment to professional development.

Professional Development Defined

Professional development in any field is a matter of staying aware of those practices that have been demonstrated to be effective. Teaching, like any job done well, requires an understanding that learning new techniques must continue.

In this case, some teachers get help from a cheap reliable essay writing service when writing samples are needed. If one’s job is assembling widgets on an assembly line, then variations from proven practices can be immediately detected by workers down the line, who depend on everyone repeating precise steps.

Teaching is not about assembling widgets, but about transferring information and thinking skills. Every student’s ability to learn is affected by a variety of factors. Teachers must be willing and able to manage individual differences. Teachers must commit to growing continuously and learning new instructional methods. Preparation by a college education is virtually essential for good teaching, but the learning doesn’t stop after college.

Teachers must Commit to Improve

Teachers should be the best learners. They are trained to understand learning and should believe that what they do is important. The various media are quick to report bad news about teaching, and truthfully, teachers make mistakes.

  • Too much homework, especially for younger learners;
  • Poor methods of assessment and evaluation;
  • Grading methods that are archaic, inaccurate, and misleading;
  • Over-dependence on rewards;
  • Failure to treat students with respect.

The list could be much longer, but the point is simple. Large numbers of teachers spend too much time preparing lessons and bulletin boards, and too little time staying current on contemporary and controversial issues in education. Too many teachers resist change while expecting students to adjust and readjust to the instructional methods of various teachers.

The commitment to improve implies that teachers make a conscious decision to be aware of what works and why it works. Reading and joining respected professional organizations is essential to improvement.

The ideas that are exchanged in teachers’ lounges are often incorrect and dangerous. The commitment to improve must involve a willingness to speak out when others are involved in reinforcing the many myths about teaching, students, and parents.

Some Effective Teaching Practices

Good teaching practices are determined by the effect they have on student learning and behavior. Good practices also take into consideration how individual students feel about fairness issues and their attitude toward the class.

  • Be an informed, enthusiastic, and inspiring teacher. Know the answers to questions and have a positive attitude that inspires students to give their best efforts.
  • Smile often.
  • Be the adult in the classroom. Don’t result in embarrassing or sarcastic put-downs. A soft voice used with authority and consistency is better than shouting to manage students.
  • Have an attractive classroom and allow students to contribute to its maintenance. Post-student work.
  • Rewards are not necessary for learning. Often rewards are given because teachers like the good feeling of giving and not because rewards help. Recognition of effort and helping students feel special and important do not encourage materialistic learning like rewards often do.
  • Learn how to construct good assessments. Dependence on packaged assessments can cause problems because they are not written in the same voice that students hear daily. Know the difference and application of formative and summative assessments. Assess academic progress, not behavior. Don’t punish students who pay someone to do assignments, since they are just looking for assistance with a daunting task. Don’t offer points for favors or deduct points for being late to class, failing to return papers or similar behaviors.
  • Greet students as they enter the class.
  • Don’t imitate favorite teachers in one’s experience as a student, but develop a personal style based on knowledge of the best practice.
  • Resist the influence of complaining, negative teachers.
  • Think of discipline as a way of managing the whole class and individual behavior. A quiet class is not necessarily an engaged class. Involve all students in learning.

Tips and tricks should not define instruction. Good teaching comes from knowledge and the implementation of strategies that engage students in learning. Just as teachers strive to encourage students to be lifelong learners, teachers should commit to improving teaching skills as long as they teach. Teaching tips should be evaluated by teachers based on their growing knowledge base acquired through continuous, self-imposed learning.


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