Anyone can turn up and spout rubbish from a book five days a week but is that of any use to their students? No, of course not and unfortunately there are a number of teachers who practice the above scenario and their students suffer for it. This is grossly unfair on their students and no teacher worth their salt would even attempt to do this. You are expected to be a ‘teacher’, not just someone who turns up and gives homework. Teaching is a skill, and a wonderful one at that. The following are a number of traits that are required in order to be an effective teacher.
It doesn’t matter how good you are at a subject, if you are unable to communicate effectively then you are of no use to your class. There is a big difference between being good at something and having the ability to teach it. Unfortunately, too many people don’t figure this out until they are already in the profession. There will be times when certain students cannot keep up with the rest of the class. Such occasions are when great teachers come to the fore and excel. Having the ability to explain something clearly, concisely and patiently is of paramount importance. As a teacher, there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you helped a student overcome a major problem.
The ability to stay calm is linked to the above point. Life in general throws up situations where all you want to do is scream and shout to make yourself heard. Teaching has plenty of these situations but if you roar at your students or administrators you will achieve nothing but to show that you are incapable of dealing with a difficult situation. If you shout at an underperforming student all you are likely to do is shatter their confidence, forcing them to retreat into a shell they may not come out of.
Being able to see the funny side in stressful situations is a great way to alleviate any anger and anxiety you may feel. They say you need the ability to laugh at yourself and this is certainly true in the teaching profession. No one is saying that you need to cheerfully accept the madness of the world, (in fact it is said that this is a sign of insanity) but you need to know when to calm a situation down through humor. It is scientific fact that using humor during a class is one of the most effective ways to teach. The students are more likely to remember the lesson you were trying to teach them so long as you infuse the humor appropriately rather than turning the whole day into a long version of Saturday Night Live.
Knowing how to convey your teaching methods effectively, staying calm under fire and having a sense of humor are just three of the things needed to be a good teacher. The following article will look at more aspects of teaching effectively.