Our teachers get bombarded with complex lists of precepts, tenets, axioms and principles. For which they are required to make sense out of it all. Theirs is a noble duty to simplify what is complex into something simple that learners can easily understand. Consequently, there is a need for universally agreed set of useful teaching principles. Teachers use such principles to create a harmonious approach in disseminating lessons to learners.
The universality of such principles may be open to debate. This is due to the diverse educational systems around the globe. But you can consider the following as principles of effective teaching within the teaching fraternity:
Behavior is the foundation
Working on your behaviour is the most critical element in teaching effectively. Your behaviour sets your habits, and your habits will dictate the kinds of standards you will adopt. But the good thing about behaviour is that you have absolute control over it, at least in the beginning when you are transforming it into a habit and you can always ensure that only the behaviours you want are engrained in your mind.
Understand your domain
You must have a good comprehension of whatever you are teaching. Expert teachers and professionals know their stuff, and they study them continuously so that they have a good understanding of all the possible questions as well as the responses which may be required. As you’d expect, this requires time, effort and lots of dedication in keeping up to date, without which you would struggle to teach effectively.
Know who your students are
Indeed, this is one of the most challenging things for teachers in the world and surprisingly, one of the critical components that will separate effective teachers from the rest. It is essential to know who your students – know them by name, data, character and anything that might give you more profound insights into them for effective interaction during lessons. Know where they sit in the class or introduce an arrangement that will help you remember them easily for ease of communication and practical learning.
Provide the learning materials they need
It is essential to avail all the learning materials the students need to learn independently. Teaching becomes a nightmare when the only resource available to the student is the teacher. In such a situation, you quickly become a barrier to learning when you don’t make it to class. But in the presence of learning resources such as textbooks, guides, and model questions and answers, studying then becomes self-reliant on the students, and whether or not you are around, the learning process will continue.
Teach for memory and understanding
Exams are what tests students’ understanding of respective subjects. If they do well in examinations, then it means they understood the course material. However, effective teaching requires that you teach for memory and understanding. Indeed, this means that you should not just equip the students with what they need to excel in the exams, but they should be able to retain the concepts for possible applications in life in the future.
Paired discussions give every student a chance to get involved. But when the groupings have three or more students, at least one will become a joyrider. It is always pathetic to see teachers ask the whole class a question hoping that all would answer, only for one to give the right response. Paired questions are instrumental in solving a lot of problems associated with large groups. However, there are instances where large groups may be useful, but you should be very careful about when and how to use them when teaching.
Want to learn more? Then, read this blog post – Academic And Non-Academic Subjects