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Posts : 291
Join date : 2012-07-19
Age : 43
Location : Kanata

PostSubject: Teacher attributes   Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:16 pm

To be an effective teacher inside the classroom initial steps must be taken outside the classroom. Effective teachers are organized teachers. They have planned out their lessons for entire year, they are on top of all corrections and have all necessary material prepared for class. There is nothing more frustrating for a learner than having a teacher that looks more confused than their students. For more than 4 years I have kept lesson journals to help me remain organized and keep me on top of my classes. In these journals, I write both what has been, and what needs to be covered, and how I intend to approach my lesson. Furthermore, I reflect on how a lesson was received, indicating areas that were successful or, conversely, problematic and why.

A second essential attribute of teachers is obviously knowledge, particularly regarding how learners acquire information. I strongly believe effective teachers are those who understand that learners have different learning styles and have different levels of capability. A class that knows the teacher will always take students’ needs into account is one that is successful because the learners participate and feel they are integral. For example, I am terrible at singing and art, yet I know some learners acquire knowledge a lot better through these mediums; therefore I try to incorporate these styles of learning into my lessons. In a reading lesson, I will have speaking activities (individual – question and answer- and/or group work – sharing ideas on possible story endings), along with visual activities (drawing a certain scene or representing a character).

An equally important key attribute for teachers is passion, both for the teaching profession and the learners’ needs. Teachers who have passion will always be effective because their learners will enjoy the class and respond in the positive environment. As a second language teacher, I have often met learners who did not want to learn English. They were there because their parents were forcing them to attend class. That being said, many of the learners had a different attitude toward English after they left my class. My passion for the job ensured I always maintained a positive attitude in class. Had I not have had this passion, I am certain the outcome for my learners would have been different. Today, I still have this enthusiasm for teaching and work very hard to improve myself. I travel to, and participate in, different teaching symposiums and conferences and often attend lectures given by international authors and professionals in the field of EFL and ESL. Furthermore, I am enrolled in a Birmingham University TEFL/TESL MA program.

Another trait that I believe is common to all effective teachers is the ability to be fair. Teachers who treat all students equally without demonstrating favoritism will have effective classrooms because their learners know what to expect and understand that they have the same chance of succeeding as their peers. I taught in a school for four years where formative assessment was done on a daily basis. I always believed in rewarding effort as much as the outcome. For this reason, students who struggled still felt they could do well if they put forward a good effort in class. I was known for my impartiality and fairness by both my fellow staff members and students. This perception was revealed through internal teacher assessments where students were asked to write a letter to their teacher sharing their feelings about what they liked and disliked about the class and the teacher. One constant with all my learners was the feeling that I was just.

Finally, I believe effective teachers must be proactive and innovative. Teachers who can create new materials or adopt diverse methods, and those who are constantly thinking of ways of making lessons more accessible to learners are increasing their learners’ chances of success and are thus enhancing their own effectiveness. For example, when I needed to teach my learners how to write an introduction, I used four different methods. I first explained what an introduction was using a simple diagram. I then gave them introduction puzzles (introductions where I had cut out the sentences and had them reconstruct the original). I also gave them sample paragraphs and asked them to identify the introductions before finally getting them to complete an introduction utilizing their own ideas. Admittedly, these methods were hardly ground-breaking, but they were not employed by other teachers at my school and helped learners by creating an effective classroom environment.
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