Although learning to teach well occurs overtime after going through a lot of teaching practices but it involves mainly four things: knowing, planning, doing, and reflecting. If you keep doing these four things, you will be able to achieve a degree of master in your teaching and become an expert teacher.
Teachers need to have an organized body of knowledge related to teaching and learning. This organized body of knowledge will enable teachers to be aware of the approaches and strategies they can use in their classes.
There are four specific types of knowledge that teachers need to know to become experts in teaching:
- Content knowledge to know the subject they’re teaching.
- Pedagogical knowledge to know a variety of teaching strategies, techniques, and skills.
- Pedagogical content knowledge to know how to teach specific content or skill and to be aware of the problems that learners may encounter in learning particular skills or concepts.
- Knowledge of learners and learning to know about human development and how people learn.
Good teaching does not happen by accident. Effective teachers plan their learning experiences. They decide exactly what they want students to learn, the teaching strategies they will use, the questions they may ask students, and related activities and assignments.
Thorough planning enables you to create more purposeful and effective instruction and results in fewer classroom management problems.
This third element is where you actually teach the lesson. Here you present the material to be learned using a variety of research-based methodologies and teaching strategies. However, you need to do the first two elements before you can do well in the classroom.
What separates really good teachers from others is their practice of reflection on their teaching practices.
Effective teachers still make mistakes or have bad lessons; however, they analyze them in order to figure out what went wrong and how they might change the lesson.
This is in contrast with teachers who blame the students, the curriculum, the weather, the media, parents, or anything else when a lesson goes badly.
After a lesson a reflective teacher asks two kinds of questions:
The first relates to lesson effectiveness.
- How did the lesson go?
- Was I effective in getting ideas across?
- Did learning take place?
- Were students able to take away something of importance?
- Were students able to construct new knowledge?
- Is there anything I could change or do better?
The second relates to the alignment of your practice with your teaching philosophy.
- Is what I am doing consistent with my teaching philosophy?
- Am I in harmony with what I value?
- Am I practicing what I know in regards to best teaching practices and what I believe to be the purpose of education?
Asking these kinds of questions and achieving the previous four things will ensure your continued growth as a teacher and ensure that you are on the right track toward being a master teacher not only in 2020 but during the next decade.
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