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Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching

Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching

Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching (CELT) publishes peer-reviewed scholarly and practice-based articles associated with the annual conference of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE).  The intent is to challenge conference presenters to convert the essence of their peer-reviewed sessions into essay form for a wide readership interested in teaching improvement practices in higher education.

CELT is generously hosted by Open Journal Systems at the University of Windsor.

  

Click here to visit the CELT website .

 

 

 

STLHE – Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education | SAPES – La soci�t� pour l�avancement de la p�dagogie dans l�enseignement sup�rieur

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    Effective Teaching Essay

    The following essay is one that I wrote in the Fall Semester of 2008 in ECI 102- Introduction to Middle Grades Education.  ECI 102 is the first education class that I took at NC State, so I wrote this when I was truly beginning to learn about the education system and the teaching profession.  During the course, we were assigned to write an essay about our thoughts on what it meant to be an effective teacher.  We were told to reference our class textbook, the LEAD/SERVE conceptual framework at NC State, and the INTASC principles.  I learned a lot about effective teaching from writing this essay and I will strive to be an effective teacher in the near future. 



    Tara
    Hill

    ECI
    102

    12/8/08

    Effective
    Teaching

     

                There are many techniques, skills,
    and practices that can make a teacher effective.  In my opinion, being an effective teacher
    means allowing an environment that enables students to learn in the classroom
    to their best abilities.  When effective
    teaching is practiced, students develop a love for learning and gain new
    knowledge about what they are studying. 
    Effective teaching can stem from many different practices and ideas such
    as attitude toward subject matter, implementing different learning styles into
    lessons, and being passionate about the subject being taught.   All of these ideas can help a teacher become
    more effective in the classroom.  It is
    true that effective teaching also allows students to better understand new
    material and difficult content.

                Effective teaching takes time and
    effort.  “Effective teaching is much more
    than an intuitive process. A teacher must continually make decisions and act on
    those decisions” (Cooper 149).   Being a
    teacher means making several decisions concerning planning for instruction, developing
    teaching strategies, and evaluating outcomes of lesson plans.  After a lesson is taught, it is crucial to
    make note if any changes are necessary for next time.  If the lesson was successful, the teacher
    will know to keep using that strategy in the future.  One of the main steps to becoming an effective
    teacher is to gain intimate knowledge toward the subject matter that will be
    taught in the classroom (Cooper, 149). 
    Also, according to NC State’s College of Education’s LEAD/SERVE
    conceptual framework, an effective teacher must demonstrate an understanding of
    the education context.  In other words,
    an effective teacher should be able to show that he or she is knowledgeable in
    the subject that is being taught.  Another
    way to help students in the learning process is to make the content meaningful.
    For this to take place “the teacher understands the central concepts, tools of
    inquiry, and structures of the discipline he or she teachers and creates
    learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for
    students” (INTASC Principles).  I believe
    that teaching the content in a way that students can relate to or in some way
    apply it into their own life will help them to understand it. 

                Another major factor in helping a
    teacher become effective is attitude. “Many people believe that the teacher’s
    personality is the most critical factor in successful teaching.  If teachers have warmth, empathy,
    sensitivity, enthusiasm, and humor, they are much more likely to be successful
    than if they lack these characteristics” (Cooper 157).  I definitely believe that this statement
    holds true.  As I think back to high
    school, the teachers who had the most pleasant personalities inspired me to
    want to learn.  Their personalities made
    such a huge difference when teaching because it made the class so much more fun
    and enjoyable. I also think that attitude toward subject matter is extremely
    important.  The student can often tell if
    the teacher is passionate about what he/she is teaching.  Being passionate about a subject encourages
    and inspires others to want to learn about it. 
    I have found that teachers who clearly demonstrate no interest in what
    they are teaching tend not to be effective. 
    After all, why should the students want to learn the material if the
    teacher finds it boring? Also, becoming a teacher leader could even encourage
    other teachers to develop a good attitude, which in turn, will benefit more
    students.  A teacher’s attitude will more
    than likely influence the students. 
    Also, having a positive outlook and being a role model for students will
    help with the learning process.  After
    all, attitudes are contagious! 

                Additionally, effective teaching
    depends on if different learning styles are implemented into lesson plans.  It is important for a teacher to realize that
    not every student learns in the same way.  Some students may be better visual learners
    while others are better at hands on activities. 
    Incorporating different learning styles will let each student have the
    ability to learn in a way that comes most natural to them.  A teacher I observed once said to her
    students, “I am giving a variety of options for this project because each
    student deserves their chance to shine.” 
    I have never forgotten this statement because I think it is so important
    to provide a variety of activities.   According
    to Walburg, “using a variety of teaching models” is an important technique when
    it comes to being an effective teacher. 
    Also, according to the INTASC principles, “The teacher understands how
    students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional
    opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.”  It is evident that it is necessary to be
    aware of the different ways that students process information and eventually
    learn the material.  Another teacher that
    I observed was friendly yet strict with her students.  I believe that it is necessary to make sure
    the students know that the teacher has the authority.  However, I also believe that making sure
    students know that they can talk to their teacher when they have a problem is
    important.  When I become a teacher, I
    want my students to know that they have my trust and can confide in me.  Encouraging student involvement is another
    effective teaching strategy that I noticed when observing.  It appeared to me that the students were
    engaged in the work they were doing and also in the material they were
    learning.  This told me that this
    particular teacher was indeed practicing effective teaching methods.

                When it comes to effective teaching,
    there are many techniques that can better a teacher’s ability to enable
    students to learn.  As anyone can tell,
    becoming an effective teacher is not easy. 
    It takes a lot of planning, patience, and hard work.  However, no matter how much work it takes, I
    believe that taking these necessary steps are crucial to my success as a
    teacher.  Changing the lives of students,
    providing them with new knowledge, and giving them the materials necessary to
    help lead a bright future is my priority. 
    If this means doing anything that is in my control to become an
    effective teacher, then I will strive to do just that.

               

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