What Makes a Teacher Effective

Bertrand Russell said, "No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection towards his pupil and a genuine desire to impart to them what he believes to be of value."

Being a teacher in today's society is a difficult yet rewarding job. Not everyone is suited for teaching. Aside from having a love for working with learners, teaching is a career like no other. Effective teachers are hard to come by nowadays. For a teacher to be effective, each and every student in the class has to feel comfortable. Effective teaching requires a conscious effort to ensure that the material being taught is absorbed by the students. Learners learn in different ways, hence it is important to deliver the lecture in different formats to ensure that every learner is given the maximum opportunity to learn.

Effective teachers are determined persons. They are in their classroom early and ready to teach. They are warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring. They demonstrate a commitment to their profession. They work hard to mastering the skills necessary for effective communication and learn how to motivate the learners. They encourage the students to ask questions in the classroom and they spend the necessary time to ensure that all the students have grasped the knowledge. They ask questions requiring students to reflect, evaluate and connect ideas. They provide clear and specific responses to the students' comments. They follow a correct response to a question with another question. They solicit formal and informal responses from students during the semester and use this information to improve their courses as they are being taught. They also invite observations and suggestions from colleagues.

They have some certain personal attributes such as:

    Treating students with respect
    Being compassionate and confidential
    Having a sense of humor
    Acting in a just and fair manner
    Being friendly but firm

They are the teachers who teach more than subject. They teach to live in the world, "enhancing the capacity to live fully and deeply" with an open mind and critical consciousness. They teach to hold our convictions with firm justifications based on thoughtful rationales and evidence. They provide challenges that the learners do not think they are capable of. They bring the learners to the edge of great risks with a belief in their ability to span the chasm of doubt and ignorance. The influence of such a teacher extends beyond a given semester and is clearly remembered in future learning experiences.

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