Because every learner is different, successful teaching strategies requires an understanding of both content and people. Teachers need to recognise how people learn, how to encourage and motivate, and how to adapt to a variety of classroom scenarios.
Successful teaching also involves the ability to develop teaching-learning relationships via clear communication. If this process results in a student being able to communicate their needs successfully, then their ability to learn will be improved. And that’s a big tick!
This course – Developing Your Teaching Skills – is ideal for those keen to increase their personal development and teaching strategies in the education space, including principals, teachers and teacher’s aids.
Online teaching resources provide a wealth of knowledge, including developing your skills with a teaching course online. This includes:
- Learning about interpersonal communication in education
- Exploring the basic principles of communication
- Studying both verbal and non-verbal communication
- Understanding the factors affecting communication
- Gaining an understanding of reactive patterns
- Examining self-awareness and communication
- Gaining insights into intentions
- Learning about the optimum teacher/student ratios
- Exploring the factors affecting communication in a classroom
- Studying student diversity
- Gaining an understanding of student expectations
- Examining teachers’ needs and expectations
- Gaining insights into society and culture in teaching
- Learning about communication and education approaches
- Exploring teacher-centred and student-centred learning
- Studying the verbal skills needed for classroom teaching
- Gaining insights into questioning skills
- Learning about the elements of lecturing how to lecture
- Developing your listening skills
- Studying the stages of listening
- Gaining an understanding of the key listening elements in a classroom
- Understanding the obstacles to listening
- Examining anxiety, bias, selective attention, negativity and lack of interest in terms of listening
- Gaining insights into listening skills including active and empathetic listening
- Learning about how children respond to received communications
- Understanding motivation
- Examining what motivation is
- Exploring the variables of motivation
- Studying the theories of motivation, including Maslow’s theory
- Examining primary and unlearned motivators
- Learning about secondary or learned motivators
- Gaining insights into motivation and anxiety or distress
- Studying the motivational factors for success
- Examining internal and external incentives
- Learning about the relational nature of incentives
- Studying how to enhance intrinsic motivators
- Examining social reinforcers as incentives
- Gaining insights into the influence of groups on individual motivation
- Exploring the notion of social loafing
- Learning how to apply motivation to education
- Exploring motivation, goals and expectations
- Studying vicious and virtuous cycles
- Gaining an understanding of practical applications for motivation
- Discovering how to assess a person’s current situation
- Gaining insights into dealing with emotions
- Learning how to identify existing barriers to learning
- Exploring how to establish goals and priorities
- Studying how to locate and apply useful resources
- Gaining an understanding of stress management
- Examining the flight or fight response
- Gaining insights into long term learning problems
- Learning about what happens when a person is stressed
- Exploring a stress management program
- Studying conflict management
- Understanding what conflict is
- Gaining insights into conflict handling techniques
- Learning how to deal with anger in others
- Exploring how to modify anger
- Examining how role-play can help with conflict management
- Gaining insights into mediation and negotiation
- Understanding what negotiation is
- Gaining insights into establishment and community groups
- Learning how to undertake a joint problem-solving approach
- Exploring effective negotiating behaviour
- Studying a mediator’s responsibilities
- Examining facilitation and the attributes of a good facilitator
- Gaining insights into the balance of power and power imbalance
- Learning about group work and discussion
- Exploring conflict training exercises
Key Characteristics of Effective Teachers
According to a study done by the University of Melbourne in 2018, 11 teacher characteristics are directly associated with teacher, student and school outcomes. These can be used to formulate valuable teaching strategies, and they include:
#1 – Cognitive Capability
Cognition in this study isn’t focused on ‘intelligence’, but on broader attributes associated with the teacher and their personality. These include:
- Credibility. Teachers with credibility tend to adopt a clear, responsive and assertive communication style that involves interacting with students and other teachers in ways that support student learning. They also come across as social, composed and caring to students and colleagues.
- Creativity, insight and imagination. Teachers defined as creative work with existing knowledge in unique and innovative ways, and introduce new processes that result in improved student learning. They also tend to have a strong emotional investment in their students and encourage ‘possibility thinking’ and inclusivity in their classrooms.
- Judgement and decision-making ability. Teachers who possess this characteristic make decisions and develop strategies based on balanced and evidence-based methods, and regularly reflect on their own teaching practices and techniques.
#2 – Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), and Competence
There are five SEL competencies that comprise this characteristic, and these include:
- Social awareness
- Relationship skills
- Responsible decision-making
Teachers with high social and emotional competence make responsible decisions, recognise and understand other people’s emotions, engage in behaviours that benefit others, and are skilled at managing their own behaviour and their relationships with others.
#3 – Self-efficacy
Self-efficacy can be defined as “the belief in one’s capabilities to organise and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations”. It sounds complicated, but it refers to a teacher’s belief in their ability to impact student learning and other outcomes. Teachers with this characteristic believe:
- Their relationships and engagement with students are meaningful and important.
- Their relationships and engagement with students is part of their professional responsibility.
- Goal setting and professional development and learning is valuable.
- Involving students in goal setting and class decision making is important.
#4 – Communication
Teaching primarily revolves around instructional communication, which is ‘the role of communication in the teaching of all subjects at all levels’. Communication can be verbal, co-verbal, or non-verbal communication, and all are important for teachers. It involves:
- Rhetorical communication techniques – which include clarity, communicating relevance and using humour
- Relational communication techniques – which include listening, immediacy and manipulating presentation styles
Non-verbal communication is also an important aspect of communication, and this includes:
- Proxemics – proximity to students and a teacher’s use of space
- Co-verbal behaviours – eye contact, physical gestures, body language and facial expressions
- Paralanguage – voice volume, pitch and rhythm
- Appearance – good grooming and overall physical presentation
#5 – Motivation
Motivation can be defined as ‘the energy or drive that moves people to do something by nature’. In the context of teaching, it can be defined as the reasons an individual chooses to teach, and the reasons a teacher sustains or continues to teach.
- Are influenced by several factors, including students themselves.
- Are enthusiastic about their students.
- Have a positive view of their abilities and their work.
- Are keen to develop competence and knowledge in their teaching skills.
- Effectively navigate setbacks and challenges.
#6 – Cultural Competence
Cultural competence and culturally responsive teaching strategies are an important characteristic of effective teachers. It is characterised by teaching practices as well as a teacher’s values, attitudes and their knowledge relating to culture.
Teachers with this characteristic:
- Recognise a student’s intellectual capabilities, prior accomplishments and their personal and cultural strengths
- Embrace diversity, the ‘culture of power’ and the enablement of cultural identity development
- Build effective relationships and deliver relevant and authentic learning
#7 – Personality
‘Personality’ is a combination of qualities or characteristics that make up an individual’s character. Experts believe a teacher’s personality is an underlying core factor influencing their performance.
Teachers with this characteristic exhibit:
- Agreeableness – they actively listen and engage in conversations.
- Extraversion – they enjoy being around people more than being alone.
- Conscientiousness – they complete quality tasks with efficiency.
Personality traits include being talkative, caring, affectionate, sociable, good-natured, trusting, unselfish, kind, composed and emotionally expressive …. with a sense of humour!
#8 – Self-Reflection and Reflection
Teacher self-reflection is defined as the ability to identify one’s strengths and weaknesses, adapt to change and correct mistakes accordingly.
Teachers’ reflective practice:
- Encourages self-assessment.
- Enables them to react to personal concerns and learning experiences.
- Helps them elaborate on learning theories and philosophies with other colleagues.
- Allows them to contemplate problems, personal insights, training and future goals.
Collegiality, as a characteristic, is defined by the ability of a teacher to encourage, display optimism about and build collaborative relationships. It also involves teachers:
- Being given opportunities for continued development
- Being able to grow, both personally and professionally
- Viewing themselves as lifelong learners
- Working with other teachers to develop curriculums
#10 – Attitudes, Beliefs, and Expectations
The definition of this characteristic is relatively straightforward and focuses on positive teacher beliefs and expectations. Both of these are interrelated and are influenced by attitudes. Teacher beliefs and expectations comprise:
- The belief in the power and importance of accomplished teaching.
- The exploration and achievement of all students’ potential.
- An ambitious vision for all students’ long-term success.
- The communication of expectations to students via daily goals.
#11 – Values, Moral and Ethics
Values, morals and ethics reflect various elements that make up a teacher’s personality and character. Basically, they revolve around:
- The variety of beliefs and virtues that teachers may hold about issues such as religion or environmental issues
- Beliefs and virtues that extend to a teacher’s ethics and morality
- Virtues which ‘contribute to the flourishing, or well-being of individuals and society’, including their students!
Whether you’re homeschooling or keen to update your teaching skills for more effective student experience, Developing Your Teaching Skills For Success will equip you with a range of valuable teaching strategies.