24 February, 2009

Essential Skills for Success in Teaching

Workshop Handout by C. Radhakrishnan

The spirit of being an effective teacher lies in understanding what to do to promote students’ learning and being able to do it. Effective teaching skill is mainly concerned with setting up a learning activity for each student which is successful in bringing about the type of learning the teacher intends. Development of teaching skills depends mainly on teacher’s motivation and professional integrity. Teachers who want to succeed and reach greater heights in this profession should incorporate the following seven essential skills.

1. Planning and Preparation

a. The lesson plan has clear and appropriate aims and objectives.
b. The content methods and structure of the lesson selected are appropriate for the pupil learning intended.
c. The lesson is planned to link up appropriately with past and future lessons.
d. Materials, resources and aids are well prepared and checked in good time.
e. All planning decisions take account of the students and the context.
f. The lesson is designed to elicit and sustain student’s attention, interest and involvement.

2. Lesson Presentation
a. The teacher’s manner is confident, relaxed, self-assured and purposeful, and generates interest in the lesson.
b. The teacher’s instructions and explanations are clear and matched to students’ needs.
c. The teacher’s questions include a variety of types and range and are distributed widely.
d. A variety of appropriate learning activities are used to foster student learning.
e. Students are actively involved in the lesson and are given opportunities to organise their own work.
f. The teacher shows respect and encouragement for students’ ideas and contributions, and fosters their development.
g. The work undertaken by students is well matched to their needs.
h. Materials, resources and aids are used to good effect.

3. Lesson Management
a. The beginning of the lesson is smooth and prompt, and sets up a positive mental set for what is to follow.
b. Student s’ attention, interest and involvement in the lesson are maintained.
c. Students’ progress during the lesson is carefully monitored.
d. Constructive and helpful feedback is given to students to encourage further progress.
e. Transitions between activities are smooth.
f. The time spent on different activities is well managed.
g. The pace and flow of the lesson is adjusted and maintained at an appropriate level throughout the lesson.
h. Adjustments to the lesson plan are made whenever appropriate.
i. The ending of the lesson is used to good effect.

4. Classroom Climate

a. The climate is purposeful, task-oriented, relaxed, and with an established sense of order.
b. Students are supported and encouraged to learn, with high positive expectations conveyed by the teacher.
c. Teacher- student relationships are largely based on mutual respect and rapport.
d. Feedback from the teacher contributes to fostering student self-confidence and self-esteem.
e. The appearance and layout of the class are conducive to positive student attitudes towards the lesson and facilitate the activities taking place.

5. Discipline
a. Good order is largely based on the positive classroom climate established and on good lesson presentation and management.
b. The teacher’s authority is established and accepted by students.
c. Clear rules and expectations regarding pupil behaviour are conveyed by the teacher at appropriate times.
d. Student behaviour is carefully monitored and appropriate actions by the teacher are taken to pre-empt misbehaviour.
e. Students’ misbehaviour is dealt with by an appropriate use of investigation, counselling, academic help, reprimands and punishments.
f. Confrontations are avoided, and skilfully resolved.

6. Assessing pupils’ progress
a. The marking of students’ work during and after lesson is thorough and constructive, and work is returned in good time.
b. Feedback on assessments aims not only to be diagnostic and corrective, but also to encourage further effort and maintain self-confidence, which involves follow-up comments, help or work with particular students as appropriate.
c. A variety of assessment tasks are used, covering both formative and summative purposes.
d. A variety of records of progress are kept.
e. Some opportunities are given to foster students’ own assessments of their work and progress.
f. Assessment of students’ work is used to identify areas of common difficulties, the effectiveness of the teaching, and whether a firm basis for further progress has been established.
g. Assessment is made of the study skills and learning strategies employed by pupils in order to foster their further development.

7. Reflection and evaluation
a. Lessons are evaluated to inform future planning and practice.
b. Current practices are regularly considered with a view to identifying aspect for useful development.
c. Use is made of a variety of ways to reflect upon and evaluate current practice.
d. The teacher regularly reviews whether his or her time and effort can be organised to better effect.
e. The teacher regularly reviews the strategies and techniques he or she uses to deal with sources of stress.

1.Kyriacou, Chris - Essential Teaching Skills - Nelson Thornes - The High Range School Library, TTL, Mattupatti.
2.Kyriacou, Chris - Effective Teaching in Schools - Nelson Thornes - The High Range School Library, TTL, Mattupatti.

Happy learning & Teaching!