Monday, November 11, 2013

The Effective Teacher: Enthusiastic, Relatable, and Flexible

Joshua Daniels
Professor Page
November 7, 2013
The Effective Teacher
Enthusiastic, Relatable, and Flexible
            Have you ever had a teacher you didn’t like? Many students have. Perhaps the teacher in question was a bad teacher. Most Students define a teacher by how the teacher makes them feel. If a teacher were strict, rude, and unfriendly to that student, they would define that teacher as a bad teacher. Where as, if that teacher were kind, relatable, and understanding of that student the teacher would be defined as a good teacher by their student. However the term good and bad are opinionated and therefore are not definitive. The School Board uses these terms as well. However, they do not define teachers from their opinions but by the teacher’s effectiveness. When rating a teachers performance they look at the results. Therefore, a good teacher is really an effective teacher and a bad teacher is an ineffective teacher. An Ineffective teacher leave students with hardly any knowledge of the course, they fall short on providing on the teaching curriculum, and are ultimately useless because their students have learned little to no more than they had prior to the course. However, an effective teacher is a teacher who can equip their students with all the knowledge and understanding needed to complete the course and has done so well enough that their students can apply the knowledge gained in the course in their future endeavors. The effective teacher promotes learning to interest their students in not only their class but their discipline, is cognitive of how they teach their students, and can adapt to the students needs.
Effective teachers promote learning by being enthusiastic about their discipline. They challenge their students by introducing new ways to approach their discipline.  This can range from the use of computer to the use of cell phones. Effective teachers focus on the joy of the subject instead the limits given to them by the school board. They teach everything required by also exceed it. They want their students to surpass them and push their minds to their limit (Slate 2).
James Acker: a professor of criminal justice at The University at Albany; who wrote an academic journal about effective teaching, said “The best teachers inspire their students in ways that give an enduring quality to their most meaningful lessons”(Acker 229) However they don’t stop there. It is important to know what your teaching. Teachers have to understand their material fully. An effective teacher improves year by year and is always looking for improvement. An Effective teacher teaches to enhance the minds of their students but also their own. An effective teacher will teach in the best way possible to achieve the best results. A class study from McMaster University showed that only 29% of the instructors teach using small groups. Those who did had students who exceled in scholarly learning (Vajoczki 7).
Lastly the characteristic that is leas touched on and never promoted is adaptation.
Effective teachers are available and give students their full attention. They offer office hours and are all for communicating with their students. Studies show that students respond well to a teacher that is slightly comedic approachable. This let students to feel comfortable about meeting with them and engaging in discussions in class (Acker 220)

Effective teachers give their students a piece of themselves through learning. One could argue that an effective teacher passes the baton to the next generation every time they teach. Effective teaching should be on the forefront of teaching. The next time someone says that a teacher is bad or good it is important to remind him or her what they really mean and what really is assessed when we use those terms. Effective Teachers are. There are many effective teachers around us. One can only hope that they all get recognized for being passionate about their craft, meta-cogence of what they do, and how they are flexible to suit their student’s needs; so they can get the respect they deserve.

Works Cited
 Duarte, Fernanda P. "Conceptions Of Good Teaching By Good Teachers: Case Studies From An Australian University.“ Journal Of University Teaching And Learning Practice 10.1 (2013): ERIC. Web. 6 Nov. 2013.
Vajoczki, Susan, et al. "Good Teachers, Scholarly Teachers And Teachers Engaged In Scholarship Of Teaching And Learning: A Case Study From McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada." Canadian Journal For The Scholarship Of Teaching And Learning 2.1 (2011): ERIC. Web. 7 Nov. 2013.
Slate, John R., et al. "A Mixed Analysis Of College Students' Best And Poorest College Professors." Issues In Educational Research 19.1 (2009): 61-78. ERIC. Web. 8 Nov. 2013.
Acker, James R. "Class Acts: Outstanding College Teachers And The Difference They Make." Criminal Justice Review 2 (2003): 215. Academic OneFile. Web. 8 Nov. 2013.