I believe that with being a teacher comes great responsibility. A teacher will leave a lasting impression on their pupils, they should be free from any prejudice and treat children as individuals by respecting their backgrounds, religion, disability and race. I am extremely concerned about becoming an effective teacher and many factors contribute to this. This essay will highlight my areas of concern and how my initial thoughts have developed during my placement. My areas of concern include planning and executing enjoyable lessons. They also include the strategies I observed the teacher using to mange behaviour in the classroom which is essential for the smooth flow of the day.
Confidence is a factor which I feel improves every time you teach, and if lessons are well planned and subject knowledge is secure a teacher would automatically begin to feel confident. I am also concerned about classroom organisation and the implementation of routines. I observed many examples of set routines which the school follow, this is the responsibility of the teacher to enforce and then keep consistent. These are all attributes or responsibilities of an effective teacher and this essay will explore them and discuss possible ways of improving or developing them. I have also included my experience regarding assessment and the importance of identifying strengths and weaknesses to become an effective teacher. Finally, I have included some experiences of my university education which has helped me to identify my areas for concern.
I feel that being an effective teacher should involve valuing, gaining and giving respect to the children. I was concerned how this could be achieved. I saw fantastic examples on my school placement which I hope to adopt myself. Every morning the teacher would give the children time to settle on the carpet and instead of talking amongst each other, they would in turn talk to the teacher and the rest of the class, often about issues which were concerning them or something exciting that happened over the weekend.
The teacher made sure every child had a chance to talk no matter how trivial. She showed genuine interest in them and never let them feel insignificant. I really admired the teacher for this. I initially thought it was just a nice way to start the morning however, after thinking about it so many strategies are involved and learning taking place. The children develop confidence in talking in front of the class; they are sharing their thoughts and feelings, and learning how to express themselves. The bond of trust is being formed between pupil and teacher. Finally, it is good strategy for managing behaviour. Children learn to listen to each other and they also learn patience and turn-taking.
” The most effective teachers frequently involved the whole class in discussion and were skilled at doing this, which was not necessarily whole-class teaching as such.” (Dean, J. (2001) p.39) Therefore I feel that it is extremely important to value a child despite race, gender, religion or disability. And to truly show an interest in them and respect their thoughts and beliefs. I feel that I established a good relationship with the children and they felt comfortable around me. This is where I felt I was effective in my teaching. All this contributes to being an effective teacher.
Mortimore et al. (1988) found that effective teachers gave rewards rather than punishments, as punishments had a negative effect on learning. I observed a great deal of this on my school placement which I quickly adopted. Unwanted behaviour was often ignored until absolutely necessary, whereas good behaviour was praised quickly and an example made of it to the rest of the class. This practise worked, I saw the class react quickly try and act the same way to please the teacher and me as a student teacher.
I feel that an effective teacher should have implemented a classroom routine and then to keep it consistent. An arrangement of getting things out and putting away can be made with children. All the children can be given a responsibility of taking care of a small area of the classroom. Places for resources, books etc should have a permanent place and be clearly labelled to enable the children to tidy up efficiently.
I also noticed that the class teacher had seated the children in rows on specific places on the carpet. Bennet and Blunder (1983) found that children got more work done when sat in rows. I found that this is an effective classroom management strategy. There are no arguments of sitting next to friends or lack of space. The children know where they sit and with one glance, the teacher can see who is missing and spot ant disruptions. The children were seated on the table in groups according to ability. Independent work was often completed on the tables, however, the child were always given the chance to discuss ideas with each other before asking the teacher for help.