Teaching as a profession is often underestimated. Teaching, in reality, is a challenging profession. It requires teachers to engage, connect and communicate effectively. A herculean task as it is, teaching also requires constant upgrades to connect with the fast-evolving youth of the nation. From technological upgrades to changes in the syllabus, teachers need to be on their toes to reach out productively to students. To be well equipped for teaching, it is necessary to know the fundamentals of the profession. The fundamentals of teaching serve as the foundation to any teaching career and act as guiding lights to carve your way as a professional educator.
Here is a list of the 10 Fundamentals of Teaching
1. Know Your Subject:
The fundamentals of teaching prioritize knowledge of the subject inside out. To be able to teach effectively, teachers must possess in-depth knowledge of the core concepts. Teachers must know every concept in accordance with the level of understanding among students. Knowing their subject thoroughly also includes constantly updating themselves with the latest developments in the same. This also helps teachers tackle tough questions and challenge doubts from students in class.
2. Value Your Profession:
As a teacher, one must be aware of the responsibility they carry with themselves. The responsibility of educating young minds and moulding their futures lies in the hands of the teachers. Teachers must understand that they also serve as role models for students in their early years. Setting a good example and inculcating basic human values is a primary responsibility that must be prioritized above syllabus deadlines.
3. Know HOW to Teach:
Knowing how to convey a concept is key to being a good teacher. A highly qualified person may not necessarily be a good teacher. But a good communicator can definitely become an ideal teacher. Good communication skills coupled with in-depth knowledge is what helps in teaching as a profession. Striking a balance between staying updated and communicating the same effect is what defines a good teacher.
4. Understand the Needs of Students:
Among the other fundamentals of teaching, an important one is understanding what students seek from the teacher. Are they looking for someone to simplify a concept for them? Or are they seeking help with doubts? Once teachers are clear about what students need help with, they automatically bond better with them. This works both ways as even students begin to value teaching inputs accordingly. Building a connection with students definitely helps understand them better.
5. Handle Behavioural Differences:
As a teacher, one must understand that every student has a unique personality. Some are obedient, while some others are easily distracted. This is where the quality of a teacher is assessed. The ability to handle students of diverse natures and align them with the subject is key. Indian teachers must spend time understanding behavioral patterns and train students accordingly. As important it is to focus on syllabus completions, it is equally important to focus on students’ personality development.
6. Connect with Parents:
Parents are the pillars of support for students. It is the responsibility of parents to stay updated with their child’s progress in class. Teachers must request parents to monitor their child’s homework and exam preparations. It is imperative for teachers to have a harmonious relationship with parents as they help form a strong support system for students. Parent-teacher meetings and regular feedback forms for parents to fill are useful ways of engaging parents.
7. Learn and Unlearn:
Learning and gathering new insights into concepts is one of the most important fundamentals of teaching. At the same time, it is important to sync with the times and unlearn old methods of teaching. Teachers must be willing to constantly upgrade their skills by attending seminars and knowledge discussions. Learning and unlearning helps keep the wheel of knowledge in motion and also help teachers build confidence.
8. Level up with Technology
There are many ways of staying updated with modern methods of teaching. Teachers must try online teaching platforms to learn the nuances of modern teaching. Some of the latest tools that are facilitating online teaching include video conferencing platforms. They help teachers connect with students and continue classes online. Teachers can even take up e-learning courses to upgrade their skill sets.
9. Motivate Students
Motivating students goes a long way in the teaching process. Students love to be appreciated for their efforts and this encourages them to take your subject seriously. The most effective motivational technique is rewarding good behaviors in class. This method of positive reinforcement has proven to motivate other students to fall in line with ideal class behaviors. If for some reason a student is unable to perform well, try and allocate additional time and resources for the student to cope. Usually, teachers find it hard to allocate time for slow learners, but effective time management must be implemented to guide such students.
10. Practice Patience
Fundamentals of teaching are not just about having the knowledge. They require another ingredient – patience. Teachers must know the importance of being patient with slow learners in class. Fast learners may not require hand-holding as they tend to grasp relatively well. However slow learners may need additional time to grasp concepts and understand the lessons. If handled with patience, such students can definitely reach their full potential in class. Easier said than done, patience and persistence are what help teachers have a healthy bond with their students.
Teaching is a craft that needs to be honed just like any other skill set. Teaching requires smart work along with patience and consistency. With online resources, it is now easy to upgrade one’s skill set and teach online effectively. Video and audio lessons, upgraded learning resources, and online tools are now changing the scenario in the teaching profession. Knowing the fundamentals of teaching serves as an excellent framework for teachers to guide them in their teaching careers. For those who are stepping into the profession, it is important to work on the core of teaching fundamentals.
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