12 TEACHING SKILLS FOR AN EDUCATOR

Mrs Oluwayemisi and Miss Peace Oreofe Odunfa, Arish Schools Abeokuta

Being a teacher is not just about having the credentials but being able to change lives, develop well-educated and respectable students. A teacher teaches and makes you to be able to face real problems of life, helps in acquiring knowledge, competence, culture, virtue and personally improving on themselves. 

There are several teachers but to be an effective teacher you need professional teaching skills which are:

#1. Setting Inductions. 

This is about getting the children’s attention so as to be ready to learn. Inducing them into the right mind-set and creating motivation to being fully engaged in the learning process. Many distractions draw the attention of children away from the class: hunger, emotional problems, early childhood age, noise from other classrooms etc.  Phrases like ‘take a look at this!’, ‘are you here!’, ‘are you following!’, ‘can we proceed!’, ‘am I communicating!’, ‘look up!’, ‘are you with me!’ can be used to gain attention of kids in the class. Without gaining attention of the children, they won’t be able to focus and learn.

#2. Effective usage of the board.

It is a good idea to divide the board into two or three sections before the start of the class. Make sure your date is written on the top corner, the subject course, the topic, sub-topic and the class. Your student should have a clear, interrupted view of the board. Make sure your writing is legible and properly aligned for the students to read and copy. Check to confirm what you write while you write. Ask the students before rubbing off the columns on the board.

#3. Time management.

Having a good and well detailed lesson note helps in managing class periods, it discourages perambulation and veering off points. It allows the next teacher to start his or her class on time.

#4. Explanation and communication.

Educators should effectively deliver information, understand the different points of view from other people and explain the rationale for the choices they make in regard to their teaching. Communicating with your students might be verbal, written, or via any other route from practical demonstrations to artistic interpretation – whatever gets your point across for proper understanding of the topic.

#5. Planned repetition

This is to enhance mastery of learning as a result of repetition of key points, Repeating definitions, concepts, explanations etc usually assist learners to recall these facts easily. Repetition of key points is done at the beginning, middle and at ending or at predetermined intervals in order to uphold the points on the short term memory and moved to the long term memory.

#6. Use of instructional materials and teaching aids.

Teaching aids helps learners improve comprehension skills. Illustrating or reinforcing a skill or concept, relieving anxiety or boredom are realised by presenting information in a new and exciting way. Teaching aids in form of real objects, products of technology etc. also engages students’ other senses since there are no limits to what aids can be utilized for when supplementing a lesson. Aids are used when a visual explanation or experiential knowledge is needed to drive home points. Teachings on ‘airport’ may be done through charts if teaching was done in a remote area but excursion to the airport will be preferable if the airport is within a reachable distance from the classroom.  

#7. Varying techniques of teaching (stimulus variation).

This encourages flexibility, agility, strength and endurance. Varying techniques of teaching facilitates the learning of students in the class. Lecture method, play away method, discussion method, field trips, brainstorming method, independent assignment methods are all ways of stimulating learning.

#8. Reinforcements

Rewarding students by clapping for them when something is done rightly or a question answered correctly potentially makes them to want to repeat that good action.

#9. Silence 

Silence is sometimes used to control noise and other distractions caused by the students in the class. Silence of the teacher facilitates problems solving, convey empathy and support, facilitates reflection, develops autonomy in the student and facilitate expression of feelings. A teacher staring vehemently at a noise maker meant to control distractions of learning in the classroom.  

#10. Illustration with examples.

This can convey the right idea in the most clear and simple manner. With the help of images and drawings, you can improve the idea of any piece of writing whether for depicting a story or providing a learning material. Many examples for the students to work out in class during evaluation of the teaching and also at home as assignment helps the kids to further understand the topic being taught.

#11. Encourage participation

Encouraging students in speaking and taking part in answering questions can help a student understand a topic better. As a teacher, ask students questions in order to know if they’ve understood the points. Let the class be stimulating to catch the attention of learners and also making them participate.

#12. Closure

Learning to know how to close a class is very important in teaching. Giving phrases like ‘in conclusion’, ‘I’m rounding up’ etc can help a teacher get ready to summarise all that have been said and to avoid leaving the class abruptly. Grouping students for a quick quiz in rounding up helps students partake in learning activities. While answering the questions, they get to know the summary of all what had been taught. 

Being a teacher means that you have an emotional investment in making the world a better place. Student should be seen as unique, and it should be realised that his gifts are special and deserve to be developed and celebrated.

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