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Characteriistics of an Effective Teacher

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There are a number of characteristics that makeup an effective primary school teacher. An effective primary school teacher shows pupil the respect that they deserve, is a person that you can talk to, fun and makes coming to school everyday a pleasure. Walker (2008) states that “An effective teacher is defined as a teacher who was the most successful in helping students to learn. The characteristics are the special personal qualities of the teacher that enabled them to become a successful educator.”

A teacher must build a strong relationship with their pupils. As this gives the pupils the confidence to disclose matters which may be troubling them. They feel it is fine to tell this teacher who they trust as trust plays a big role in relationships. The relationship also helps the teacher to gain more respect out of the children. Walker (2008) states that “If teachers are to properly educate children they must first build up a relationship.” With having built up a relationship with their pupils teachers are able to teach their pupils much easier compared to having built up no relationship. Teachers are able to make the lessons more personal.

A teacher must show respect to the pupils in order to gain respect from them. In order for teachers to be respected they first need to show their pupils respect, as respect has to be earned. “Students want to be listened to and respected as human beings with wants, desires, fears, and emotions.” Valenzuela (1999) In the film “To Sir with Love” The teacher Mr Mark Thackeray’s pupils do not show him any respect. He however shows them respect by calling the girls Miss and then their surname and the boys are to be addressed by their surnames. And treats them like adults in turn they show him the respect he deserves, not because he is a teacher but he is a teacher who is showing them respect. This was in a tough school that some teachers were afraid of the pupils, some don’t care about them. Mr Thackeray goes in and turn it around he has everyone being respectful of one another.

According to Broadfoot (2008) “The key ingredients of good teaching included: creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and fairness in the classroom, providing opportunities for “active learning” and humour to encourage pupil engagement, making learning interesting, and explaining things clearly.”

A good teacher must be able to assess their classes’ individual strengths and weaknesses and be able to tailor their lessons around these at a drop of a hat. A good teacher must have a passion for what they are teaching and have a good subject knowledge that can answer any realistic question that children would throw at them.

An effective primary school teacher is a teacher who thinks of fun ways in which to teach. Such as individual wipe boards for Phonics and then letting the children use the interactive white board to write up the phonics, children can also do their maths work on these boards and also on the interactive board. However older children may not want to do this as they feel that it is not “cool” and possibly shy children as well they may not feel comfortable standing in front of their peers. Making subjects fun like turning the classroom into the place that you are studying e.g. China with flags, pictures etc all around the room. Taking an interactive trip around the world with the help of the internet or also having local trips.

Hanley “Effective teachers seem to know instinctively how to use performance skills to gain and hold students’ interest. They also seem aware of the impact that dramatic techniques can have upon students and are always looking for opportunities to incorporate these into their lessons.”

An effective teacher is a teacher who is well organised who has the lessons for the day planned out in advance with the appropriate resources. And also has back up lessons and resources for when a lesson is not going how they had anticipated. This can be that the pupils were bored, it was too hard/ easy for them or things didn’t work out.

Stronge (2007) believes that. “Teachers have a powerful long lasting influence on their students; they directly affect how students learn, what they learn, how much they learn and the way they interact with one another and the world around them.” A teacher can decided if you are to succeed in life or fail as nowadays education means a lot to work in a shop you need to have a suitable standard of education e.g. English and Maths at G.C.S.E grade C and above before an employer would even think about giving you an interview.

From my own experience as a pupil and also as a teaching assistant during my gap year, I know that pupils love to hear things about their teachers this makes their teachers seem more life like and “normal” as they may like the same things. This gives the children a conversation started with their teacher e.g. “Did you watch the match last night miss? They never should have lost.” From this the children feel more at ease with their teachers. They would find it easier to talk to their teachers about issues that may be troubling them.

An effective teacher is a teacher who reflects not only on the children and the children’s working progression but also on their own methods and materials. What worked in one lesson or with one group of pupils how it can be adapted to work with more? Ferraro (2000) states that “The primary benefit of reflective practice for teachers is a deeper understanding of their own teaching style and ultimately, greater effectiveness as a teacher.” A good teacher will also reflect on teachers they had or know and adapted methods that they liked the teacher doing. Also they will think about bad teachers and bad methods and how they can stay away from those e.g. over use of worksheets. “Reflective practice involves thoughtfully considering one’s own experiences in applying knowledge to practice while being coached by professionals in the discipline.” Schon (1996) The BBC (2000) found that the definitions of what makes a good teacher, from pupils aged 12 and 13: “They say a good teacher is kind, generous, listens to you, encourages you, has faith in you, keeps confidences, likes teaching children and their subject, takes time to explain things helps you when you’re stuck.

”These are essential skills that children believe that teacher a good teacher should have. The characteristics of an effective teacher are a teacher who loves to work with children. They love spending their working lives devoted to spending time to educate the future doctors, lawyers. However Myhill (2008) would argue that “A teacher who hates children may be very good at class management but they are unlikely to be very good at encouraging learning”. Myhill believes that you can still be a good teacher if you hate working with children. In my own opinion I believe that if you do not like working with children then you should not become a teacher. As the teachers who do not like children are taking up the places in our school that a fantastic teacher who does like children can be there in their place and the children would benefit more with a teacher who does like children.

In my opinion I believe that the characteristics of an effective primary school teacher are, that the teacher is always there for the class they make sure that they are in school everyday for the pupils, he/she makes a difference to children’s lives as some children come from unstable, unhappy homes and the only stable, caring, happy to see them person that they come into contact with is their teachers. A lot of children come from backgrounds that most of us cannot imagine the things that go on. They come to school as they see it as a “holiday” a safe place that they feel safe as home is not very pleasant. They are greeted everyday by a smiling face and acknowledgement that they exist.

In conclusion the characteristics of an effective teacher are a teacher who shows pupils the respect that they deserve, a teacher who reflects on their practice. A teacher who isn’t afraid to admit when they have made a mistake this makes the children feel at ease.

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