- Know the subject matter: Q: What do you need to know to teach a horse? A. More than the horse.
While this may just seem like a cheesy joke, it's really very true. To be a good teacher to our children, we have to know the subject. Luckily, we live in a time where there are resources EVERYWHERE!!!
Some resources I love are Khan Academy, Usborne World History Encyclopedia, and Usborne Science Encyclopedia.
- Pedagogy: We can't just know more than our children and telling it to them. We also need to know effective teaching strategies.We need to effectively build on the information. This is stuff like, tell the students how something is done, demonstrate it, do it with them, and then allow them to do it on their own. This is done through graphic organizers, cooperative learning, lectures, demonstrations, discussions, games...etc. There are so many examples.
- Know the student: This one is great for parents, because parents probably know their students better than teachers do. If you know the student then you can better decided with pedagogy you want to use with them. I have one child who is very logical and prefers to learn on paper. So, adding... he was find just looking at the pictures and adding them up by counting. When his sister got to adding, she didn't want to count the pictures, instead she did 3 jumping jacks plus 2 burpees equals five. And, yes, she actually did these things. So, one of my children prefers more demonstration while the other prefers more games and hands on learning. Knowing this, helps me know how to teach my children different things. Following the lesson plan isn't always perfect for all children.
- Intentional Teaching: Intentional teachers are people who think about what they want - what will the end result be? Everything done through the day is planned ahead of time with the desired outcome in mind. This ties in with knowing the student and pedagogy.
- Believe in your student: Some teachers believe certain students are not capable of learning - this belief could be based on genetics, home environment or many other factors. A teacher should believe their student has the ability to learn. Believe in that student and that student will believe in him/herself.
I hope this was helpful. What are some other things you believe are vital to being a good teacher!!! :)