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Characteristics Of Teaching Profession Essays Online

The quest to identify the ingredients, components, and qualities of effective instruction has been a long one. Starting in the 1930s, researchers sought to identify the common characteristics of good teachers. Since then, virtually everybody who might have an opinion has been asked, surveyed, or interviewed. Students have been asked at the beginning, middle, and end of their college careers. Alumni have been asked years after graduating. Colleagues within departments and across them have been asked, as have administrators, from local department heads to college presidents.

Despite this large database, researchers continue to explore this issue and, surprisingly, find new groups to ask and new ways to analyze the results. Even more amazing is how much overlap and consistency there is across these many studies, and the study we’re about to highlight here is no exception. The researchers studied a group of 35 faculty members who had received a Presidential Teaching Award at a public university in the Midwest. To be considered for the award, teachers had to write a 1,500-word essay describing their teaching philosophies and teaching goals. Using a qualitative methodology (hermeneutics), researchers analyzed these statements with the goal of identifying the factors that made these teachers successful. The researchers found four categories of comments characteristic of all these award-winning teachers.

1. Presence – “The term presence for this study is defined as a deeper level of awareness that allows thoughts, feelings, and actions to be known, developed, and harmonized within. Presence is also the essence of a relationship and of interpersonal communication.” (p. 13) Illustrating this particular category were comments in the essays indicating how important it is for teachers to get to know their students. “The classroom should not be a sea of faceless forms,” writes one teacher. (p. 13) Another frequent theme in this category related to the importance of caring for students. “By caring for my students, I mean that I am genuinely interested in my students’ learning and understanding the course material, and in making a significant contribution to the success of their careers.” (p. 14)

2. Promotion of learning – These teachers also wrote of the importance of student learning and their roles in promoting it. They held their students and themselves to high standards, seeing students’ work in their courses and programs as preparation for lifelong learning. They also wrote of the need for students to do more than just memorize material. “Mere possession of scientific knowledge without the ability to apply it is of limited value in nursing practice,” wrote one nurse educator. (p. 14) Equally important was their shared view that promoting learning goes beyond content acquisition. Education is also about personal development, and teachers have a role in promoting that kind of learning as well.

3. Teachers as learners – These exemplary teachers described themselves as learners, each making it a priority to keep their teaching current. “As teachers, we must continue to re-engineer our curriculum, experiment with new and different methods of delivering course content, and bring emerging technologies into our classrooms.” (p. 15) These teachers valued opportunities to revise course content, to teach new courses, and to work on degree-program curricula.

4. Enthusiasm – “Effective teaching presupposes a command of the material and facility in communicating it with clarity, grace, fairness, and humor. But most of all it supposes enthusiasm.” (p. 15) This enthusiasm starts with a love of the content, but it goes beyond that and includes a genuine love of teaching and a passion for students and their learning. “I am also concerned that my students develop a passion for learning that goes on well after the course has ended.” (p. 15)

In their conclusion, these researchers note that “there is no formula for successful teaching. Each professor is unique and has an individual educational philosophy and teaching goals.” (p. 16) Even so, good teachers share common commitments and characteristics—they do in this study and have done so in many others as well.

Reference: Rossett, J. and Fox, P. G. (2009). Factors related to successful teaching by outstanding professors: An interpretive study. Journal of Nursing Education, 48 (1), 11-16.

Excerpted from “Qualities of Successful Teaching.” The Teaching Professor, 24.1 (2010): 6.

Posted in Philosophy of Teaching
Tagged with become a better professor, Effective Teaching Strategies, effective university teaching, philosophy of teaching and learning, teacher effectiveness

Recently I was invited to give a guest lecture on the topic “Characteristics of highly effective teachers of English’.To prepare myself for the lecture I asked my students and fellow teachers to list the qualities of a good teacher of English.Those who were involved in the informal brainstorming sessions had listed a number of characteristics an English language teacher should have.My experience as an English language teacher and teacher trainer also helps me define an effective teacher of English as someone who possesses 5 I’s:<

  1. Imagination
  2. Innovativeness
  3. Interaction
  4. Independent thinking
  5. Interdependence Imagination

A teacher who is imaginative can do wonders in the English class. Their new ideas break monontony and make students take lively participation in the class. Albert Einstein says thatt imagination is more important than knowledge.

“Human progress is possible only through education. Without imagination, education becomes a kind of intellectual recycling of the same knowledge passed from teacher to student and back to teacher on the test. Education should do more than simply transmit information; it should develop skills such as imagination that evolve our knowledge and move us forward as a species.”

Teachers who are imaginative can teach any language skill interestingly and effectively. They can develop students' creative self-expression. Teachers who are imaginative explore and create new things.

Students enjoy being guided by imaginative teachers.

Innovativeness
An innovative teacher dares to go off the track in order to be on the track. Students like teacher who are innovative. Innovativeness means

  • Introducing changes and new ideas
  • Daring to be different and being unique
  • Going off the track in order to be on the track
  • Experimenting new things
  • Being fresh always

Interaction

A teacher who promotes interaction in the English class does justice to their profession by empowering learners and helping them develop their communication skills. They motivate their students, create opportunities for them to interact with one another through commutainment (communication through entertainment) activities such as roleplays, groups discussions, mock interviews, etc.

Independent thinking

Independent thinking is the process of being able to think on your own, without someone else guiding you. "In a world where knowledge is doubling every few years and what once was a fact can become out of date so quickly equipping young people with the mental tools to succeed in such a world is vital." Teachers can help their students develop their independent thinking only if they are independent. Independent thinking implies

  • Thinking on your own
  • Being critical of what you see and hear
  • Questioning information and irrational assumptions

An independent thinker helps students develop the desire and ability to think on their own. An independent thinker contributes a lot to the team. Language learning tasks should aim at developing students’ thinking skills.

Interdependence
Interdependence is essential for a successful person. Taking students from dependent stage to independent stage and then to interdependent stage is very important. Man is a social animal and interpersonal relationship is the key to success in today's competitive world. The one who knows how to relate with others can climb up the ladder of success. Those who are interdependent use positive language and win people. They are polite, pleasant, practical, persuasive and powerful.

A teacher of English who is imaginative, innovative, interactive, independent and interdependent can be successful in the field and can lead the students from dependent stage to independent stage and then to interdependent stage.

Dear teachers, please let me know your comments.

Albert P'Rayan

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