Wondering what teaching is? Read on to learn more about teaching and the different teaching styles.
Teaching is an instrument of education and plays a key role in imparting skills and understanding. The main goal of teaching is to ensure that learning is effective. A learning process is completed by teaching.
In this article, I will explain what teaching is. I will also shed light on the styles of teaching and the skills you need to have if you want to teach.
What is Teaching?
Teaching refers to the process of instructing someone. It is the profession of someone that teaches (i.e. a teacher). Based on the number of people that are in the profession, teaching is one of the largest professions in the world.
If you want to be a teacher, you need to have some form of formal training. You must also have specialized knowledge and must be certified to teach.
More so, you need to adhere to certain standards of performance.
Important Teaching Skills
A lot of research has been dedicated to discovering what makes an effective teacher. Results obtained from the research revealed that there are many forms of effective teachers, but they have four crucial teaching skills which are:
- People skills
- Knowledge of the subject matter
- Management skills, and
- Assessment skills
These skills refer to the ability of the teacher to interact, talk, understand, Also connect with people. Effective teachers are those that can relate well with people. Teachers need to remember the following:
- Technical knowledge will not yield any result if the teacher does not communicate effectively.
- Teachers must actively listen to their students and also teach the students; these are the processes of effective communication.
When a teacher listens to the discussions of his or her students, he or she will be able to detect problem areas and then explain such areas better so that they can understand the concept.
People skills also comprise the ability to interact with students without being rude to them, capture the attention of students, and meet the needs of the student when the need arises.
Effective teachers also challenge the intellect of students while supporting them to learn. They must also portray enthusiasm for what they teach and must express themselves in a way that is clear and easy for the students to understand.
Another element of effective teaching is the ability to look for means of matching the learning styles of students with the teacher’s teaching style.
Knowledge of the Subject Matter
Someone knowledgeable in a subject matter has a high level of expertise, skill, or knowledge in the subject he or she is teaching.
Effective teachers are not only knowledgeable in their subject area, but they also know how to teach. The fact that an individual has a high level of technical knowledge does not mean that such an individual can teach.
Effective teachers are interested in learning and they invest in professional growth. There are different professional development opportunities for different teaching fields. It is helpful to network with other teachers and also observe them learn new tactics.
When a teacher becomes a lifelong learner, he or she will remain current in both his or her field and education.
Management skills comprise the ability to organize, plan, supervise, and lead. These skills are reflected in an effective teacher’s ability to plan, organize, and deliver a lesson.
When a lesson is well planned, it shows that the teacher practices time management skills and uses the time allocated for the lesson very well.
Teachers need to consider the time available and then plan how they will use such time to achieve the goals of the lesson; this is necessary so that the teacher can effectively manage time.
A teacher knows what can be achieved in a specific time, makes good use of the time, creates enough time for what needs to be done, creates time for unexpected situations, and reduces stress by avoiding planning too much for the time at his or her disposal.
Learning assessment is an important skill that effective teachers need to have.
Learning involves a change in the learner’s behavior due to experience. The behavior can be physical or intellectual. The behavioral change is also measurable and can thus be assessed.
Assessment is a complex process and a teacher needs to be clear about the purposes of assessing their students. Assessments can be made before, during, and after training.
Styles of Teaching
Authority/ Lecture Teaching Style
The authority or lecture model of teaching is teacher-centric and usually requires the use of lecture sessions with long durations. In this style of teaching, students need to take notes or assimilate information.
This style of teaching is ideal for some higher-education disciplines and auditorium arrangements that involve a large group of students. It is suitable for history and other subjects that require memorizing key facts, names, and dates.
However, this model is a questionable style for teaching children since there is little or no interaction between the students and the teacher. It can also get boring. This is why it is ideal for older and mature students.
Demonstrator/ Coach Teaching Style
This style of teaching has the formal authority role of helping students know what they need to know. The lecturer is like the demonstrator, however, their lessons involve the use of multimedia presentations, demonstrations, and activities.
Also, it allows teachers to use different formats such as lectures and multimedia presentations.
However, it is suitable for mathematics, physical education, music, arts, and crafts. This style may find it difficult to meet the specific needs of each student in larger classrooms.
Facilitator/ Activity Teaching Style
This teaching style enhances self-learning. It also helps students to retain knowledge and also develop critical thinking skills.
This style of teaching trains students to ask teachers questions. It also helps them develop skills that they can use to find solutions via exploration. The facilitator style of teaching is suitable for science subjects.
The style challenges teachers to interact with students instead of just lecturing facts and testing students’ knowledge through memorization. As a result, it makes it a bit more difficult to measure the style’s success by using tangible terms.
Delegator/ Group Teaching Style
The delegator teaching style is suitable for subjects that involve laboratory activities (such as chemistry and biology) and subjects that require peer feedback (such as creative writing and debate).
This style of teaching involves the guided discovery and inquiry-based learning; this portrays the teacher as an observer that inspires the students by working with them to achieve a common goal.
However, since it is a modern teaching style, it is criticized as gradually getting rid of the authority of the teacher. The teacher (who is the delegator) behaves more as a consultant and not as an authority figure (which is noticed in traditional styles).
Hybrid/ Blended Teaching Style
The hybrid or blended teaching style uses an integrated teaching approach by blending the personality and interests of the teacher with the needs of the students and methods approved by the curriculum.
This style of teaching is inclusive. It allows teachers to use styles that align with the needs of the students and the right subject matter.
However, the hybrid teaching style portrays the teacher to be many things to the students. This makes the teachers stress themselves while trying to align with the individual needs of the students and often end up diluting learning.
Since teachers have styles that portray their unique personalities and curriculum, they must be focused on their teaching objectives without trying to be everything to their students.
How Does Diversity in the Classroom Influence Teachers?
Today’s teachers are charged with the responsibility of guiding students with different learning abilities.
The teachers of today do not have the luxury of selecting the best students while leaving the rest to experts that specialize in children that have learning disorders.
It is important for today’s teachers to develop teaching styles that can work in diverse classrooms. Effective styles and methods of teaching engage both gifted and slow-learning students.
It is in this area that differentiated instruction and a blend of styles can help meet the needs of all students in a particular classroom.
The moment a student gets what you’re teaching (referred to as “that a-ha moment” by Dr. Harry Wong) is one of the most satisfying benefits of being a teacher.
This process of transferring knowledge from a teacher to students is a skill and an art form. Both of these can be learned and made perfect.
To know how to engage students, you need to select the style that is suitable for you. Although you may prefer a particular teaching style to another, you need to first find the style that is suitable for your students.
You can try different styles to achieve different objectives. Also, challenge yourself to find means of meeting the needs of each student.
What are the Challenges in Teaching?
According to teachers, here are the main challenges in the classroom:
- Lots of paperwork
- Insufficient time for planning
- Maintaining a balance between different learning needs
- Pressure from school administrators
- Getting burned out easily due to the workload
- Pressure from many masters, and
- Poor funding
What do you mean by teaching?
Teaching refers to an engagement with students to help them understand new concepts and also apply knowledge and processes. When you teach, you are engaging students in learning.
Hence, teaching entails involving students in the construction of knowledge.
Why is teaching a process?
Teaching is a process because it involves planning, implementation, evaluation, and revision.
Teachers can create learning environments of mutual respect and trust; this is a process that involves relying on the feedback of students.
Why is teaching the best way to learn?
Teaching is the best way to learn because it improves the efficacy, confidence, and communication skills of students. It also helps students to learn and develop productive beliefs about themselves.
Through teaching, students can become confident to explain what they’ve learned to their colleagues. At this stage, we can say that such students have developed a higher self-efficacy.
We cannot refer to a specific teaching style as the best style. However, some styles are more effective than others. According to researchers, using more student-focused styles can help students to learn.
When a teacher focuses on only teacher-centered styles, many skills and students’ learning opportunities will be omitted.
Although there may still be instances where teacher-centered styles can be used for certain topics and learning objectives. However, the teacher-focused style should not be the main style that teachers use.
The main thing is that teachers must find styles that fit their personalities. Effective teachers are passionate and are also confident in what they do.
Hence, if any of the teaching styles that I discussed in this article interest you, explore it to discover a style that will motivate your students and enhance their learning while improving your experience as a teacher.
Teachers can improve the process of teaching their students by making use of digital education tools. These tools help students to learn independently without the help of their teachers.
They also ensure swift communication between teachers and their students. Here are some digital education tools that teachers can use to engage their students.
Thanks for reading.