Teacher Education: Different Ways of Teaching
Experience is no longer a teacher’s strong point. In fact, experience is now a weak point for most teachers. Experienced teachers are in short supply. They are mostly old-school teachers who teach in primary and secondary schools in major cities. They have no training in special education.
A strong point for a good teacher is her subject matter knowledge and her pedagogical know-how. The most important qualification for a teacher is her subject matter knowledge, because that is the only qualification you need to get hired as a teacher, anywhere. There are three main subject matters in teaching: the arts; the sciences; and social studies.
Most teachers begin their careers as aides who help younger students with basic learning skills and young imagination. Over time, they gain more responsibilities, such as being principals’ secretaries, then instructors, then superintendents, and finally deans. This kind of teacher has been through many stages of teacher education. She may be a teacher for thirty years or more. A teacher who has spent decades in the profession can be considered an experienced teacher, even though she may no longer teach the traditional formal teaching method.
In the classroom, teachers are supposed to instruct students, not to guide them. Even though some of the instruction can be done verbally, teachers should instruct students in different ways. This is because it is not possible to instruct effectively using only one method. The good news is that different methods of instruction have evolved over the years. There are now many different ways to teach.
One of the emerging methods of teaching is group instruction. Some districts have even adopted this innovative method. With group instruction, many teachers take the responsibility of organizing lesson groups of up to thirteen children or adults. Within each group, there is usually a specialist, such as a psychologist, an art instructor, a physical education teacher, or a social studies teacher, and the children are taught by individuals who have expertise in those fields. This arrangement allows each child to get a chance to learn how he or she fits into the classroom. For children who may struggle in a particular subject or area, there are specialists who can provide individualized attention.
To remain effective in the classroom, teachers must continually assess their learning skills. They need to develop a curriculum that matches their needs. They also have to make time for individual students so that they can improve their skills. When all these elements are in place, teaching becomes more effective.