PAPER 301 (UNIT V) – CONCEPT OF TEACHER BEHAVIOUR
The quality of nation depends upon the quality of its citizens. The quality of its citizens depends – not exclusively but in critical measure-upon the quality of their education. The quality of their education depends, more than upon any other single factor, upon the quality of their teachers.
Teacher’s behaviour is defined as the behaviour or activities of persons as they go about doing whatever is required of teachers, particularly those activities that are concerned with the teaching-learning process. The behaviours exhibited by teachers determine to a great extent their effectiveness in the classroom and, ultimately, the impact they have on student achievement.
Several specific characteristics of teacher behaviours that contribute directly to effective teaching are listed below:
- The Teacher as a Person
Teachers are the representatives of both their content areas and their schools. How teachers present themselves makes an impression on administrators, colleagues, parents, and students. Often a student links the preference for a particular subject to a teacher and the way the subject was taught. A teacher who exudes enthusiasm and competence for a content area may transfer those feelings to the students. In addition, how the teacher relates to the pupils has an impact on the students’ experience in the class. The teacher’s personality is one of the first sets of characteristics to look for in an effective teacher. Many aspects of effective teaching can be cultivated, but it is difficult to effect change in an individual’s personality.
- Classroom Management and Organization
A classroom reveals the teacher’s style. Typically, a well-ordered classroom immediately gives the impression of a disciplined teacher. Books and supplies are arranged so that frequently needed ones are easily accessible. The furniture arrangement and classroom displays often reveal how the teacher uses the space. Once the students enter, the details of a classroom at work are evident. The teacher’s plan for the environment, related to the organization of both the classroom and the students, allows the classroom to run itself amid the buzz of student and teacher interaction.
- Planning and Organizing for Instruction
Some teachers plan at home, and others work after school, crafting unit plans that incorporate various objectives. Regardless of where or how teachers plan and organize for instruction, the evidence of effective work is seen in the classroom. An observer in the classroom of an effective teacher can quickly comprehend the teacher’s work by viewing the daily lesson objectives and activities posted. Further, the teacher is able to share what the class will be doing to follow-up on the lesson of the day. In many schools, teachers are required to submit weekly lesson plans; these plans typically note accommodations for different learning styles or needs and the variety of instructional approaches that will be used. It is important to note, however, that a lesson plan is not a final product; it is merely a description of what should be occurring in the classroom. Thus, a good plan doesn’t guarantee high-quality instruction, but a poor plan most certainly contributes to ineffective instruction.
- Implementing Instruction
Effective teaching combines the essence of good classroom management, organization, effective planning, and the teacher’s personal characteristics. The classroom presentation of the material to the students and the provision of experiences for the students to make authentic connections to the material are vital. The effective teacher facilitates the classroom similar to how a symphony conductor brings out the best performance from each musician to make a beautiful sound. In the case of the classroom, each student is achieving instructional goals in a positive classroom environment that is supportive, challenging, and nurturing of those goals. The best lesson plan is of little use if the classroom management component is lacking or the teacher lacks rapport with the students. Implementing instruction is like opening night at the theatre, where all the behind-the-scenes work is hidden and only the magic is seen by the audience. Effective teachers seem to achieve classroom magic effortlessly. The trained observer, on the other hand, is likely to feel great empathy and appreciation for the carefully orchestrated art of teaching.
- Monitoring Student Progress and Potential
Effective teachers have a sense of how each student is doing in the classes that they teach. They use a variety of formal and informal measures to monitor and assess their pupils’ mastery of a concept or skill. When a student is having difficulty, the teacher targets the knowledge or skill that is troubling the student and provides remediation as necessary to fill in that gap. Communication with all parties vested in the success of the student is important, as parents and instructional teams are also interested in monitoring the student’s progress. Monitoring student progress and potential need not be solely the responsibility of the teacher; indeed, an effective teacher facilitates students’ understanding of how to assess their own performance. Ultimate accountability, however, does lie with each teacher, so students’ progress and performance needs to be documented. An effective teacher who has observed and worked with a student has a sense of the potential that student possesses, encourages the student to excel, and provides the encouragement to motivate the student to make a sustained effort when needed.
Teachers have been portrayed in a variety of ways in the media, ranging from detrimental influences to beloved masters of their craft who inspire students to excel. Effective teachers can be seen, heard, and sensed. The effective teacher engages in dialogue with students, colleagues, parents, and administrators and consistently demonstrates respect, accessibility, and expertise. Effective teachers are easily identified by their adept use of questioning and by the quality of instruction given in the classroom. Finally, an observer, who knows that this person truly makes a difference in the classroom, can sense the presence of an effective teacher. The true teacher is a master of teaching.
- English and Language Teachers
An effective English teacher has a classroom that is text-rich and integrates the elements of the English language through writing, reading, and oral expression (including listening). The teacher is well read in the subject area and works diligently to convey enthusiasm for the subject. The teacher encourages reading great works of literature for class projects and for pleasure, maintains writing portfolios, provides opportunities for discussion, and gives plenty of feedback. In today’s changing technological classrooms, software programs may be used to help enhance reading and writing instruction as well as research skills. The effective teacher’s classroom integrates all key components of the English curriculum.
- History and Social Studies Teachers
The effective social studies teacher empowers students to think about history and the implications of past choices in order to guide thinking about the future or to find patterns within history. Students are taught a blend of essential facts and skills that enable them to access knowledge and make interpretations of history. The effective history or social studies teacher usually has an area of historical expertise that is evident in discussions and interactions with students on that period in history. Teachers use their understanding of how history works to teach students to construct their own personal bank of tools to critically examine current news and past events. The effective teacher finds ways to make the events of old become relevant to the students of today.
- Mathematics Teacher
An effective mathematics teacher shows skill in facilitating students’ ability to understand, analyze, and solve problems. The teacher presents real-world applications of math concepts to make the application pertinent to students. The teacher helps students to think beyond the paper and the pencil to comprehend how mathematics is evident and applied to everyday life. The room is probably filled with manipulatives and decorated with math-related posters and 3-D constructions. The chalkboard tray holds oversized replicas of the tools students use, such as protractors and compasses. The teacher uses these tools to break down the process and provide meaning for the class. If a student is having difficulty, the teacher is able to diagnose and remediate the gap in prior knowledge or identify where the student has misunderstood the process to get the child back on track. Students are asked to compute problems, write about solutions, and discuss mathematics. Mathematics is not just numbers and symbols; it is a language for understanding.
- Science Teachers
Scientific discoveries are constantly adding to and changing the body of science knowledge. Effective teachers engage students in experimentation and discussion of the findings. They are aware of changes and highlight new and older discoveries with students as, together, they investigate and develop an understanding of science.
A teacher cannot simply be deemed effective because he or she possesses the qualities itemized in this section. Teachers are effective because of how various personal and professional factors combine and are executed in a classroom. Teacher behaviour is the most crucial input in the field of education. Whatever policies may be laid down, in the ultimate analysis, these have to be interpreted and implemented by the teachers as much through their personal example as through teaching-learning processes.