Last Updated 07 Jul 2020

Analysis of the article ‘What makes a good teacher?”

Category Good Teacher, Teacher
Essay type Analysis
Words 2801 (11 pages)
Views 700

It is important to understand what students value most in teachers especially nowadays when the continuing employment of a teacher depends on the performance of students. Studies of what constitute an expert teacher are motivated by several factors. For instance, the study will help in conducting initial education to teachers, their appraisal and better curriculum reforms. The knowledge of a teacher should include the ability to contextualize and personalize the content for the learners as well as create strategies and principles of class management.

In addition, the teacher should have knowledge of the characteristics of the learners and be able to interact well with them. It is also necessary to recognize the values and purpose of education. There are different ways that are used in the identification of expert teachers. The most common criteria are by reputation and performance of students in standardized tests as well the experience of the teacher. Another way of identification is by asking primary and secondary students their most effective teachers and qualities that made them that good.

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Expert teachers have highly organized knowledge bases with complex interconnected schemas which are easily accessed. Besides they have skills and routines that are executed smoothly and effortless. Expert teachers work towards their pedagogical goals while evaluating and monitoring their actions. This is through knowledge of the subject matter, the techniques of teaching it at different levels of learning and finally effective classroom management. A study was done to investigate views of a good language teacher to complement the findings of the characteristics which emerge from general education literature.

The subjects were students of applied linguistics and TESOL in post graduate as well as diploma levels. Some had experience in teaching while others had none and they were from different cultural backgrounds. The methods used to collect data were interviews and questionnaires. The findings of the qualities of a good teacher starting with the most frequently mentioned were a teacher who understands the needs, expectations, strengths and weaknesses of students. Secondly, the knowledge of the subject matter plus an understanding of teaching techniques.

Ways of keeping up to date with the language and the teaching methods of a particular language was the least mentioned. There are different views between teachers and students concerning what constitutes a good teacher. According to students, the two qualities of a good teacher that were repeatedly mentioned include the ability of a teacher to explain to students so that they can clearly understand. Another quality pointed out was being helpful, understanding, empathizing and leadership as well as organization.

On the other hand, the two qualities seen as crucial by teachers were organization of the classroom and secondly fostering participation of the students. Other characteristics of a good teacher include technical skills which mean knowledge of the subject matter, pedagogical skills as well as interpersonal skills and personal qualities. However, the simplest answer to what constitutes a good teacher is that good teachers care more about the learning of their students than their own teaching. Some people distinguish two types of teachers as the expert teacher and the good teacher.

The expert teacher teaches good learning strategies for passing examinations while the good teacher teaches technical skills but places less emphasis on pressuring students to pass exams. Instead the teacher tries to understand them and establish good relations with them. Teachers can either be pragmatic or emphatic. The former refers to those who get good exam results while the latter refers to those who meet wider interpersonal, social and affective needs of the learner. It can however be argued that an expert teacher should have a combination of the two.

Perceptions and qualities that make a good teacher can therefore be summarized as keeping up to date with knowledge and skill, having personal qualities of being humorous and finally being patient and enthusiastic about the work. Article Response Pedagogy is the technique, principles and methods of instruction that a teacher uses to teach learners. There are many ways of teaching students and they vary from one teacher to another depending on the level of the learners as well as the content of the material that they are learning.

Even though each teacher has a different way of teaching, the basic principles should be applied to avoid drifting away from the education perspective. What constitutes an expert teacher is an arguable topic that keeps changing between different individuals. This is because each individual is different and has his own way of understanding things. Therefore, the opinion of what makes an expert teacher may vary from one person to another. A good teacher should be able to relate well with students through knowing the learners characteristics well, being courteous and respecting them.

The teacher has to be more understanding and establish good relations while at the same time try to teach them about life (Mullock, 2003, pp. 17). In addition it is important to learn the students strengths and weaknesses so that the teacher may have an idea about which teaching methods to use hence knowing where to put more effort. A good teacher must know the subject of study thoroughly and be able to simplify the contents for the learners.

For this to happen, knowledge and understanding of the subject matter is required since it becomes the framework for constructing other forms of declarative and procedural knowledge that are important for teaching (Mullock, 2003, pp. 10). Moreover, the teacher should be capable of transforming content knowledge to make it more interesting and comprehensive for the learners. This can be done by using fascinating topics, activities and giving accurate and helpful feedback. Another important factor that contributes to a good teacher is interesting personnal characteristics.

This include things like a good sense of humour, enthuthiasm during teaching, involving the students in heated debates as well as outdoor activities. Making a lesson interesting is a very good way of capturing the attention of students. Students will tend to look forward to the next lesson since they are enjoying the learning activity. Futhermore, it will be much easier for the students to remember the lesson and what they were taught if it was exciting rather than if it was boring. A teacher should develop strategies of teaching and planning their lessons in effective and creative ways.

These skills help to execute basic skills smoothly and efficiently (Mullock, 2003, pp. 13). This is important in managing not only the lessons but also the students in a planned manner. In addition, the students will be organized in their work, hence being neat just like the teacher. A teacher should be an opportunistic planner, that is, having the ability to think on their feet. This means the ability to develop contingency plans for situations that are likely to occur but were not expected. An expert teacher should never provide incrorrect information to the students.

This mostly happens when a teacher is unsure of a certain fact and does not want to admit lack of knowledge to the students. Some teachers may argue here saying that to admit lack of knowledge means lack of credibility. However this is not the case since the teacher can always give the answer at a later date or time after doing a research. Giving out incorrect information is misleading a student. A good teacher should know what to teach and keep students in the instructional process to ensure smooth learning. Article Comprehension

The article was easy to read since the terms used were comprehensive. The writer has explained everything in a simple manner and as such there was a smooth flow of ideas. The study done to investigate what makes a good teacher was thorough and each aspect was taken into consideration. In addition, the findings were clearly discussed and presented (Mullock, 2003, pp. 7). The article begins by introducing what other people have said about the subject. The topic of the article was also discussed briefly giving the reader an idea about what is going to be talked about.

This include defining a teachers knowledge and what exactly a teacher should know (Mullock, 2003, pp. 4) The article has used a lot of comparisons which make reading not only interesting but also simple. This include comparing views of two categories of people and stating clearly the differences while giving lucid examples. An instance is where the writer has evaluated the opinion of both teachers and students on what constitutes a good teacher (Mullock, 2003, pp. 5). The information is then presented in a table for easy comparison and interpretation.

Another association was between a ‘pragmatic’ teacher and an ‘emphatic’ teacher with the distinctions plainly being presented in a table (Mullock, 2003, pp. 17). Finally, there are slight contrasting points that were obtained from the study done and the article has tried to elucidate them. An example is when a respondent distinguished two types of teachers, the expert teacher and the good teacher. The article explains clearly the different ways in which respondents views may differ and in the end gives a clear outlook (Mullock, 2003, pp. 17). There are however few parts of the article that were intricate.

This was mostly because of use of difficult words. An example is the use of the words ‘lexico-grammar, phonology and semantic’ in a certain paragraph while trying to explain the knowledge of a language and how it works in making of a good teacher (Mullock, 2003, pp. 11). All the words have been used in one sentence without explaining what they mean. This article does not have an index to explain hard words. An index is important to a reader because whenever a complex term is encountered, it can always be checked out, assuming that the reader does not have a dictionary in hand at that particular moment.

Some of the tables in the article which were used in data presentation were also not very clear especially in the numerical content. For example there is a table in the article that represented the most frequently mentioned characteristics of a good TESOL teacher. The characteristics have been listed clearly and comprehensively but the frequencies have been presented in a confusing manner (Mullock, 2003, pp. 10). It takes a reader a long time to be able to correctly interpret the data. This may lead to wrong translation or a misunderstanding of the facts.

Important information obtained from the article Before I read the article, it was not clear to me what exactly a teachers knowledge should consist. Most people have the assumption that a teacher should only have technical skills, content knowledge and curriculum knowledge. However this article has clearly defined what knowledge of a teacher should include and it is much more than the three just mentioned above. It has defined the knowledge of a teacher as content knowledge and also pedagogic content knowledge which is the ability to simplify the contents for the learners.

In addition a teacher should have general pedagogic knowledge, meaning to be familiar with the principles and strategies of classroom management and also have knowledge of characteristics of the learners. Finally the knowledge of education purpose and values has also been mentioned in the article (Mullock, 2003, pp. 4). This is important because having learnt what a teacher should know, it is up to the reader to ensure that they possess all these knowledge which will contribute to better teaching methods and practices.

Furthermore, equal effort can be applied to each section when relating this knowledge so that a lot of concentration is not put on one side while ignoring the others. Having content knowledge means having the knowledge of the subject that you teach. This is important since a teacher should be conversant with the topic of study so that any problem presented by student concerning the topic can be tackled correctly and professionally. The article also mentions that a teacher should have knowledge of educational context.

This means knowing the surroundings, the group, the classroom, the community and the district. Most teachers would ignore this and only concentrate on the students and the immediate surrounding which is the school. However light has been shed on the importance of expanding the knowledge of the teacher in respect to the external environment which would help in addressing some external problems that students may occasionally have. The article has also mentioned that a teacher should know the values and purposes of education (Mullock, 2003, pp. 4).

Most teachers assume that their only purpose is to teach. However this article has stated that a teacher should know the importance of education and the values, aims and objectives of education. This is important because whatever a teacher teaches the students or whichever method is used to teach, it will be of quality since the teacher understands that education is more than just teaching. Another important point learnt from the article is keeping up to date with teaching techniques (Mullock, 2003, pp. 15). Majority of teachers only go for training once.

After that, they plunge themselves into the teaching profession and start teaching until they retire. However this should not be the case since changes will always take place. Something new may be introduced for example a new subject, materials of teaching or even new modes of teaching. It is therefore important for teachers to refresh their courses after every few years. This fact was not clear initially but after reading the article, its importance was clarified. Article Relevance The importance of this article is that it will help in understanding the different ways that a teacher should use to teach students.

The article has compared different views of what really amounts to a good teacher and helps in learning the correct techniques that should be adopted. The study done could help in dealing with a challenge that most teachers face which is variance of learners. Each learner has their own way of grasping things. The article has discussed what students think of how a teacher should teach. This can help through combining these factors and finding an appropriate way of teaching that will benefit all the students hence each one of them understanding the concepts being taught.

This article has raised the issue of whether teachers should be taught how to teach. It does not matter if the teacher has had previous training. There are new changes every day that come with invention and teachers must keep up to date with such changes. Therefore just like their students it is necessary to always be on the lookout while coming up with new, easier and better ways of teaching. The study of teaching methods helps in improving teaching techniques which in the end will make a teacher be good in what he or she does.

The article points out the need for further studies to correlate perceptions of a good teacher with behavior of teachers in the classroom context and with larger number of subjects of different languages and educational backgrounds (Mullock, 2003, pp. 21). The article has focused mainly on TESOL which is Teachers of English to Students of Other Languages. From the study, it is clear that for any teacher, knowledge of the subject matter is necessary. A language teacher should be fluent in the language being taught which includes in writing, reading, speaking and translation to the language the students are speaking.

This means that the teacher should be fluent in both the language the students are speaking and the language the students are being taught. The article has pointed out that students nowadays are more critical and less accepting of teachers whose language skills are poor (Mullock, 2003, pp. 20). Good TESOL teachers know the language and how it works. It therefore draws attention to the importance of knowing thoroughly the field of study or the subject matter to avoid critism from students.

Finally the article has highlighted all the qualities that make a good teacher from different perceptions. It is not possible for a teacher to have all the characteristics and just like a student, a teacher has both weak and strong points. It is therefore up to the teacher to look at these qualities and find out which ones suits his or her personality and then find a way to make good use of these traits and apply them in teaching. From the article, it is also clear that teaching technique depends on the level of learners and the subject being taught to the learners.

This helps a teacher to understand that a technique that may be successful to one group of learners may not be successful to another group. It can be concluded that the article has underscored important points of teaching techniques and qualities that make a good teacher hence answering a question that most teachers find complex about how to be a good teacher and what really constitutes to this. Reference Mullock, B. (2003). WHAT MAKES A GOOD TEACHER? THE PERCEPTIONS OF POSTGRADUATE TESOL STUDENTS. Prospect , 18 (3), 3-24.

Analysis of the article ‘What makes a good teacher?” essay

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