Being a great teacher is as important as the content you teach, maybe more important. We want this training to help you be an outstanding teacher. In this section you will learn teaching skills that will help you reach your students and families.
Excellent classroom communication skills are essential for an outstanding teacher. This includes everything from giving instructions to building a feeling of safety and community in your class. To put it simply great teachers are great communicators.
Philosophy: When a teacher presents the material is an interesting way the students are more focused and learn more! Becoming a dynamic communicator is a skill which is learned and developed. It involves all the characteristics listed below. Think about how you use these techniques and how they can be improved.
Non verbal dynamic communication
- Eye contact - gentle and genuine.
- Smile - gentle and genuine
- Yes movements - nod your head gently making the yes movement as children and adults participate and learn.
- Facial expressions - from encouragement to surprise, speak with your facial expressions.
- Talking with your hands.
Verbal dynamic communication
- Tone changes - use the full range of your voice.
- Pausing and rhythm - think of your voice as a musical instrument.
- Volume changes (whispers, loud voice) - use the full range or volume to hold attention.
- Expressing excitement - set the tone by sharing your excitement.
Philosophy: Good teachers are effective communicators. This includes directly giving instructions as well as continual and more subtle cueing and encouraging of educationally beneficial behaviors. Think about how you use the techniques below. Watch masterful teachers and notice how they are able to clearly communicate what they want. Effective communication involves many verbal and non verbal cuing elements. See the list below for techniques to be a more effective communicator.
Effective communication techniques:
- Cuing - hand gestures, facial expressions, prompting words, prompting body movements
- Simple instructions followed by acknowledgement, appreciation and encouragement
- Central issue clarity - Good lessons can have many educational goals. But a teacher should be focused on one or two primary goals.
- Relevancy - educational connections (brief explanations telling how a song or activity benefits the children)
- Stories - utilize 30 second personal or anecdotal stories
- Humor - educationally driven, this holds the audience’s interest
Praise, Encouragement, and Appreciation
Philosophy: Good teachers are generous and overflowing with praise, encouragement, and appreciation. Students feel like they can accomplish anything they choose. In your classes provide endless encouraging, praising, and appreciating for the children and the adults. They both need this.
There is no such thing as too much praise, encouragement, and appreciation. Turn it on, turn it up, and keep it going. Use words, smiles, applause and, facial gestures to express praise, encouragement, and appreciation. Make sure it is genuine and heartfelt. Be authentic and real. You can be authentic and real and exuberant at the same time. Truly there are so many things to appreciate in our students. This is why there are endless opportunities to praise, encourage and appreciate others in class.
Effective encouragement styles:
- Non evaluative praise (awesome, great job, way to shake the egg!) Describe the action, not the person
- Behavior shaping through continual positive feedback
- Positive words (love, yes, go, awesome)
- Non-verbal praise (smiling, thumbs up)
- Getting the class to encourage each other