Effective Teaching-Learning ConceptsBy Bill Page
makes all the decisions, the teacher is fully responsible. Students need to participate actively and assume a part of the responsibility for the learning, the procedures, and the decisions. Since students must internalize new learning and integrate it with previous knowledge, they must help make decisions regarding the strategies and their involvement.
11. “Good classes” or “bad classes” depend on teachers, not kids
As long as I am in charge and charged with leadership, I am responsible for the behavior of the classes. They are my classes and I determine what happens–for better or for worse. I have a choice of coming in with a smile or a scowl. I can complain that they “wiggle” or get them up moving. I choose the lesson and the involvement. Whether kids pay attention and participate depends on the decisions I make as I teach. Whether kids are interested and learning, or bored and disruptive depends on me, my lessons, my responses, and the class activities. The decisions I make and don’t make determine the class climate.
12. A summative statement
Teachers don’t choose school policies, their teaching conditions, or class schedules. But, teachers certainly do choose how they relate and interact with all students who show up in their classes. What kids do or don’t do affects the teacher, and what the teacher does or doesn’t do affects the students. The teacher is a paid, trained, professional adult with certification, and voluntary contractual responsibility for teaching. Students are compelled to attend. They are expected to have minimal civility, but they do not usually sign an agreement to follow rules, work hard or learn—they just show up as required for whatever the teacher offers.
And, some more concepts
Following are some more concept titles that I identified for myself as a part of my everyday efforts to teach.
Feedback from students is essential.
Time is a fixed factor; it determines priorities.
Cheating yourself is impossible.
Errors or mistakes are essential to learning.
Discipline cannot be separated from teaching.
A classroom is a mini society, a community.
We teach the “whole” child; there is no other choice.
Kids are all different; shall I treat them all alike?
Take time to reflect
What concepts are a part of your beliefs? How do they manifest themselves? What are other concepts that underlie your teaching philosophy and serve as a basis for your decisions about grades, discipline, missed assignments, homework, and dozens of other teacher functions? It could be worthwhile to be sure the ones you consider important are at a conscious level. That’s the way teaching techniques are created and chosen to help kids learn.
With joy in sharing,