Ministry of Education, Guyana

Importance of Teaching Skills in the Classroom

Teachers who are skilled at communication, classroom management and appropriate discipline techniques create a positive learning environment. Although being well versed in your subject area is important, being able to communicate necessary skills and concepts in a way students can understand is crucial. Teachers develop skills over time through best practices shared by other teachers, continuing education and classroom experience.

Communication Skills
Teachers who come to the classroom with good communication skills help students feel at ease in their environment. Teachers who are able to use both verbal and non-verbal communication help students understand what is expected of them and help build their confidence in learning. Body language, positive word reinforcement and appropriate and effective language for discipline creates a classroom that inspires students to try, without fear that they will be judge unfairly.

Classroom Management Skills
Classroom management, although not something teachers convey to students, creates a place where students can learn. Classroom management involves knowing the students well and placing them into appropriate learning groups. It also involves having an efficient discipline plan in place that student understand. This gives a clear picture of the teacher's expectations and places the emphasis on rewarding good behavior instead of punishment. Classroom management also deals with the use of time throughout the day. Students need to be on task, with very little down time, for the day to run smoothly. Good classroom management means planning well and including both physical activity and independent study to foster good habits in students.

Well-Rounded Assessment
Well rounded assessment of classwork lets students know they have lots of opportunities to be successful. Teachers who master this skill have students who are eager to learn since they know they'll have many chances to do well. Well-rounded assessment involves providing different types of projects and tests so that each kind of learner recognizes something in which they excel. Teaching skills in this are require the teacher to understand his or her students at the beginning of the year. Using prior-year records, standardized tests and notes from former teachers help get things off to a good start and have students learning on the very first day.

Professional Development
Professional development in the area of teaching skills is a must for any teacher wanting to create a positive environment for learning. Professional development challenges teachers to think "outside the box" when it comes to instruction and classroom management. Education is constantly evolving; teachers who commit to the craft of teaching find a more rewarding teaching experience and students who are eager to learn.


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