The Teaching Process
Imagine you had just passed away and this is your funeral service. In the audience are all the students you have ever taught. What would you like to hear them say about you? How do you want to be remembered as a teacher? Write your own eulogy or obituary. In Memoriam
We will take a look at the teaching process involving teacher, student and subject matter.
- Teacher wrt Subject Matter
To be an excellent teacher, you ...
- Must know the subject matter well and are passionate about it.
Without mastery and clarity of thought, it would be difficult for you to explain clearly to your students.
- Are eager to learn more ... attending seminars, reading books, etc
Read "The Parable of the Two Woodcutters" to find out the reason why this is important. "If you stop growing today, you stop teaching tomorrow." (Howard Hendricks)
- Teacher wrt Student
You don't just teach a subject matter but you teach a subject matter to a particular group of students. To be an excellent teacher, you must ...
An excellent teacher must know not only what to teach but what is the best way to teach it to his students.
- Know the age-group or group characteristics of your students
However, remember that age-group characteristics are general characteristics of children in the different age groups. Each child is a unique individual.
- Seek to know your students and their needs
How do you discern their needs? Spend time and talk with them ... before, during and after class. Ask questions and listen. Be observant ... be a student of your students.
- Able to relate the subject matter and demonstrate its relevance to your students
You cannot do that without knowing them ... their needs, struggles and aspirations.
- Prepare early and go through your materials each time.
Thinking about the lesson not only when you are seated down preparing to teach but when you are walking, eating, taking a bus or a train ... allowing the lesson to soak into you.
Preparing early also gives you time to gather illustrations, materials, teaching aids, etc
- Know how to structure and organise your materials
Moving from truth already known (prior knowledge) to new knowledge ... from the unknown to the known; and from the simple to the complex.
- Use different teaching strategies that are appropriate to your students' preferential mode of learning, concerns and needs
- Seek to improve on your teaching
You must have the attitude that you have not arrived and always ask, “How can I improve?” Evaluate your teaching each time ... reflecting on what worked, what did not and how to teach better the next time.
- Teacher wrt Student and Subject Matter
An excellent teacher is able to ...
- Arouse the students' interest in the subject matter ... captivate the attention and interest of your students with an interesting introduction that is related to the story or lesson.
- Help students interact with the subject matter and learn for themselves.
As now, so then. What you do now will determine what you achieve in the future. If what you do now will not help reach your goal of how you like to be remembered as a teacher then you have to make some changes.
Teaching skills can be developed and you must work to personalise and polish these skills ... till they are like second nature to you. Being an effective teacher is a challenging task, but should you accept this challenge and responsibility, you also find that it can provide rewards beyond your imagination ... changed lives.
For the next part, we will take a look at the teaching process where the subject matter is the Word of God.
The Teaching Process |
Teaching the Word of God |
Effective Persuasion |