Everyone knows that when it comes to making a difference in a student’s academic and life achievements, their teachers play a large role. A teacher’s way of relating to their students, and teaching them to achieve both socially and academically contributes to how effective teachers are. What does it mean to be an effective teacher? Overall there seems to be an emphasis that teacher effectiveness is related to how well their students are doing based on standardized testing. As teachers we know there is much more that goes into being an effective teacher then just teaching our students based on tests. In this paper different definitions of an effective teacher will be addressed along with how to assess teachers on being effective.
Teacher Effectiveness: Qualities and Skills of an Effective Teacher
Teacher effectiveness can be defined differently depending on how it is viewed. Jupp and Education (2009) define effectiveness as “the practical outputs of teachers”. The outputs take place in two different forms, quantitative and qualitative. Students’ scores on tests and assessments fall into the quantitative category and teacher observations fall under the qualitative category. In their article, Jupp and Education (2009) feel strongly that teacher effectiveness cannot be looked at based on one point in time; instead students learning should be evaluated from the beginning of a school year to the end looking at what students knew before they started and what they know leaving.
In Steven Farr’s (2010) book, Teacher as Leadership: the Highly Effective Teachers Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap, effective teachers are defined by looking at six characteristics or skills. He feels highly effective teachers are able to set high goals, invest their own time in their students, purposefully plan, effectively execute, continuously increase effectiveness, and work relentlessly. Farr (2010) says effective teachers should set big goals that are meaningful for their students and measurable throughout the year. When a teacher invests their time into their students they show motivation needed to reach their students needs at any level to make sure they reach the goals set for them. Planning is essential and teachers must not just plan a lesson and move on with it, they have to understand their students and have an idea of where their students are going and how best they can help them succeed growth in the most efficient way. Being able to plan for each students learning means also being able to change. Effective teachers should be able to observe their students learning along the way and change whenever needed to ensure their students are continuing to develop knowledge. Some students may need more time and different strategies used to reach their goals. Teachers have to be prepared to take a step back, decide what the problem is and come up with solutions and approaches that will help their students. Overall an effective teacher no matter...