North Carolina State University
Karen DeNord, Ph.D., CFLE., Associate
Professor and State Extension Specialist in Child Development at
N. C. State University in Raleigh, North Carolina shared her thoughts
on what qualities were important for an effective teacher.
In thinking about excellence in teaching
a few characteristics come to mind.
- Enthusiastic natureloves what
she he/she is doing. Exudes joy and not burnt out. Gets out of
the profession if this is not present in her/his life any longer.
- Creativitycan consider many different
learning styles of the learner and creatively convey information
to the style needed. This may be through dialogue or through experiments,
exploration of even the dreaded lecture. Knows that every learner
- Projectionbeing able to project
what learners need, thinking ahead, being a bit futuristic. This
can be a good management skill too so that the person is prepared
and projects what will be needed based on experience multi-tasking
and working with multiple types of people.
It seems that there are stages to teaching.
Lillian Katz talks about this for early childhood teachers. (See:
L. Katz The Nature of Professions: Where is Early Childhood Education?
Montessori Life, 5 (2), 31-35.) The lower stages need more structure
and guidance, set curriculum, etc while the more experienced move
toward more self-reflection and leadership.
- Networking with other teachers,
being willing to share ideas and positive work.
- Helping others, mentoring, paving
the way for younger teachers.
- Application of theory and evaluation
Karen concluded that a quality teacher
would need " good base of knowledge about the learner whether
the adult or child learner, knows accompanying theory and how that
applies to their work as a teacher." Additionally, a model
teacher "pulls from theory and constantly assesses learner
needs through observation and what is known from research."
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