How to Become an Effective Teacher - Essay by …
Becoming an Effective Teacher Essay 3029 Words | 13 Pages
In addition to the questionnaire, we also included an item in the literacy quiz given to the novices in their first year of teaching. This required the analysis of examples of children's reading and writing, comment on the effectiveness of the children's reading and writing and the strategies used. As with the effective teachers and the validation sample, given time and prompting, most of them identified and commented on the major differences between the two pieces of writing, and made a satisfactory judgement of effectiveness. However, the approach taken by almost all the novices was strikingly similar to the pattern identified in the validation sample. The novices tended to comment on items in the same order as the validation sample: focusing first on sentence and word level features of the writing, particularly the use of capital letters, full-stops and commas, and spelling and choice of words; followed by comment on the organisation and structure of the two pieces of writing, and an evaluation of their relative effectiveness. We have argued earlier that the first few minutes of a teacher's evaluation of pupil's writing is probably the most crucial, and thus the features to which teachers give priority may be important.
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In comparing the findings relating to the novice teachers with those on effective teachers' subject knowledge, it is important to bear in mind that all the novices whose practices are described above had completed their academic study relatively recently. The novices were preoccupied with learning to teach during their training and during their first year in post, and so it is unsurprising that the they were often able to offer a more detailed account of exactly how and when they had learned to teach particular aspects of literacy, than were many of the effective teachers who had trained a long time ago. A large majority of the effective teacher sample had completed their formal academic study and initial training more than fifteen years previously, and it is less likely that they would remember specific aspects of their experience then which informed their teaching now. It is also possible that effective teachers took for granted some areas of their expertise, and assumed that they, and most other teachers, had always had the requisite knowledge and ability, or had picked it up along the way, as they gained experience in teaching. The novices were not yet at this stage and were more aware of themselves as learner and novice teachers. It is also important to bear in mind that the content and structure of training experienced by the novice teachers was different from that of the majority of effective teachers: there have been substantial changes to the content and structure of courses which train primary school teachers during the last 20 years.