Teaching combines knowledge, skill, passion, and compassion.
- Students are people. They are proud, confident, eager to learn, but also insecure. They respond to teachers who make them feel listened to and respected; teachers who challenge them and inspire them to question; teachers who reward their successes and encourage them to improve.
- Teachers are role models both in the classroom and in the community. Students look up to teachers whom they respect, and good teachers take pride in learning from their students.
- Preparation and enthusiasm are cornerstones of effective teaching. They are contagious and inspire success. Successful teachers are committed and dedicated to improving themselves and their students.
- Good teachers always try to be fair. They do not ask from their students that which they would not ask from themselves. They communicate high, yet realistic and achievable expectations, and then encourage students to overachieve. They recognize that students prefer to learn in different ways and respond differently to a variety of forms of instruction and assessment. They develop lessons and evaluate student progress with the diversity of student learning preferences and backgrounds in mind.
- Students learn best when they are aware of not only what is required of them, but also what is fair to require from their teachers. Just as students must meet strict analytical and temporal expectations, teachers should mark thoroughly and return assignments promptly. Feedback should be detailed, and means of improvement should be outlined specifically. Students should be congratulated for their achievements, and shown how to learn from their mistakes.
- Effective teaching requires flexibility. Teachers must try to make themselves available to meet with students and explore their concerns both inside and outside of the classroom. Students are more likely to require assistance when assignments are due, and teachers should endeavour as best they can to schedule academic and personal commitments accordingly.
- Teaching can always be improved. Professional development – remaining abreast of pedagogical advancements in field, taking advantage of changes in academic technology, promoting the importance of teaching in the community, and maintaining a research program which expands the depth and breadth of knowledge of the teaching subject matter – is crucial to an instructor’s long term effectiveness. Academic colleagues, teaching assistants, and student evaluations are all invaluable sources of assistance.