Teachers of high quality – and there are many of them – are invaluable. They can transform the lives of their students and contribute to the social capital of their communities. A very brief overview relating to the sections of an extended post on this topic is outlined below.
Great expectations: Teaching is a demanding profession. Nonetheless, high standards are expected from learners, parents and guardians, education authorities and politicians. How can well-founded judgements be made about teachers’ contributions and competences?
Challenges and potential pitfalls: Educationalists face challenges which are constantly changing, including how to make the best use of computer-based learning. They are required to ensure that their practices promote high standards of learning and to have a genuine concern for their students’ personal and social wellbeing. They also need to assist in the integration of theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
“I would never dissuade young people from trying an experiment; if they do not find out what they want, they may discover something else.” (My paraphrasing of the views of the outstanding Scottish scientist, James Clerk Maxwell)
Support for students: All learners require well-judged support in progressing towards their personal, long-term targets. They also need to develop a deep understanding of relevant social issues which they will face during their lifetimes. Though assisting them to deal with obstacles which they might encounter within curricular areas, teachers can enable them to overcome difficulties and to build positive mindsets.
Support for staff: There can be a wide spectrum of pressures and stresses associated with teaching. These may range across factors concerning physical and mental wellbeing, rapid changes in their responsibilities or excessive workloads. When necessary, assistance and backing should be readily available. In general, every nation requires to pay greater consideration to the further development of a culture of learning. The central role of teachers within this process deserves to be championed and saluted.
Summary: Talented educationalists display many notable professional characteristics and teaching strategies. This section of the post lists a number of them including skills in assessing progress, providing feedback and enhancing motivation, self-belief and independent learning.
Key questions for further consideration: The post concludes by briefly raising important questions concerning on-going issues such as the following. Does society sufficiently value and commend those teachers who consistently perform above and beyond the formal requirements of their profession? Is the autonomy of teachers being eroded through the imposition of unnecessary bureaucracy and market-led directives? How can technological innovations be used more effectively in the promotion of inspirational teaching?
Reference: For a detailed analysis concerning the subject matter above, please see the more in-depth article entitled, “In Praise of Inspirational Teachers”. https://improvingcareand.education/2021/03/12/inspirational-teachers/