What kind of students do you teach

Good teaching goes like this! Characteristics of effective teaching

The question of what good teaching is, how you can recognize it and what defines it is not that easy to answer. So we start differently. What is bad teaching? In poor teaching there is often no common thread or teaching is only based on a very strict plan that hardly takes the needs of the students into account. It is loud - both on the part of the students and the teacher. In poor teaching, either nobody understood anything, or there was nothing that could have brought about an increase in learning at all.
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Sometimes that sounds a bit contradictory. On the one hand, there should be a common thread, but it can also be changed if it does not meet the needs of the students. The teacher should be enthusiastic, but not exuberant.

Before we approach these contradictions, it makes sense to first take a closer look at a few points.

Learning time

The teacher has to be there on time and start the lesson right away. Rituals at the beginning of the lesson are e.g. B. very good, so that all students notice: the lesson begins. Everyone has to take part! Without exception. And nobody should be late. Learning time must be real learning time and should not be overlaid by organizational things - unless they can be built into the classroom.

Structure and clarity of content

Lessons should have a structure. Building this up is the teacher's job. If the lesson is well planned in terms of structure - where do we come from and where do we want to go - then it gives the teacher a certain security and the student can follow. Tasks must also be formulated in a clearly understandable manner.


Nobody should have to fear going to class. Mutual respect among the students and also between teacher and student is important. If the teacher screams, the students scream too. Creating a good atmosphere in a new learning group is quite easy - it is more difficult in an existing one, but it will work with a lot of patience.

Meaningful communication

Students can be involved in the planning to a certain extent. You can learn a good culture of conversation, which overlaps with the learning climate. Student conferences, learning diaries and student feedback also help. If students are involved in the planning and are also allowed to give their real opinions, this can have a positive influence on the lessons.

Variety of methods

Variety is the magic word here. This does not mean that something new has to be started all the time, but that teaching is not always done in the same way. Even group work can get boring if the end result is only one poster.

Individual and intelligent conveyance

Everyone must be able to practice according to their abilities and skills. Those who can already do something may help someone else. If you can't do something yet, you have to start from scratch. Giving all students the same task makes no sense. Here, too, the tasks must be adapted to the learner and not the learner to the tasks - because that is not possible!

Clear and individual performance expectation

Fair and timely feedback is important. However, it is better to explain in advance what is expected and how this goal can be achieved. Which aids may be used and which goals can each individual student achieve in the next few weeks / months?

If all of these points are observed, then there is no guarantee that the lesson will be really good, but there is at least a common thread that you can use for orientation.

Finally we come to the contradictions. It is not easy to be passionate about one topic and at the same time see other things off the mark. Unfortunately, one can also observe that the teacher's enthusiasm diminishes over time because it cannot be easily transferred to the students. That Can Help: It is important for students to see meaning in what they are doing. Practical applications of what has been learned, simple transfers to other areas and the inclusion of the realities of life can show what is initially less interesting learning material in a completely different light.

The question that remains, how should a teacher be, strict or lenient? The answer is as difficult as it is simple: both. A teacher should not be insecure, be well prepared for it and master his material. He has to adjust to the students and help them, and if you see the students as partners with whom you have a common goal, then that is much easier to achieve than if both of them work against each other.

Manon Sander has taught as a teacher at elementary, secondary and secondary schools. She is a lecturer at the University of Bielefeld, where she looks after student teachers during their internship. Ms. Sander is also an academic assistant at the Institute for Teaching Development at the University of Education. The mother of six children works as a writer for various publishers and magazines.

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