Teachers around the world have been charged with the responsibility of providing high quality education to the students in the society. For them to execute their duties effectively, teachers should conduct themselves professionally. It is noted that in order for one to be considered as a professional, they have to accumulate knowledge and skills that are essential for personal and career development.
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These skills are obtained from, among others, consultation with other professionals, coaching, supervision, as well as provision of technical assistance (Shambaugh and Magliaro 7). Mentoring is also an important aspect when it comes to professional development. This is given that mentors serve as role models for those wishing to become professionals.
Professional regulatory bodies also play an important role in this development. Such regulatory bodies put in place standards and regulations to ensure that their members conduct themselves in a manner that maintains the positive image of the profession. Likewise, for a teacher to be considered as a professional, they must conduct themselves in a manner that is in line with standards laid down by teaching regulatory bodies.
Professional codes of conduct in the world are more or less standardized. This means that the skills and responsibilities of a professional are not restricted to a particular location or nation. However, it is worth noting that professional regulatory bodies operating from different countries have different standards that regulate the conduct of their members (Baker and Bridger 578). These are some of the issues that will be discussed in this handout. The handout is meant to be used in a training session.
A teacher should fully understand their class to effectively cater for the needs of each and every student. This will also improve the relationship between the teacher and the students. This will in turn improve productivity in the learning process. The welfare of each and every student will also be addressed more effectively in such a case (Fraser and Fisher 499).
Demographics refer to the characteristics or traits of a given population. A teacher should understand the various factors affecting the lives of his or her students. The environment within which the student lives has been noted to significantly affect their performance and behavior in school (Osborne and Salzberger 12).
By understanding the social background of each and every student in the class, the teaching professional will be able to handle the members of the class effectively. This will, at the end of the day, promote fairness and inclusion in the teaching process.
A teacher should also attempt to understand the personal attributes of each and every student in the class. This will help the teacher to meet the needs of each and every student, and as such improving the learning process. The students will also feel that they are part and parcel of the learning process.
A healthy relationship will be established between the students and the teachers as a result of the understanding created. Trust also develops in along the way, further facilitating the learning process. This is especially so given that teachers and students are able to interact effectively with each other (Harmut 71). The nature of the student’s place of residence (as well as their working environment) affects their performance and concentration in class. This is given that it may be a source of their joy or stress in life.
It is worth noting that different students have different needs. These needs may be social, physical, or even psychological. Having assessed the students’ demographics, the teacher should go a step further to determine the students’ personal attributes. These are the attributes that may affect their performance in school. Teachers are therefore encouraged to form a habit of assessing their students’ abilities to ease the learning process (Bryant 4).
Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the class is also very important. It helps the teacher in coming up with unit and lesson plans that can accommodate the needs of all the students in the class. The concept also helps in saving time since the teacher does not have to over-emphasis on areas that the students are already conversant with (Moos 53). Students who are strong in a certain area of study can assist those who are weak in that particular area. This will in effect promote teamwork in class.
Assessment can also help in the identification of special needs among the students in a class. These special needs may be psychological, physical, or mental. Physical needs include students’ vulnerabilities brought about by general body weaknesses (Sanders 24). They may include instances of short- sightedness, long- sightedness, or even physical disabilities.
Identification of such needs will help the teacher in making decisions to mitigate their effects on the students’ performance (Sanders 24). For instance, students who are visually impaired can be allocated appropriate sitting positions in the class.
Psychological problems identified by the teacher will also help in formulating unit and lesson plans that can accommodate the needs of all the students. These will include matters touching on the student’s cultural practices, as well as their past life experiences.
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This is especially so if such experiences still affect their performance in school. Needs that are associated with the students’ mental capabilities and capacity should also be put into consideration when designing a lesson plan. This is to avoid the exclusion of slow learners from the learning process (Powers and Elliot 36).
When and How the Last Needs Assessment was Administered, and the Findings
It is noted that a teacher can use the findings of past assessment reports to determine the strategies that are needed in handling the students effectively. This will give the teacher a picture of the nature of that particular class. However, a teacher should not rely entirely on the findings of the assessments carried out by previous teachers. On the contrary, they should conduct their own assessments to capture the patterns in the class at that particular time. However, previous reports serve as key assessment tools.
This is given that their findings show patterns of the students’ school life and performance (Ryder 45). As a result of such an assessment, the teacher will be able to adequately plan for the units and lessons that will be offered to a given class within a given period of time. This is to ensure the delivery of quality education to the students and in extension, to the society at large.
Implications of Present and Future Curriculum Developments
Harmut (70) provides a working definition of the term ‘curriculum’. He describes it as “……..the standards set aside by bodies charged with the responsibility of ensuring provision (……) of quality education to the students” (Harmut 70). However, the curriculum is bound to change from time to time. A competent teaching professional is expected to be adequately prepared for such changes. This is in order to reduce the negative effects that such changes may have on the students (Bryant 4).
A teacher should cover the curriculum recommended for the students in full. Planning is of essence to ensure that segments of the curriculum are not left out. Curriculums are developed to ensure that high education standards are upheld (Baker and Bridger 578). It is therefore important for a teacher to take the students through the entire curriculum so as not to compromise the quality of education provided.
Complying with the laid down standards and regulations on the part of the teachers will help in maintaining a standardized education system. Such a system aims at ensuring that all the students acquire education which is of high quality and which does not vary from one student to the other.
The students will also be assessed on the basis of what is contained in the curriculum. A teaching professional is also required to understand the units and lessons they are supposed to offer. This will help them cope effectively with the changes likely to take place in the curriculum.
The teacher should take advantage of technological innovations to improve the teaching process. Technology has improved and eased the research process. This is given that information can now be accessed easily from various sources, such as the internet, enabling teachers to prepare high quality lessons.
Such sources have also helped teachers to adequately plan for lessons by providing high quality teaching materials (Sanders 24). A teacher can also provide the students with links to sources and materials which they consider to be important. Through the use of various presentation software and programs, computers have also increased the efficiency with which a teacher can prepare for the lesson.
How Should Members of Staff Develop Lessons?
A teaching professional should first come up with the objectives of the lesson or unit to be offered to the students. While developing the lesson plan, the teacher should outline the topics or subtopics that should be covered by the end of the session. The teacher is then required to plan adequately to ensure that the content to be delivered during the lesson is fully covered (Baker and Bridger 578).
The teacher should then come up with ideas to assess the performance of the students in a given lesson or unit. A professional teacher must realize that the ultimate objective of developing a lesson plan is to ensure the delivery of high quality education to the students. Students are supposed to be fully aware of what is expected of them before and after the lesson.
Identifying appropriate demonstrations and other activities likely to promote the teaching process is the next step in ensuring that teachers deliver high quality education. Demonstrations serve as effective teaching tools. This is given that they help the students to understand the subject matter easily. The lessons are then incorporated into the school calendar (Bryant 4). This is to make sure that the lesson plan is in line with the goals and objectives of the learning institution.
Web Based Resources
Technology has improved and eased research for the teaching professionals. This is given that the teachers can now access information easily. Such information can also be stored for future use using technology. Availability of various sources of information has enabled teachers to prepare high quality lessons for their students.
As already indicated in this paper, the teacher can also provide students with links to sources and materials that they consider to be resourceful (Sanders 24). These resources supplement the lessons provided by the teachers by availing detailed information on the topics discussed (McKendrick 24).
How are Lessons Evaluated and Monitored?
According to Moos (53), performance remains the most effective measure of success in any given undertaking. Improved performance on the part of the students indicates the credence of the method used by the teacher.
A high quality unit and lesson design can lead to improved student performance in a given lesson or unit (Sanders 24). Performance is determined by how well the student understands the topic. Once effective teaching practices are discovered, they should be maintained to increase efficiency in the education sector (McKendrick 45).
Expectations of Quality Curriculum and Instructional Design
A high quality curriculum ensures that students in a given institution get education that is consistent with that which is offered to students in other institutions in the country (Osborne and Salzberger 12). The education system is standardized and consistent throughout the country. This means that no single entity will be offering education that is of a higher quality than that offered in other institutions. This is especially so if the teachers are able to implement a standardized curriculum.
Just like any other profession out there, teaching requires a lot of planning. For lessons and units to be effectively delivered, a teacher should prepare in advance. This is to ensure that students gain fully from each and every unit and lesson. As a result, there is need for a teacher to come up with high quality unit and lesson designs. Such a plan provides the teacher with information on how the student is to be engaged in the learning process.
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