Learning teaching skills is not something done only in the beginning of a career. It is an ongoing process. No one is perfect; therefore everyone has room for improvement. There are always new techniques and strategies to be learned. One can always improve and develop further as a teacher
and in skill. The important thing is to get a strong foundation at the beginning and continue to build upon it regularly.
Often people learn to teach through classes at their university. The classes consist of a combination of in-school classes about how to teach, teaching theories, psychology of students and learning, classroom management, how to get organized, how to structure learning, etc. Then it becomes the “practicals” aspect of their learning. They observe other teacher
s in classrooms and then it is their turn to be observed by other teacher
s as they lead lessons, receiving feedback along the way. They do this for a specifically stated number of hours. Upon completion of these various opportunities to learn and observe they receive a teaching degree
Of course certifications are now also available. Certifications combine many of the same aspects but in an abbreviated format. These teacher
s are still very successful. They are still acquiring the same important information to become successful teacher
s. When learning to teach it is important to combine the three parts – studying, observing, and practicing. Feedback, revision, etc. are also important but those happen along the way. There are some very important ways teacher
s continue to improve and learn new methods of teaching. They are through evaluation, researching new resources and techniques, as well as networking.
Evaluation is the process used to identify the aspects of teaching that are good versus the areas which can be improved upon or changed. There are various types and styles of evaluation, mainly five that are most commonly used. They are self-monitoring, audio or video taping, gathering information from the students, the students' results in the class (tests, worksheets, improvements, etc.), and outside observers.
There are three main reasons people are evaluated. One of the main reasons is to improve teaching skills. A second reason is to document the quality of their teaching for others. They can do this with a teaching portfolio, which also helps the teacher
understand his or her own teaching better. The third reason is more of just a human desire for evaluation. Many people need the satisfaction of knowing about their performance as a teacher
. It is a more enjoyable experience to have solid information confirming you have done a good job. It is more rewarding then just thinking everything is going well.
With the invention of the internet came the sharing of resources, ideas, and materials. The internet has extensive best practices, research, lesson plans, idea sharing, etc. It is a very resourceful place to go, gain ideas in improving ones teaching skills as well as your lessons. It can be a great way to learn new ideas and teaching methods. There is much to learn from people on the internet.
The internet also provides support networks of teacher
s. Places for them to go to ask question, seek answers, how to overcome barriers and challenges, etc. It is also important to have local networks among peers in the same school too. If problems arise with the school or with specific students it is possible ones fellow peers at the school are familiar with the specific situation and can help provide even more concrete advice to overcome problems or learn how to be more successful in the school.
Evaluation, the internet, and network are all great resources and methods to continue to learn new and improved teaching methods. One should never become complacent with their skill level. As we learn more and more about how people learn, methods for teaching, etc. it is important to continue to add to our knowledge-base about successful teaching. As one develops and spends many years in the teaching field, it becomes important to keep things fresh and changing to avoid boredom or complacency. These ways of learning skills as a teacher