Behind every effective teacher exists a diverse array of
impressionable students who look upon him or her as a type of guiding light. In
order for an individual to actually be an effective educator, they must take
full consideration of the needs, welfare, and motivations of these students
whom they have been tasked with educating. All concepts and educational theory
must be utilized and adapted towards serving that end. A skilled and effective
teacher will be able to apply the fundamentals of educational theory in a
relatable, comprehensible, and enjoyable environment. This methodology provides
a space where the students can best thrive and succeed both academically and in
life.

An effective teacher needs to first and foremost take the
students’ needs into consideration as the first order of business. They cannot
use their knowledge as teachers without first focusing on elements that creates
a good environment with full consideration of the diversity of students and
their needs (“INTASC Standards”, n.d). Individual education programs are truly
a necessity to be conscious of in order to fulfill proper development in the
classroom especially when preparing lesson plans. While observing a special education
English class, the teacher created an online interactive study game for the
students to engage in. I asked her what made her decide this route in order to
explain and reinforce the content objective. She explained that all of her
students were at home gamers. This allowed the teacher to effectively create a
specifically tailored environment for learning to facilitate academic growth (“Classroom
Instruction That Works”, 2012). The students immerse themselves in the latest
video games at home and acknowledge that they perform very well. Prior to
creating this study game, her students had trouble focusing and demonstrated
very short attention spans when reading hard copies. Students were staring out
the window, engaging in personal conversations and not participating because of
their lack of interest. The teacher referenced the first INTASC Standard in
order to regain focus and structure amongst the students. The class viewed the study
game as a friendly competition amongst their peers, which added an incentive to
push them to win by answering each question correctly.  The interactive study game implemented the
students to absorb the content to fast track their learning. In another
observation with a Social Studies class, the students were learning about coat
of arms. The teacher allowed the students to research their own family coat of
arms if they had one and if they did to share their insight. Students were able
to explain the purpose and significant of coats of arms and the elements within
them. Their final project implemented the key components of INTASC Standard 2.

The teacher wanted the students to go home and create a customized coat of arms
that focused on their surnames. He wanted the students to have a conversation
with their families on the origin of their family name and elements that they
may incorporate to best represent their families. This project assignment
allowed the teacher to understand the dynamics of each student and allowed the
students to familiarize themselves with their peers (“INTASC Standard”, n.d). By
allowing content objectives to incorporate personal education programs and
family involvement, it can enhance student growth and development creating an
efficient environment conducted by an effective teacher.

Lessons and activities should be geared towards practical
applications of teaching the students a plan of action and proper methodology
to heighten their levels of learning. An effective teacher constantly educates
their students to interpret critical thinking situations by administering proper
forms of analyses through declarative and procedural knowledge (Planning
Effective Instruction, 2019, p. 10). While declarative knowledge focuses on
knowing about something, procedural knowledge focuses on knowing how to do
something. Both are effective towards determining how to best organize the
content for successful teaching (Planning Effective Instruction, 2019, p. 2). In
my opinion, in order to get the best out of your students an effective teacher
should allow students to challenge both their assumptions and hypothesis on
their own and encouraging them to tie together lesson plans with current world
events or popular culture. This style of teaching references the INTASC
Standard 4 through content knowledge. Students must discover the answers to
their questions through inquiry and experience. Allowing your students to come
to conclusions on their own encourages them to understand, question and analyze
ideas from diverse prospective so that they master the content relating it to
outside interest. While observing in a studio art class, the teacher led the
lesson plan of pop art. He explained the top influencers and their contribution
to the trend. The students seemed to be disconnected and uninterested with many
questions of what pop art was. The teacher instructed the class to pick their
favorite icon; whether it is an actor, singer or public figure. A student
raised his hand and asked if his image of Michael Jordan was popular culture.

The teacher responded, “You tell me”. The student began to think and explained
that he believed that Michael Jordan was in fact popular culture because of his
influence in basketball, fashion and various philanthropic contributions. The
teacher praised the student for coming to the conclusion on his own and
explained that pop art was short for popular art that stemmed from popular
culture, which we all experience everyday. The lesson transitioned to having
the students take their images of what they considered to be popular figures
and create a pop art concept using printmaking. This lesson was really
noteworthy because the students truly engaged in their carvings so meticulously
to create a perfect print. When a student gains a heighten interest to a topic
they can fully relate to, their focus and interest towards the activity
increases which really empowers the student to feel more educated and
successful on a topic.

Educators are full of knowledge and are proficient in one or
more subject areas. However, teaching students what they know based on a guided
curriculum is only half the battle. It is imperative to assess the content and
evaluate student progress to fully ensure that your methods of teaching are
effective to your students. If after assessing your students and you feel as if
the objective was not understood, an effective teacher should then figure out
ways to improve their abilities as an educator. Constantly assessing the
students whether it is formally, informally, summative, or formative is vital
towards monitoring the children and determining if re-teaching the information
is necessary or if higher standards should be set (“INTASC Standards”, n.d). As
students progress, teachers can limit the modifications the student receives as
the child progresses in order to further increase their confidence in the
subject. The Danielson Rubric outlines that effective teachers design formative
assessments to monitor student learning and they deliver the information required
to distinguish instruction. From personal experiences, when my brother entered
high school he was assigned an individualized education program. He had
modified testing accommodations and was allowed leniencies to spelling errors.

My brother was also placed in various inclusion classes that assist him in
getting the best learning experience based on his specific needs. As a senior,
my brother has retaken his individual education program progression report and
it showed that some of his accommodations could be reduced. My brother has
efficiently adapted to the curriculum with the help and assessments of his
special education teacher and has been able to integrate into mixed class
settings. His special education teacher had to collect the lesson plans from
his previous teachers’ in order to figure out ways to reteach the lesson in an
effective manor so that he could better absorb it. In order to properly reteach
a lesson, an educator must educate oneself on the effective ways to alter a
lesson to relay the same objective (“INTASC Standards”, n.d). An effective
educator should always remain a student within their subject of proficiency. Once
an educator has found ways to convey an objective across the minds of a diverse
class of learners, now the challenging part is to grade them fairly. A fully
prepared teacher understands that treating and grading students fairly does not
mean treating all students equally. When grading students, it is vital that a
teacher does not reflect any kind of positive or negative bias the students’
grades. It is in just to remember that our perceptions are not always truthful
facts rather they are educated opinions at times. By getting to know your
students, it aids in the process of avoiding false judgments or accusations. If
one of your students has constantly failed every math quiz and test throughout
the year but has scored a 98 on their final, it is plausible to question this
score based on what you know of this student throughout your interaction with
him/her in class. In another case if an exceptional student does exceedingly
well on all of your assigned tests and quizzes in class but fails to hand in homework.

In a situation like this, you may to seek colleague help and challenge if
he/she is having trouble at home as a reason why he/she cannot complete work at
home. In order to uphold this standard, keeping in mind ethical practices will
assist in creating a clear and concise grading rubric to avoid falling short of
the code of ethics through grading biases (“INTASC Standards”, n.d). In the
case of a false negative judgment, it is likely that a student will be
disadvantaged by a decision based upon that judgment so it is crucial to be
certain and use your resources.

In class, we discussed that it is possible that an effective
teacher is just someone who has it and I fully agree. An effective teacher has
the whole package; which includes takings into consideration the welfare of
their students into consideration, practical application of lessons, assessing
your students and your skills as a teacher. I have experiences all of these
attributes throughout my educational journal by some of my favorite teachers. All
of who committed to the understanding of abiding by these concepts and
theories. Their commitment towards serving and educating all learners will
encourage academic excellence and family involvement throughout their life
journeys’.

 

References

“INTASC Standards”, n.d

“Danielson Rubric”, 2014-15

Price, Kay M. (2019). Planning Effective Instruction

Dean, C.B., Ross Hubbell, E, Pitler,
H., & Stone, B. (2012). Classroom
Instruction That Works (2nd Ed) Denver, CO: McREL International