Dennis Roeder: What Makes a Great Teacher?

While he’s still a young man who’s just started his teaching career, Dennis Roeder has often been enamored by what it takes to be a great teacher. It’s a question he finds fascinating because there is no easy recipe for teaching success, plus, different professionals use different styles.

However, Roeder has taken it upon himself to do some research on the subject, and here’s what he has come up with.

They know their subjects

Knowledge of a subject is one of the key things that a great teacher will encompass. It might seem obvious, but some teachers lack an in-depth understanding of their subject. Where this is the case, the teacher is less likely to have a significant impact on his/her students.

Dennis5

They are careful with praise

While offering praise is a popular way for teachers to motivate students, it can also be harmful when employed in the wrong way. Praise can be interpreted in different ways, as sympathy for a failing student can be seen as either a way to encourage the child or pampering.

They provide quality

The quality of teaching provided by an instructor has a significant impact on students’ achievement, especially students who come from poorer backgrounds. Quality assessment and questioning are at the core of excellent teaching. It also involves giving children enough time to learn new skills and participate in finding solutions.

Dennis Roeder is an elementary math teacher who studied at the University of Sydney.

Dennis Roeder: Principles of Effective Teaching

Dennis Roeder is an elementary math teacher in Australia who is looking to help students learn as much as they can in their young lives. While studying to become a teacher, he attended a few workshops and seminars on effective ways of teaching math. Like any attentive student, he took notes on these methods, some that are highlighted below.

Aim for understanding

For every subject you teach, strive to ensure students understand the “why” behind concepts, and not just the “how.’ This type of understanding (known as procedural understanding) doesn’t come easy and can take even years for a student to grasp a concept fully. It’s for this reason that math curricula often introduce a concept early in a child’s learning, then build upon it for some years.

Dennis2

What’s your goal?

The ultimate goal for teaching mathematics is different for every math teacher. Some do it so they can finish the textbook in the designated time. Others do it to ensure their students pass exams. Others teach so that students can understand various concepts, such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

These goals, while noble, are sub-goals to an even bigger goal. If you think about, you’ll realize that perhaps you want students to understand how to apply math concepts in their lives, or prepare them for further studies in this field.

Walk the talk

As a math teacher, your attitude towards the subject is on display every time you address students. If you like math, then you should encompass an enthusiastic, passionate and committed lifestyle towards being the best math teacher.

Dennis Roeder is a teacher based in New South Wales, Australia.