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.

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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.