Characteristics of Teaching:
Teaching is a professional interactivity, which involves maturity, experience, skills and subject matter specialization, To understand what is teaching, we have to throw light on its various characteristics. Following are main characteristics:
- Teaching is, both formal and informal- Formal system of teaching means where we have an organized, planned, systematic and definite system, with a specific purpose. For example; In the classroom, the teacher and the students meet in a formal way with a specific objective and teaching learning process takes place.
On the other hand, informal system of teaching means where we have no organized, definite and preplanned system, as outside the classroom, at home, religious agencies or at any place, informal teaching can take place. Both, formal and informal ways helps us in achieving the desired goals.
- Teaching is, both arts, as well as science- According to Silverman (1966), “To be sure – teaching like the practice of medicine – is very much an art, which is to say, it calls for exercise of talent and creativity. But like medicine, is also a science, for it involves a repertoire of techniques, procedures and all that can be systematically studied, described and improved. A good teacher, like a great doctor, is one, who adds creativity and inspiration to the Basic repertoire.” According to Rabindranath Tagore, “Teacher can never teach unless he is learning himself,” so, it is the profession which always requires sweet and blood or we can say that for those it is not profession, but a mission. It is a general saying that “Teaching is not everybody’s cup of tea.” It is an art, not for all, but for the selected few.
- Teaching is an interactive process- One of the major characteristics of good teaching is that it should be interactive in nature. Because of interaction, learners become active during teaching learning process and achieve specific purposes and objectives which are helpful in academic growth Bf the learner, so that he may stand firm and coexist well in unfavorable conditions of life.
- Teaching is not an independent activity- Humans are social animals, order to survive, and to fulfil their needs it is necessary for them to establish relationships with other members of society. Just like this, teaching is also a social process because it takes place in a social setup, with a specific goal and objective, where the teacher’s responsibility is the overall development of the individual or group. The result of good teaching is more cultured, morally and socially acceptable, forming intellectually and physically fit students.
- Teaching is a planned activity- Systematic, smooth and excellent teaching is the result of good planning and organization of lesson in a systematic way. Before entering in the classroom, a lot of thinking is done by the teacher. He prepares the lesson plan, collects information from different sources like books, references, journals to make his teaching interesting and effective. He thinks about different methodologies, different types of audio – visual aids, charts, maps, etc.
- Teaching is not a one-sided process- Teaching, in which, only the teacher remains dynamic or active and learners simply remain quiet and indulge in day-dreaming is not at all good teaching. This is an autocratic type of teaching. In this, the teacher acts like the leader of the class. No one can; ask and criticize him, even if he gives wrong information, so democratic type of teaching is always good for learners because in this, student and the teacher both, remain fully active and the face to face interaction with each other makes teaching learning process, effective, successful and interesting.
- Teaching is based on communication skills- Good teaching always depends on the effective communication of the teacher. There is a saying that, better the communication process with students, better the teaching of Students receive anything from the teacher, if they are in a position tm understand and this can be only possible with effective and good communication. For example if a teacher is teaching to Class IV in Bhubaneswar, and if he uses the English language in order to disseminate information, the pupils will not understand anything because they do not understand the said language. So, the teacher should use mother tongue Odiya as medium of communication for good understanding
- Teaching is diagnostic and Remedial- Teacher should understand the concept of individual difference than only she/he can teach in an effective manner. Good teaching is diagnostic and remedial in the sense that the teacher knows exactly the abilities and interests of his pupils, as every child is unique in nature. As she knows the concept of the individual differences, so she can select suitable teaching methods, and audio-visual aid, etc. After successful teaching, it is the duty of a teacher to evaluate the student by using an evaluation technique to know the level of achievement of the students. It is called as ‘diagnosing the student. If achievement level is not up to the mark, then it is the duty of the teacher to teach the concept again, by using another method. This is called remedial teaching. So teaching is both diagnostic and remedial.
- Good teaching is democratic in nature- Good teaching is always democratic in nature, because democratic environment gives chance to each and every individual to express himself and every individual is respected in every manner. No one is discriminated on the basis of caste, colour, creed or individual differences; everyone is given an equal chance in democratic teaching.
- Teaching causes motivation- The activity of good teaching causes changes in behaviour. This change in behaviour can only be achieved when teacher keeps motivating student at different stages. Thus, learning is always facilitated by giving motivation to the student.
- Teaching is professional in nature- Good teaching requires a person who is professional and knowledgeable. So, any activity, when it is carried out in a professional way, is always excellent in nature. For example, in medical field, an engineer will not come out as successful because he had no professional knowledge of that specific field. So, a teacher should be professionally qualified in his field. It demands those persons who are skilled and have gone through teacher-training courses.
- Teaching is worthy of analysis and interpretation- Good teaching is based on analysis, which can be done by means of observation and assessment. These techniques give feedback to the teacher, so that she can improve and update her teaching skills time to time. That’s why micro teaching and simulated lessons are some new innovative teaching training practices through which we observe, analyze and evaluate the different skills of a teacher and prepare them to become good and effective teacher.
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