12 Effective Teaching Practices and Their Benefits

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 24, 2022 | Published July 13, 2021

Updated February 24, 2022

Published July 13, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

In the ever-changing education environment, effective teaching practices are helping educators enhance their instructional style. Using these teaching methods allow them to adjust their teaching strategies to fit both the students and the material, recognizing that different students learn in different ways. By incorporating effective teaching practices into your teaching plans, you may have more opportunities to engage students in the learning process and support their academic accomplishments. Understanding different effective teaching methods allows you to decide which ones to use when you teach. In this article, we define what effective teaching is, list its benefits and provide 12 effective teaching habits to consider.

What is effective teaching?

Effective teaching is a term used to describe the knowledge, strategies and conduct of a successful educator. It's the ability to make a positive impact on a student's life and academic career, including the capacity to teach important skill sets, introduce new concepts and manage any classroom concerns. Educators typically strive to use effective teaching practices to help their students learn at a consistent rate and to increase their own understanding of the field.

Related: 9 Work-From-Home Teaching Jobs To Explore

What are the benefits of effective teaching?

There are many benefits to using effective teaching practices. Consider the following:

  • Helps students achieve their learning goals. Effective teaching can help you assess the needs of your students, allowing you to understand which classroom strategies may be helpful. You can also lead more constructive one-on-one meetings with students to learn the best ways to support them.

  • Increases student engagement in the classroom. Good practices can help you design interesting lesson plans and encourage an overall enthusiasm for the material. Effective teaching methods may also help you form positive relationships with students.

  • Enhances the quality of your feedback to students. If you use effective teaching practices, you can better understand how to measure the progress of your students. You can also respond to their inquiries with relevant and accurate information.

  • Improves your relationship with families. A student's family is often an important aspect of their overall education, and effecting teaching can help you maintain a constructive relationship with them.

12 effective teaching habits

Here is a list of effective teaching habits that can help you develop your skills:

1. Enjoy the field of education

Teachers who express a passion for their work can inspire their students. It's important to create engaging lesson plans to show students you're invested in their academic growth. Students often appreciate knowing you're enthusiastic about the subject you teach, and if you model this behavior, they may become motivated to participate more in classroom activities or research the material during leisure time.

Related: What Is a Teaching Philosophy? Definition and Examples

2. Create a positive learning environment

Maintaining a friendly demeanor throughout the day can help make your classroom space welcoming toward all students. Effective teachers understand they can play an important role in a student's life aside from their academic career. It may be helpful to provide support in the classroom for their social and emotional needs, such as encouraging teamwork during activities and offering helpful advice outside of class periods.

3. Connect with students

Caring about the lives and interests of students can help you build positive relationships. Although it's important to maintain a boundary between your life at home and at work, some teachers also share their own interests with students. Try to communicate with a student's family frequently to learn additional context about them and optimize your time when discussing their progress.

4. Be prepared

Effective teachers have a robust knowledge of their course material and spend a lot of time planning their curriculums. They exert daily effort to ensure they can perform high-quality instruction and complete grading deadlines. Consider reviewing coursework every day so you can best answer student questions during class. It may also be helpful to research classroom strategies recommended by other teachers and educational specialists.

Related: Top 6 Teaching Skills That Employers Look For

5. Manage a weekly schedule

Successful teachers optimize their lesson plans to best use their time in the classroom during weekdays. They often design lesson plans that involve multiple learning steps, like a lecture on the material followed by individual assignments or group-based classwork. Providing enough time during the school day for your students to complete their work or finish an activity is also important.

6. Use clear language

Teachers who explain complicated ideas in simplified ways can help their students learn more efficiently. They use multiple mediums to convey lesson material, including diagrams, slideshows, demonstrations or supplementary videos. When they assign projects, they provide distinct steps to address any potential concerns. It may be helpful to use a steady speech pattern when introducing new concepts to your class and incorporate a readable font size to any lecture materials.

7. Set reasonable expectations

Effective teachers communicate their standards to students and apply them to their own practices. They may adjust standards to better address different learning styles and ensure every student can achieve their goals. For instance, if a student communicates an issue with a grade, a constructive teaching habit would involve listening to their concern and addressing it afterward. It's important to outline your policies at the beginning of a semester so students can ask questions and express their thoughts.

Related: Learn 5 Instructional Strategies for Differentiated Learning

8. Adapt to different circumstances

Teachers who react with flexibility during unexpected events can better address the needs of their students. For instance, you might predict that one activity can help students understand a lesson but learn that another activity better supports their learning process. Address any feedback quickly and account for changing circumstances while planning a daily lesson.

9. Find resources

To enhance their teaching practice, effective teachers supplement their knowledge from multiple sources. Try to stay updated on new teaching methods so you can best support students. You can review academic articles, read books or watch informative videos on a streaming service. You may also want to engage with other educators about useful tips using a social media platform or an online forum.

10. Reflect on practices

Effective teaching involves consistent reflection on your strategies and conduct. Identify areas of improvement so you can develop your teaching practice and grow as an educator. To assess your instruction quality, listen to feedback from students, their families and the school administration and determine which aspects to incorporate. Checking the progress of your students can also be a valuable tool for reflection, as their day-to-day responses to activities can show whether your teaching style is successful.

11. Have a sense of humor

If you enjoy telling jokes or making humorous statements outside of the classroom, it may be helpful to use humor in conveying lesson material. Students may remember more information when you add an engaging aspect, such as a reference to a funny character or film your students may know. It's important to stay mindful of your schedule, but a few well-timed references may enhance the learning environment you create.

12. Offer practical applications

Effecting teaching involves helping students understand how to apply concepts they learn to other areas of their lives, especially their future careers. You can incorporate examples of actual situations in your coursework, like how to use a mathematical concept to determine the total cost of a restaurant bill. During composition lessons, you can have students write persuasive essays about events from the news.

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