Qualities of Effective Teaching: Initiating Purposeful Action

Aug 11, 2014
Tagged with: Qualities of Effective Teaching: Initiating Purposeful Action

 

In recent articles, I have tried to examine what distinctive qualities make a person an effective Teacher, Mentor, and Leader in their field.  My Movement Specialist and Lynda, my newest Mentor and Teacher, have a series of qualities that make me stop, pay attention, and engage. I define engagement as “initiating purposeful action”; [i] where a Mentee demonstrates effort, attention, determination, and persistence in response to prompting to learn and perform assigned tasks.” [ii]

My Mentors possess specific characteristics that I am drawn to. They demonstrate, display, and personify humility, integrity, assertiveness, and a general confidence in what they do.  They model specific traits and skills which are recognized in research as important factors to foster growth. Recognized skills include:

  1. Having consistently high expectations for their student or Mentee [iii],
  2. Adapting to the needs of the Mentee, including recognizing when a teaching approach is not effective, [iv] and
  1. Having an ability to foster a hunger for learning and achievement through skillful facilitation.  [v] Research defines facilitation as both a process and a technique used to create engagement.

I came across an evaluation through my research about engagement that said “Effective Teachers go beyond just sharing information.  They influence the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth of their students.” [vi]  A Teacher’s role is to “create openings” and foster possibilities not envisioned yet. [vii] Effective Teachers “encourage the heart.” [viii] This means inspiring people to have and keep a sense of confidence, optimism, hope, and determination to achieve. [ix]

For example, my Movement Specialist knows how to trigger and activate my drive, motivation, and effort.  He knows how to prompt me to action. He knows how to get me to engage and “pick up my sword.” That is, he pushes me to take on the presenting challenge and fight to achieve my immediate goal.  He prepares me to meet, handle, and conquer challenges I experience in my walking program through knowledge, training, and performance.

Just like my Movement Specialist, Lynda knows how to get me to “put down my sword”.  Through a series of meditative exercises, I shift from a battle state to a more reflective state.  When I enter her forum, Lynda will play an assortment of music.  Most often, the music selections are from Johann Sebastian Bach.  Lynda will instruct me to listen to the music when she senses I am focusing too intently.  Research has shown that when children or adults listen to calming music, it has a “direct interrelationship with a lowered respiration and heart rate.” [x]

When the music fails to bring me to a more quiet state, Lynda will cue me verbally to “Take a breath.”  She will prompt me to breathe through my nose and count to five.  My Mentor will carry me through a diaphragmatic breathing exercise to facilitate a more relaxed state.   She initiates purposeful action; so that my effort, attention, and resolve return. Lynda uses the music and breathing exercise to support me to refocus and re-engage.

Now, tell me NCHPAD readers, what causes you to engage?  What prompts you to “pick up your sword” and “put down your sword?”  How do you shift from a battle or action state to a reflective state?

(For more information on diaphragmatic breathing, see:   http://www.nchpad.org/638/2605/Week~11~Video~Tip~~~Breathing~Exercises)

 

NCHPAD articles:

http://www.nchpad.org/1239/5899/A~Week~s~Worth~of~Wellness

http://www.nchpad.org/Directories/Organizations/3053/Mind~Body~Solutions

 

 

 

 
[i] Fatt, J. P. T. (1998). Innovative teaching: teaching at its best. Education, 118(4), 616+.

[ii] Young, M. R. (2010). The Art and Science of Fostering Engaged Learning. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 14(SI), 1+.

[iii] Young, E. (2009). What Makes a Great Teacher?. Education Digest, 75(1), 39-40.

[iv] Young, E. (2009). What Makes a Great Teacher?. Education Digest, 75(1), 39-40.

[v] Young, E. (2009). What Makes a Great Teacher?. Education Digest, 75(1), 39-40.

[vi] Gillespie, M. (2005). Student–teacher connection: a place of possibility. Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 52(2), 211-219. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2005.03581.x

[vii] Gillespie, M. (2005). Student–teacher connection: a place of possibility. Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 52(2), 211-219. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2005.03581.x

[viii] Johns, L., & Watson, J. (2006). Leadership Development of Women Preparing for Ministry. Journal Of Research On Christian Education, 15(2), 111-142

[ix] Johns, L., & Watson, J. (2006). Leadership Development of Women Preparing for Ministry. Journal Of Research On Christian Education, 15(2), 111-142

[x] Lantieri, L. (2008). Nurturing Inner Calm in Children. Encounter, 21(3), 32-37.

 

Author: Kerry



  • bobl07

    Bach sounds like an outstanding choice for music to relax to. I am not sure which music I would listen to for relaxation. I am thinking I am more of a Ludwig Van type of person. Any other suggestions?

  • Kerry Wiley

    Bob, I find that Frédéric François Chopin is growing on me. I like the Piano. Kerry A. Wiley