Education Station Archive

Education Station: What Is Good Teaching?

Good teaching is characterized by several practices: a teacher that initiates meaningful interactions with children is able to be responsive to each child’s unique interests, needs, style and culture. An educator who is highly involved in observing the children will come to know each of them well, and can use teachable moments to best fit each child’s learning style.

While there are times that a teacher-directive approach is necessary, a program that largely takes a child-centered approach allows children to spend more time engaged in solving problems, and in learning more about topics that naturally interest them. The role of the teacher is to widen and deepen the interests of the child so that the child is able to grow and progress in their education and level of understanding than they would have if the teacher was not there to support their learning.

All educators, even the most experienced and educated, always have room to grow in understanding children’s development. The field of early care and education is constantly evolving through research and development of effective teaching practices. Good teachers are positive role models when they show that they want to broaden their knowledge and enhance their own skills. Attending workshops or classes, reading current books or articles, and being mentored by another professional are all valuable ways to continue to grow as an early care educator.

A dedicated early care educator will:

• View him or herself as a learner as much as a teacher
• Establish relationships with children - recognize them as essential
• Acknowledge play is a primary context for learning
• Challenge children in their play
• Expose children to individualized learning
• Intentionally support and enhance learning experiences
• Take time to reflect and select well-planned activities
• Include high-quality materials as often as possible
• Respond positively to children’s learning
• Create meaningful family and community partnerships

Resource: The Early Childhood Teacher’s Manual – Practical Solutions to Practically Every Problem