Throughout Africa, education has been recognized as one of the vital means and powerful weapons of attaining the freedom of our colonial masters. Still, no superficial accumulation of knowledge will suffice the removal of suspicions and fear that divide men, or the poverty and ignorance that hinder progress. Only a real understanding of what education is and those sterling qualities of a quality teacher which propels his or her efforts to provide learners with qualitative education will succeed in shaking off the shackles that prevent true happiness from being achieved.
THE ESSENCE OF THESE STERLING QUALITIES OF A QUALITY TEACHER IN PRIMARY EDUCATION
The real reason for discussing these sterling qualities of a quality teacher is for the fact that as a teacher, you have been trained to form habits that will make you capable to:
- Teach knowledge
- Shoulder responsibilities
- Show initiatives
- Assist those in need and
- Live lives with good examples to others.
AGENCIES/INSTITUTIONS PROMOTING QUALITY TEACHING AND LEARNING IN NIGERIA
The Universal Basic Education Commission [UBEC] as an agency with the Vision and mission statement of becoming a world-class education intervention and regulatory agency for the promotion of uniform, qualitative and functional basic education in Nigeria and African has been at the forefront of the war against quack and half-baked teachers through their training and re-training programs for teachers and school administrators over the years. Institute like the National Teachers Institute [NTI], and the Teachers registration council of Nigeria [ TRCN ] have also done their best to ensure that every teacher in Nigeria is trained and certified as a qualified teacher
THE ROLE OF THE STATE IN PRIMARY EDUCATION
According to G.B Jeffery, a renowned educationist, “the first responsibility of any nation or people, at any time and in any place, in the care of its rising generation. It must by all possible means strive to ensure that any child born to it, is born healthy and capable of growth and development to full manhood or womanhood. It must never forget that the child today is the man or woman of the quite near future and that the quality and mettle of its people in few years’ time depends upon the wisdom of its treatment of its children now”.
Primary education which is the foundation of the child’s educational progress should therefore be handled with the utmost regard and seriousness it deserves. This is driven by the ability of education operators to able to stir up those Sterling Qualities of a Teacher in a Teacher to its maximization. This poses a very big uncompromising challenge to us as the sole operators of the child’s future destiny at this level.
There is a saying that “God creates and Teachers manufactures human beings and make them what God want them to be by harnessing all their hidden potentials and talents. So, as manufactures, our products have to be remarkable; they must serve the needs and aspirations of society. These qualities of a quality teacher are essential.
WHO IS A QUALITY TEACHER?
Ideally, a quality Teacher is that one who rates highly on the below sterling qualities of a qualified Teacher. It may appear difficult to find a teacher possessing all the identified quality indices below in the school system today. However, it is important on the other hand to strive towards achieving, sustaining, and bequeathing these values and qualities across generations if quality teachers are really needed to enhance quality education.
STERLING QUALITIES OF A QUALITY TEACHER
The following indicators are some of the universally accepted characteristics of a quality teacher. The professional qualities are:
- Knowledge of basic principles of teaching and learning
- Knowledge of the subject matter and learner
- Ability to demonstrate effective teaching skills
- Ability to create and use instructional materials
- Ability to plan instructions
- Being innovative and open to changes
- Possession of adequate communicative skills
- Moral rectitude and discipline
- Interest in professional growth
- Duty conscious
- Neat, discipline, and exemplary
- Skillful in classroom management
- Proficient in record keeping
- Encourage and assist learners to form a healthy and useful association
- Co-operate and relate well with the host communities as well as his or her colleagues and
- Willing to accept assigned responsibilities
WORKING DEFINITION OF TEACHING FUNCTIONED BY QUALITIES OF A QUALITY TEACHER
Teaching can be defined basically as a concern with the organization of
- Values and
Guidance of a learner by a teacher in order that the former will have a deliberate change of values, ideas, and attitudes. Teaching is also aimed at getting the cognitive experience to enable him or her to become a worthwhile member of society.
Teaching, therefore, has to be sound if it will serve to change values, attitudes and communicate facts to the learner who is less experienced. The teacher has to be well equipped with the knowledge, experience, sensitive, and responsive to the needs of the learner, understand their individual differences, and be ready to vary his teaching methodology in order to take his learners along.
WORKING DEFINITION OF LEARNING FUNCTIONED BY QUALITIES OF A QUALITY TEACHER
Learning on the other hand is seen as a process that causes a change in behavior of an individual either positive or negative. This change in behavior results from the interaction between the Learner and his environment.
Therefore, teaching/learning is a situation that involves the teacher and the learner where the teacher helps/guides to learn by presentation and clarification of worthwhile content by being sensitive and responsive to the needs and problems of the learner, by inducing a change of attitude of the learner through the use of varied new teaching methods and techniques and emphasizing societal needs. This is why we must discuss the qualities of a quality teacher.
Since teaching and learning go together, it can be seen that teaching affects learning. The type of content taught is what the learner learns. The way it is being presented makes or mars the learner’s interest. This is the reason for developing these sterling qualities of a quality teacher so as to achieve education policies and objectives.
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