The Basic Skill for teachers No.1. Facial Expression (smiling at students) 1. You just smile, just OK

笑顔5.jpg
toyaさんによる写真ACからの写真

We have the below in E level of T.O.S.S Teaching Skills and Techniques Assessment System.

Cheery smile

When Mr. Yoichi Mukoyama made this item, I can't forget his muttering words that he added like,
Anyway, you just smile, it's just OK.

Smiling is the prerequisite of your class lesson.There's nothing more important than that.

I give advice to my university students when they are going to a school for an internship.
"You may observe a lot of class in school. I recommend you to look at the facial expression of teachers in the classroom trying to find the teachers whose smiling is really nice."
"And If you can find the one who has the best smiling in school, you should go to him/her and ask to give you some advice."
"Because the teacher definitely is the best skillful teacher among all of the school. It's no doubt"

4 weeks later, trainees come back to university. and said to me,
"Hey Mr.Tani, I tried to find some teachers who have nice smiling."
"Awesome! Then?"
"Uh, Honestly, no one smiled."
"What? There isn't anyone?"
"No, there isn't"

It's a true story. I have several experiences I've heard this kind of reports from students.
There are no teachers who are teaching in nice smiling. That is a real figure of real schools now in Japan.

"Smiling", "Voice", "Eye Contact", The Basic of Basics

笑顔3.png声2.pngアイコンタクト.png

I had heard a story from a former principal whom I'm familiar with.

There are some teachers whose class fell apart almost every year. They are sometimes labeled as "incompetent teachers". I don't like this expression. But I have to admit they are being in fact.

He said he has to go training these teachers occasionally. He was one of the lecturers of the training session.

He said to me

 "Mr. Tani. You said 3 important skills right now. I totally agree. Because all of the "incompetent teachers" never can do these 3 skills."

I think it may be true.

On the other hand, if you can get or make efforts to get at least these 3, I think you might be able to cope with your class and could go well again.

It may seem easy to do getting just 3 skills, but it definitely not so easy. Even when you think you've already could do, actually you may not. You should compare to the professional level.

I will try to explain these skills one by one from the next chapter.

I had heard a story from a former principal whom I'm familiar with.

There are some teachers whose class fell apart almost every year. They are sometimes labeled as "incompetent teachers". I don't like this expression. But I have to admit they are being in fact.

He said he has to go training these teachers occasionally. He was one of the lecturers of the training session.

He said to me

 "Mr. Tani. You said 3 important skills right now. I totally agree. Because all of the "incompetent teachers" never can do these 3 skills."

I think it may be true.

On the other hand, if you can get or make efforts to get at least these 3, I think you might be able to cope with your class and could go well again.

It may seem easy to do getting just 3 skills, but it definitely not so easy. Even when you think you've already could do, actually you may not. You should compare to the professional level.

I will try to explain these skills one by one from the next chapter.

The most basic of basics "The Basic Skill for teachers"

ナンバーワンプロ.jpg

As I mentioned before in this blog, I arranged "The Basic Skill for teachers" for students who are going to be teachers.
There are 10 items totally.
If you'd like to be a teacher, I strongly hope you to train these 10 elements of skills. Especially, the first 3 items are significantly important.

  1. Facial Expression (smiling at students)
  2. Voice (Tone and Volume)
  3. Eye Contact
You may say "Everyone knows that".
But I have to say that there are absolutely no teachers who've got these 3 skills among the teachers whose classes have fallen apart.
On the contrary, the teacher whom I really impressed is definitely excellent these 3 skills. There's no exception.

Basic elements of professional.

鍛錬.jpg
FineGraphicsさんによる写真ACからの写真

There are skillful teachers and unskilful teachers.
The skillful teacher who is a so-called professional is like the person who can do things like below.

a. He/She can find something important that is invisible usually for amateurs.
b. He/She can explain the meaning of these things.
c. He/She can show actual performance using these things.

I think things above are the minimum level of professional while there are diverse levels of professional. If you've had upper D level qualification of T.O.S.S Teaching Skills and Techniques Assessment System, you seem to have quite higher-level skills of teaching.

_6. paying out of your own pocket for learning.

お金.jpg
That means so-called "investment for yourself".
It's not so hard. I guess the first rough indication is about a million yen. I spend a million in just rookie year.
If you didn't attend seminars except ones provided by the Board of Education, or you were enjoying just only your hobbies all of your holidays, or you didn't buy just only a few books a month.....It would be hopeless that your improvement comes true.

_5. Writing 100 of class lesson plans.

論文.jpg
カメラ兄さんさんによる写真ACからの写真

It would be nice "Upload your 100 contents to T.O.S.S-Land".
Or It would be great "Post your thesis to T.O.S.S-Media".
These ways are a really practical way to improve your teaching abilities.
Anyway, you should keep, arrange, output informative pieces of information that you've got.
Unless these kinds of effort, you will never go forward.

_4. Attending study meetings 100 times.

勉強会.jpg
ゑびすさんによるイラストACからのイラスト

It's OK to attend seminars or a little study group like circles.
But you need to get into positively.
Like as,
  1. You have to propose something in papers.
  2. You have to do a demo class.
Any kinds of papers would be OK as long as you wrote it yourself such as class newspapers, proposal copies in your school, the draft of your thesis and so on.

It's important that you should keep some atmosphere that you can say frankly "It's not good" or "It's good" each other.
If you spend about 10 years going through some little bit hard session like getting into T.O.S.S. circles or making your own circle, your skills would be quite better than you used to.

_3. Doing 100 demo classes.

授業.png
Demo classes need to have 3 conditions.
  1. Print your lesson plan and hand out it.
  2. Take a study meeting after your lesson. (It's OK even if it's just a short time)
  3. Print your analyze or self asses, and hand out it.
By Mr. Yoichi Mukoyama.
It really tough to do above things 100 times. If you have it one time a year, it will take 100 years to accomplish. If you have it 3 times a year, it will take more than 30 years to accomplish.
Mr.Mukoyama did 10 demo class in the first year of his teaching career. That means it would take 10 years to accomplish.
If you don't like to show your demo class, your teaching skills will never be improved.
Anyway, You can count the "demo class in study group" if it has 3 conditions that I mentioned earlier.
It might be OK to count as 5 or 10 demo classes if you were going through extremely a specialize and a tense situation like below.

  1. When you Try to get T.O.S.S Teaching Skills and Techniques Assessment System.
  2. When you handle with the main demo class at public study conferences that might have 500 to 1000 attendees in the auditorium.
  3. When you handle with the demo class on the stage in front of 1000 audiences just like "T.O.S.S. summer seminar"

_2. Tracing 100 of excellent class lesson plans.

向山先生写真_手を差し伸べたタイプ5.jpg
We know some extremely famous lesson plans in Japan. So-called It's "Unquestioned excellent plans."

For example,
  •  Make the others Kanji by adding more two strokes on "口".
  • What things are involved in Kanji of "土".
  • One day, The day time was longer than the night time just one hour. How long does the day time and night time?
    (by Mr.Yoichi Mukoyama)
You can search these lesson plan in TOSS Land. You can find a lot of other effective plans provided by famous teachers as well.
The important thing is that you must trace just exact same ways of these effective plans. It's a faster path you can get improving your skills.

When you get excellent techniques, you can also get deep principle and philosophy.

_1. Learning 100 of excellent ways and techniques.

いい先生のイラスト.jpg
(麦さんによるイラストACからのイラスト)

Let me explain about "6.ways of training to get a Black Belt" one by one.

_1. Learning 100 of excellent ways and techniques.

You need to write more than 100 excellent ways and techniques down on your notebook. Then you should try to apply it in your classroom over and over again. As a result, you will be able to do it unconsciously and automatically.

Ex.

<Basic prinsipal>
*One thing at a time.
*Give instruction to students after showing the last part of the action.

<Specific professional skills>
*How to leap over the vaulting box.
*How to do a "Kickover" on bars.
*How to do a Arms and Legs movements in Radio Exercise.

<Furthermore, specialized ways that are functioned by assembling several sophisticated techniques>
*Instructions of Kanji
*Instructions of NoteTaking in math classes
*Instructions of Critical Reading

If you were a professional teacher, you must be good at using at least more than 100 ways like above.

Go through the 6.ways of training to get a Black Belt!

腹筋.jpg
Doing a demo class is important. But you should go through various tough experiences as well if you want to be a professional teacher. We have no exceptions in all kinds of the professional field.

Having demo classes willingly, Participating in some study groups voluntarily, Writing many theses on your own accord. These are common ways to improve your profession for every remarkable teacher.

I said If you want your skills to improve, you must through situations such as go through in a tense situation and accepting a strict instruction from supervisors who are better than you. But aside from these things, we have the other important options. 

I'd like to show "6.ways of training to get a Black Belt" that was mentioned by Mr.Yoichi Mukoyama.

_1. Learning 100 of excellent ways and techniques.
_2. Tracing 100 of excellent class lesson plans.
_3. Doing 100 demo classes.
_4. Attending study meetings 100 times.
_5. Writing 100 of class lesson plans. 
_6. paying out of your own pocket for learning.

Teachers who have been through these things would be really strong-willed, and never give up.

2. Accepting strict advice from supervisors who are better than you.

スター.jpg
All professional athletes, dancer, musician, had learned from supervisors who had a super level of skills. You will never be reached to the professional level in any area with just only solitary training unless you were a real genius like who would be one in a million.
Therefore the fastest path to improving your skills is to go to the best teacher for you whom you definitely respect in your deep mind. You must be learned directly from him/her. (In my case, It's Mr.Yoichi Mukoyama)
And, the extremely important thing is that

Whether he/she would play some alternative plans actually or not.

It's easy to say something just in words.
If your mentor shows you his/her actual nicer way to do in front of you, the mentor should be trusted at all.

Your class lesson should be observed by co-workers at least 100 times.

先生.jpg
Mr.Yoichi Mukoyama said, "Your class lesson should be observed by co-workers at least 100 times."
It would be out of the question if less than one time a year.
When I was a rookie teacher I asked a senior teacher to come to my class. She kindly observed my class throughout 10 hours and gave some advice. It would be a common way to improve your skills in T.O.S.S.(https://www.toss-kentei.jp/aboutus/
You will never be skill-up without demonstration.
In study groups, in seminars, you should try to do every time.
It also would be better to participate in T.O.S.S Teaching Skills and Techniques Assessment System.
You must through some amount of effort to be a remarkable teacher.

2. What kind of efforts you should do to improve your teaching skills

ガッツポーズ.jpg
I've already said that such as "years of experiences", "the talent you've had by nature", "the amount of reading", won't matter for improving your skills.
As I mentioned before, If you want your skills to improve, you must through situations below intendedly.

1. Doing a demo class in a tense situation over and over again.
2. Accepting a strict instruction from supervisors who are better than you.

You will never be able to improve your skills without two things above.
1. Doing a demo class in a tense situation over and over again.
The first is in a tense situation. If you want to be a professional dancer, you should dance in front of your master and audiences over and over again. If you are an athlete, you should attend many tournaments and competitions with tense.
Improving teaching skills also need the same things.
Such as
1. Showing your class lesson attending your co-workers.
2. Doing demo-class in your private study group
3. Doing demo-class on the stage of seminars
4. Trying to get T.O.S.S Teaching Skills and Techniques Assessment System.
(*https://www.toss-kentei.jp/aboutus/)
5. Doing an experimental lesson at the other school.
That means you should do your class lessons in the situation that someone who've got excellent skills would be gazing you.
Not only just once, but also a lot of times.

3. Does the amount of reading relate to your teaching skill?

本棚.jpg
How about the amount of reading?
Will The more amount of reading lead the more skillful instruction?
How much does the amount of reading relate to your teaching skill?

20~30%

I guess approximately above.
Of course, I'm sure it's really important that you read a lot. All of the skillful teachers do read a lot. It has no exceptions.
But reading is just a necessary condition. It's not a sufficient condition. Even if you've read tons of books, you wouldn't be able to be a super skillful teacher by just reading.
Even if you've watched many many videos about tennis, you will never be a good tennis player by just watching videos.
Even if you've watched many many videos about skiing, you will never be a good player of skiing by just watching videos.
Needless to say, it's impossible.

2. Does the talent you've had by nature relate your teaching skill?

敬礼.jpg
I have to admit that some teachers really engage kids even when they are just rookies. For example, I guess the case that they've had experiences coping with kids in their age of university as volunteers. Even in the first year, they are actually popular among kids in the classroom. Kids also seem like very enjoyable.
When I see these kinds of young teachers, I'm glad that and I think he or she has a really nice talent. I don't deny there are some kinds of talent like this.
Anyway, How proportion dose these kinds of talent occupy within the whole of teaching skill?

2~3%

I estimate like above.
Even if I said with compromise, just several % would be upmost.
That means if you think you don't have enough talent in your rookie days, It's OK. If you were trying to make efforts like below, your teaching skill would become quite a super level.

  1. You shouldn't do training with just your own way.
  2. You should learn in the right direction that professional teachers have shown.
  3. You should keep making a great deal with struggling efforts.
  4. And keep doing these things at least 10 years.

On the other hand, if no matter how much you have a quite nice talent, I can clearly say that you will be never better than these trained teachers who have kept such endeavors. The higher level of professional skill is very difficult to copy.

1. Years of experiences or the amount of reading

読書.jpg
Are above things a Sufficient condition of improving your teaching skills?
How conditions do you need to be a skillful teacher?

  1.  Years of experiences?
  2.  The talent you've had by nature?
  3.  the amount of reading?

1. Years of experiences
I think years of experiences have almost no relation to your teaching skill.
No matter how long you are experienced as a teacher, you would not always be a skillful teacher.
I ask university students every year like "Do you think the longer experience, the more skillful teacher?" Almost all of the students reply "No I don't think so". They have memories about their classroom from elementary to high in their student lives. They can't admit "The veteran teacher always give an engaging and effective lesson".
Between years of experiences and level of teaching skills don't have enough correlation or causal relationship.

Then, what should we think about the talent you've had by nature and the amount of reading?

The Elements that identify skillful teacher and unskillful teacher

コミュニケーション.jpg
Anyway, there are various elements that identify skillful teacher and unskillful teacher as below, of course. that is true.

  1. Researching in a deep way.
  2. An effective way to ask questions and give directions.
  3. How to construct your single lesson plan.
  4. How to construct your consecutive lesson plans.

But when I would guess your skill level in a few seconds, that wouldn't be used these above perspectives.
That means we have some other specific way to determine your skill level as teachers aside from the things I mentioned above.
In this blog, I'm going to show you these "other specific way" with various episodes.

Just within several seconds

怒る.jpg
The answer for the previous post is 4. Less than Several Minutes for observing. Then I can know your estimate level of skill.
To be honest, if I would confess clearly I wouldn't need several minutes. I could understand Intuitively just within several seconds from starting observation.
"She would be very skillful."
"He seems like a little bit worse..."
These my intuition was almost true.
If I guess this teacher was good, so his lesson would keep good until the last part of the lesson.
On the other hand, if I guess this teacher was not good, so his lesson would just keep bad until the last part of the lesson.

Skillful Teachers or unskillful Teachers

自信満々.jpg
Are you a Skillful Teachers or not? I think there are no moderate teachers honestly. We have just two - Skillful or Unskillful. ---It's just obvious. That's what I have to say.
You would never be able to identify how skillful your colleagues even if you were working with him or her quite a long time. You will easily identify it if you can observe his or her class lesson.
How long time do I need to observe your class for identifying whether you are skillful or not?

1. More than Several Hours
2. About an Hours
3. About Half an Hours
4. Less than Several Minutes

(Continue to next post)