20 Things You’ll Notice in a Productive Teaching Environment

by | May 13, 2017

The characteristics of a productive teaching environment are many and diverse. Some of them can be dependent on budgetary constraints and tech levels, while others can be specific to the kaleidoscope of world regions whose schools are working to build exceptional learners. At the end of the (school) day, though, there are those characteristics that translate across cultures and conditions and break boundaries to become global standards of excellence for each classroom.


Such is the list compiled by the staff of TeachThought in the article 20 Observable Characteristics Of Effective Teaching. So what are the characteristics of effective teaching, and what does the universal idea of a truly productive teaching environment look like? We share our take on the 20 points from their article below in the hopes that you can use them to reflect and improve on your own teaching craft.

20 Ways of Defining a Productive Teaching Environment

  1. Class begins promptly and in a well-organized way.
  2. Learners are respected and cared for.
  3. Learners see the significance/importance of information to be learned.
  4. The teacher provides clear explanations and holds attention and respect of students, and practices effective classroom management.
  5. Class time includes plenty of active, hands-on student learning.
  6. The teacher varies his/her instructional techniques.
  7. The teacher provides clear, specific expectations for assignments.
  8. The teacher provides frequent and immediate feedback to students on their performance.
  9. Student answers are acknowledged appropriately and probing questions are used to clarify/elaborate on answers.
  10. Learners are provided with many concrete, real-life, practical examples.
  11. The instructor draws inferences from examples/models and uses analogies.
  12. The class environment is comfortable for students and allows them to speak freely.
  13. The teacher teaches at an appropriately fast pace, stopping to check student understanding and engagement.
  14. The teacher communicates at the level of all learners in class.
  15. The overall class has a sense of good humour.
  16. The teacher uses nonverbal behaviour, such as gestures, walking around, and eye contact to reinforce his/her comments.
  17. Teachers present themselves in class as “real people.”
  18. The overall class is focused on the objectives and doesn’t get sidetracked.
  19. Feedback from students (and others) to assess and improve teaching is welcome.
  20. Both teachers and learners are constantly reflecting and improving.

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