Teaching & Learning Skills

The Complete Library

Who is this section for?

This is a large section of folders and files furnishing you with an immense database of teaching resources – focusing on both the educational theory and practise.   It also provides resources for teaching particular groups of GP trainees like those who are part-time or international medical graduates.   Clearly it is a resource primarily built for GP Educators like GP Trainers but GP trainees who have an interest in teaching and education should find it helpful too.  If you are training to become a GP trainer, then these pages are perfect for you.

Always ask yourself, what I am trying to do?

For me, it’s all about Transformative Learning.  In other words, not just imparting some new knowledge and making me or the people I am teaching look clever.  For me, it is about created fundamental changes to peoples thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviour.    A change to their paradigms of reference.  Helping them learning things which help fundamentally change their working practices in a positive way.   That to me is TRANSFORMATIVE learning as opposed to feeding them with a spoon of knowledge.

If it leads to compassion,
you know it's knowledge
Otherwise. it's just more information

The Good Teacher - from a "teacher's " perspect

For myself, I prefer to use the term facilitator rather than teacher.   For me, the word teacher kind of implies that I am an oracle of wisdom and that I have a lot of knowledge to impart and my recipients are there to sit, listen and absorb it.    However, the word facilitator suggests that I am here to help (or facilitate) the learning process.  In other words, help a learner or a group of learners discover something new for themselves.    New stuff that is yet to be identified.  New stuff that will only emerge through honest and open dialogue and discussion.   New stuff that makes a real different in the real world of people.  

Of course, it depends on what you’re trying to teach.  If it’s some expertise area then, yes, you need to have some good knowledge of the subject matter.   But what I am saying is that there is more than one way of imparting that knowledge than just through talking and slides.   For instance, showing your passion for the subject matter will help inspire interest in the learners who will pick up this enthusiasm.    The way you do it and your passion for the subject matter is what evokes transformative change. 

Ram’s 9 Markers of a Good Teacher

  1. Good teachers understand the subject matter.   But also not to be overwhelmed by it all.  Know your stuff but be relaxed about it.
  2. Good teachers have a passion for teaching.  They want to deliver whatever they are teaching in an engaging and balanced way. 
  3. They are prepared and organised.  They know have a good idea of their Aims & Objectives and Intended Learning Outcomes.
  4. They engage learners in exciting and dynamic ways.  They get them to look at issues in a variety of ways.  A good teacher has teaching style flexibility.  In other words, they can vary their teaching style not only to the type of learners, but they can vary it as the educational atmosphere of the “classroom” changes.
  5. Good teachers instill confidence in the learners.
  6. The good teacher is a good listener.  Otherwise, they can’t pick up and work on the above things – things that matter the most to learners.  The learner’s or learners’ agenda.
  7. They form strong relationships with their learners.   In doing so, they create a safe space for learners to honestly and openly describe how they feel.  Even if what they say is at odds with what the teacher believes.   To be able to do this, they need to be friendly and approachable.    They need to respect the rights and individuality of all learners.  They aim to nurture rather than purely feed.
  8. Good teacher exude positive and energy.     Teachers need to show their love of teaching and their enthusiasm for their role.  As the learners pick this up, it will rub off onto them too.  
  9. And finally, the good teacher practices self-reflection.   Always open to new ideas.  Always wanting to explore different routes.   Always wanting to better themselves even more.  Like their learners, teachers want to learn too.
 

The Good Teacher - from a "learner's" perspective

What I love about my trainer is that she…

  1. Is kind and caring.
  2. Listens to me and is interested in what I have to say.
  3. Is generous with her time and energy.
  4. Tells me how I am doing (and tells the truth in doing so).
  5. Makes me feel clever.
  6. Takes time to explain things.
  7. Has faith in me and believes I can do it.
  8. Is forgiving, especially when I get things wrong.
  9. Helps me when I am stuck.
  10. Doesn’t give up on me.
  11. Encourages me 
  12. Stands up for me.
  13. Generally treats people equally.
  14. Clearly loves being a GP and teaching about it.

(adapted from a resource on https://www.tes.com)

  • Which of these things would your current trainee say about you?
  • More importantly, which would they not?
  • Do these matter?

Please leave a comment if you have a tip, spot an error, spot something missing or have a suggestion for a web resource.
And of course, if you have developed a resource of your own, please email it to me to share with others.

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