The Six Elements of Teaching: A Guide for Company Supervisors and Managers

A great deal has been said of teaching as one of the most important professions from the standpoint of human welfare.  Properly understood, however, it is also one of the most technical, difficult, and challenging professions.

Teaching is an art.  It is an activity which company supervisors and managers have engaged in at one time or another.  It is a way of transmitting desirable qualities of human character and knowledge to learners.

Here are the six elements of teaching which should guide company supervisors and managers in their quest to becoming good and effective teachers to their subordinates:

Learning – "True teachers always seek to learn more, to remain current."  Teaching effectively means you must know deeply and well.  It requires learning itself.  What does learning mean in teaching?  Learning:

- means knowing and mastering a subject;
- embodies the act of learning;
- conveys the spirit and love of learning to others;
- means being open to the knowledge of others;
- provides the basis for independent thought;
- justifies learning.

Authority – "Teaching without authority ceases to be teaching at all."  Authority in teaching is legitimate influence over others.  It rests primarily on your own qualities as a person.  What does authority mean in teaching?  Authority:

- requires a climate for serious learning;
- means mastery of a subject;
- is a matter of carriage and conduct as well as knowledge;
- is acquired and accumulated;
- encourages aspiration;
- requires formal distance;
- emerges from an acknowledged difference in the status.

Ethics – "Ethical teaching means putting the needs and good of students before those of anyone else."  Ethical teaching makes you exemplars and guardians of behavior and values.  It takes on the duties of trusteeship.  What does ethics mean in teaching?  Ethics:

- means to do no harm;
- means setting high standards and expectations and inspiring learners to meet them;
- means embodying the principles of teaching;
- requires consideration of differing viewpoints.

Order – "Effective teaching requires the imposition of some outer order so that inner order may develop."  You must subject yourselves to external and internal control.  Discipline is part of order.  What does order mean in teaching?  Order:

- requires the exertion of authority;
- arises from a teacher’s leadership;
- implies tranquility in the workplace;
- involves discipline;
- necessitates setting good examples;
- requires the maintenance of standards.

Patience – "Patience necessitates restraint rather than release."  It enables you to suspend disappointment and frustration.  It allows you to bear with the misconceptions and misunderstandings.  It is one of the principal foundations of trust.  What does patience mean in teaching?  Patience:

- gives students time to learn;
- hopes for, assists the growth of, but does not anticipate maturity in learners;
- suffers fools gladly;
- must be exemplified by you.

Character – "The ideal character for you is to occupy a middle position between conflicting extremes."  A learner’s changing traits of character is a factor in teaching.  There is no single, ideal character for supervisors.  What does character mean in teaching?  Character:

- must be authentic;
- must be consistent;
- means showing humanity by acknowledging lapses and errors;
- requires sociability.

Teaching is considered a complex and many-sided task.  The teacher’s major task is to guide learning, but he/she has also other responsibilities.  Among these are sharing responsibility in counseling and guidance and observing professional responsibilities.  Knowledge of ethical standards for teachers is likewise important for supervisors and managers to do a good job of teaching.