Teaching Practice

Simply put, we should never stop learning. We owe it to our students to share their desire to grow and develop. That’s the vision but what’s the action plan? This is a guide to help you reach your teaching goals.

A key part of developing yourself as a teacher is the development of your teaching and learning philosophy and with this, your approach to teaching practice. These should be documented in your Teaching Portfolio and form the basis for how you interact with the students in your course. 

Implementing your personalised approach to teaching not only requires your commitment, dedication and a genuine concern for the student learning experience, but also some careful lesson planning. This section provides you with tips and advice that will help you to develop engaging, supportive and effective learning environments, for all students, whether in-person or online.   

Your students are more likely to engage with what you have to say when they sense your interest in them. Remember, that from a student’s perspective, you are the most important person in the room and that can be intimidating. Making yourself accessible will encourage student participation. Key aspects of your teaching practice to consider include: 

  • Planning for Day One 
  • Day One 
  • Introducing your students to your Akoraka | Learn course page 
  • Classroom management 
  • Managing large classes 
  • Online interaction  

None of us are perfect, so it is good practice to constantly evaluate and reflect upon your teaching. To learn more, view the resources provided in our Evaluate your Teaching section. 

Planning for Day One 

The first day sets the tone for the rest of your course so it is important that you spend time planning and preparing. Here are some activities to complete before day one. 

  • Prepare your course outline and have this available as per the University guidelines. 
  • Prepare your assessment items including moderation, uploading to your Akoraka | Learn course page, and setting up drop boxes.  
  • Reset and update your Akoraka | Learn course page, making sure relevant material is available for students prior to day one. It is good practice to have at least the first module and the first assessment item available. 
  • Prepare lesson plans for the first class and the first week. 
  • Send a Welcome announcement to your students.

Day one

Classroom Management 

Good classroom management enables you to build strong relationships with your students, encourage students to play an active part in their own learning, and also minimises disruptive behaviour from students. The classroom management practices provided here can be used in face-to-face, hybrid and online environments. There is also specific guidance on online interactions below.  

Introducing your students to your Akoraka | Learn …

Spending some time introducing your students to your Akoraka | Learn course page will build student confidence and minimise future questions. Read our tips here.

Managing Large Classes 

Teaching a large course requires a higher level of practical and pedagogical organisation than a small course, and thus more planning before day one. The aspects covered under classroom management become even more important in a large course.  

Many teachers try to “make a large class small” by treating it as such. Methods include: 

  • walking around the classroom during the class session 
  • moving toward the student asking a question  
  • using group work to create a more intimate atmosphere 
  • learning and using student names 
  • making time immediately before and after your class session to talk to students 
  • introducing some active learning strategies 
  • developing other methods that allow you to be closer to the students you are teaching. 

Online interaction  

Regardless of your course delivery approach, you will have asynchronous learning activities in your course and students will expect an online presence from you. Here are some tips for interacting with students in your course’s online learning environment. These tips can also apply to face-to-face interactions.