Articulates learning goals, content, instructions, and expectations clearly.

What Effective Teachers Will Do

Effective teachers are excellent communicators; they express themselves clearly. Learning goals, content, expectations, and instructions are explicitly stated so students know what they will learn, why they are learning, and what they are supposed to do and when to do it. This kind of communication increases the ability of students to become self-directed learners. Effective teachers convey accurate information and concepts, use multiple examples of key concepts, and ask questions to ensure clarity. They are cognizant of learners’ developmental level and language abilities and use appropriate tools for language development to support learning.

What Effective Teachers Consider

How can I improve the way I communicate effectively with students? Are class goals, expectations, and objectives clearly communicated to students?

  • Art and Science of Teaching / Objectives That Students Understand (Educational Leadership, May 2011)
    This article is about communicating effective objectives.
  • Communication and Effective Teaching (Community Eye Health Journal, September 1, 2000)
    This article takes a look at the role of communication in teaching.
  • Know Where Your Students are Going (Never Work Harder Than Your Students, Chapter 2, January 2009)
    This chapter is published online and focuses on taking time to unpack standards in order to develop appropriate and effective learning goals. Once you determine whether a standard is asking for content or procedural mastery, then you can save yourself time because you focus only on the skill or mastery required by the standard.
  • The Art and Science of Teaching
    (Robert Marzano, 2007)
    Chapter 1 is a very in-depth view of communicating learning goals.
  • Never Work Harder Than Your Students and Other Principles of Great Teaching
    (Robyn R. Jackson, 2009)
    Chapter 2, "Know Where Your Students Are Going" is devoted entirely to learning goals and instructional objectives.
  • How to Write and Use Instructional Objectives
    ((Norman E. Gronlund))
    This book describes and illustrates how to state instructional objectives in performance terms that clearly define desired learning outcomes (intellectual, affective, and performance skills) and expected student performance. Furthermore, it demonstrates how to use them in planning, teaching, learning, and assessment.
  • SWBAT; Communicating Learning Goals (1 min) Teaching Channel
    How to make learning goals explicit to students with the acronym SWBAT: Students Will Be Able To.
  • The Class Calendar (4 min) Davis School District
    This Davis School District teacher demonstrates how a class calendar can be used to help students understand the learning objectives in a particular lesson and she sets the stage upcoming learning goals.
  • Classroom Expectations (2 min) Teaching Channel
    Some suggestions for setting and then communicating high expectations in a positive way.
  • Setting and Achieving High Expetations (1 min) Teaching Channel
    The role of high expectations in classroom management is demonstrated by a middle school teacher.
  • Giving Efficient Directions (2 min) Teaching Channel
    A middle school teacher demonstrates a “less is more” approach to giving instructions.