The Skills Every Good Teacher Needs to Develop

When it comes to education, there are various different roles to choose from. Teachers, professors, educational psychologists, counselors, and other educational professionals require a wide range of different skills in order to do their jobs well and have the desired impact on their students. Whether you are already working in education, undergoing studies to become a teacher or other educator, or are considering a career in education, it’s important to commit to developing the necessary skills needed to get the most from your career position.

Developing these skills will not only help you get the best results from your job but will also have a positive impact on the students that you work with, enabling them to feel more supported by you. Overall, spending time developing the following skills will not only help you reach your career goals and be more effective as an educator, but they will also make your own life easier and fill you with a sense of pride and fulfillment.

So, what are the necessary skills to become a good educator, and how do you develop them?

Communication Skills

Communicating information is a key part of any kind of teaching. As you work with your students every day you are going to be communicating information to them in a variety of different ways, whether it’s verbal, written, or through other mediums. It’s important to ensure that you are committed to developing your communication skills enough to get your point across in a clear and concise way that enables your students to fully understand whatever you are sharing with them.

In addition to being able to communicate information clearly, it’s also important to develop good active listening skills with your students. Being able to not only hear but also fully understand what your students are asking of you will enable you to ensure that you can get your point across clearly and answer questions in a way that leaves the student satisfied. To develop these skills, put yourself in positions where you are required to get messages across clearly, such as telephone jobs, volunteering for a support line, or coaching. This will help you develop your verbal communication skills and develop your skills as a communicator. You can also further develop your skills at written communication by contributing to a magazine that interests you are starting a blog.

Patience

Everybody is different when it comes to learning and as a teacher, one of the first things that you must learn to accept is that no two students are going to be the same when it comes to the pace at which they learn. if you find yourself having to explain the same thing in a few different ways and use some examples before a student truly gets it, it’s important to understand that this is just a part of the job. It can be challenging.

As a teacher, it can be all too easy to get frustrated if you are struggling to get your point across to a student or they still don’t understand what you’re trying to teach them, even after trying as many different methods as you can come up with. This is where patience comes in.

It’s important to have empathy for your students, put yourself in their shoes, and be patient with them as they try to learn. Here is where your communication skills will really come in useful as you can communicate with and listen to your student to find out more about what they are struggling to understand and together, figure out what you can do to help them.

Enthusiasm

We can all agree that the best teachers are the ones who tend to have a strong passion and enthusiasm for what they do. These teachers who are really invested in teaching a subject that they feel so strongly about tend to be the ones who really inspire their students and their lessons are a lot of fun because it’s just clear to see that the teacher is really enjoying themselves too. If you love your subject and your job as a teacher, it’ll become easy to really engage and inspire your students. Faking enthusiasm is difficult, so it’s important to carefully consider which subject you’re going to teach and choose one that you genuinely enjoy and feel passionate about. Of course, as a teacher, you might find yourself in a position where you have to do something that you’re not very enthusiastic about, so come up with ways to turn it into something more interesting to you – and this will transfer onto your students because your enthusiasm is infectious.

Creativity

As a teacher, you’ll find yourself in positions where you need to come up with something new and different to engage your students and spark their interest in whatever you are teaching. People – especially kids – tend to learn best when they are taking part in something that is fun and interesting for them, and as a teacher, it’s down to you to take on a creative approach and figure out different, enjoyable ways for your students to learn. Doing the same, boring things over and over again in every lesson is not going to get either you or your students very far. To help develop your creative skills further, you might want to explore your creative side more in your spare time by investing in a creative hobby like painting, making music, drama, crafts, or even cooking. When you run into a problem, get used to thinking creatively about solving it by brainstorming and sharing ideas with others.

Confidence

Confidence in yourself will inspire your students to also have confidence in you and in themselves. A teacher who is suffering from a lack of self-confidence is really obvious to their students and it can have a serious knock-on effect on the classroom, with students who just can’t take you as seriously as they should. Having a good degree of confidence in yourself will help you when you are standing up and teaching classes, no matter the age of your students. And a lot of jobs in the educational field involve public speaking, so a dedication to becoming more confident in yourself is absolutely essential. Further, develop your confidence by trying out new things and setting yourself challenges, even if those things scare you a little. After all, if you can do things that scare you, you can do whatever you want. Practice setting boundaries and being confident in them. Confident people don’t worry about people-pleasing and fitting in; they are true to themselves and not afraid to say no to things that do not serve them.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is often a huge part of working as a teacher, particularly in high schools, where you’re often dealing with teenagers who can be quite hormonal and are still in the learning process when it comes to regulating and managing their emotions. It’s important for teachers to be calm, stable beacons in these times of conflict between students, setting a great example for students on how to deal with tense situations and defuse them before they explode. As a teacher, your patience and communication skills really come in handy here when you are able to help students reach an agreement when they upset each other or handle it when they test your authority.

You will learn behavior management and conflict resolution skills during your teacher education and training, but there’s definitely no harm in getting an early start. There are plenty of resources online that you can use to improve your conflict resolution skills from YouTube videos to podcasts or even online courses. You might also want to consider taking up a voluntary position where you will work with children or teenagers to practice your conflict resolution skills in a more practical, hands-on way. Be aware of how you act in conflicts of your own, either with your partner, family, or friends.

Dedication

Every teacher can agree that this is a job that can be very tough to handle at times. Teaching is certainly not an easy job and there will often be times where you are faced with challenges and adversity that you will need to face. However, good teachers are completely dedicated to their career and to helping their students succeed, and able to avoid getting discouraged and stay positive even when things get hard. To develop this level of dedication to your career, first work on being more empathetic. When you are able to put yourself in the shoes of somebody else, it becomes easier for you to understand why they are struggling and figure out the best way to help them.

Organization

When you’re a teacher, strong organization skills are certainly necessary to help you ensure that you manage your time well and fit marking and lesson planning around your work hours at school. To develop organizational skills, it’s important to make sure that you are practicing them in your own life and career right from the start. If you are still in the process of learning to become a teacher, consider how you can practice this during your own studies. If you’re studying online, do you have a system and schedule in place for organizing your time and making sure that you make the most of the time that you have? If not, sit down and come up with a system using your smartphone, a calendar, or a whiteboard. Consider how you go through your to-do lists and whether or not you can make them more efficient.

Willingness to Learn

Don’t get caught up in the idea of being a teacher alone. The best teachers know that in order to perform the best at their jobs, they need to be willing to spend a lifetime learning new things. As a teacher, there’s never going to be a point where you know everything that there is to know about your subject, teaching itself or the students that you teach – there’s simply always something new to learn, whether it’s new educational research that has come out recently, new discoveries in regards to the subject that you teach, or something individual about one of your students and how they learn best.

To foster a lifelong love of learning as a teacher, put yourself in a position where you are learning something new as often as possible. Not only will this make you a better teacher, but it will also improve your chance of progressing in your career. Is an EdD worth it, for example? Certainly, since getting a doctorate in education will not only help you learn even more about the teaching profession and help you develop even more skills that you can use to get subjects across to your students, but it will also help you find even more opportunities to work your way up the ranks in your chosen career.

Leadership Skills

Last but not least, as a teacher, you are often going to be the first example of a good leader that many of your students will see. And, you already know that sitting in front of you in your classroom are people who are going to grow up to be the leaders of tomorrow, and the example that you set to them now can make a massive difference to the next generation overall. As a teacher, it’s important to understand that being a good leader is about much more than simply telling people what to do and getting them to do it.

Good leaders inspire others through their own passion and verve for the industry or the subject, and they empower their students to be the best versions of themselves. To be a good leader, it’s important to know your own strengths and weaknesses and figure out what you can do to improve yourself and lead by example. When your students see you dedicated to consistently working on improving your own skills and being honest about it, they will follow suit.

If you want to become a teacher that kids remember throughout their lives, developing these key skills is crucial.

Thanks to Zaklina

Speak Your Mind

*

Copyright 2014 @ A Celebration of Women™ The World Hub for Women Leaders That Care