Teaching is considered to be amongst the most satisfying jobs in the world and can be a very rewarding career choice. Moreover, there is always a constant demand for good teachers, making your choice to be a teacher all the more worthwhile.
Teaching is also a very important job since teachers have the ability to transform lives and prepare the youth for their future. Hence, it should not be taken lightly.
If you want to be a good teacher, the following are the top skills you need to develop:
1. Communication: Teachers are required to have excellent communication skills. You might have an in-depth knowledge of the subject you are teaching, but if you aren’t able to communicate it understandably to your students, your knowledge as a teacher is near worthless. Students in each class will be different in terms of age-group, capacity and attitude; and a good teacher should be able to present the lessons in ways that is understandable to the specific groups. Furthermore, Teachers at higher grades will be required to convey complicated ideas and concepts in their simplest essence.
Additionally, it is not just the students that you will be communicating with. You will be required to interact with parents, colleagues, and managers as well, and your approach to communication would have to be modified for each.
Hence, a wholesome development of communication skills (that includes speaking, listening and writing), is a must for a teacher.
2. Adaptability: Teachers work in an ever-changing environment. Yes, your classroom may be the same, but the situations you encounter can be different on an almost daily basis. You can never predict what will happen in your classroom, and a teacher must be able to adapt and respond sensibly in all situations. For instance, one student might throw up a tantrum, one might fall sick, one might require extra attention in learning a lesson, and one might need guidance in some personal matter. There is simply an infinite number of situations that could arise and you must be able to adapt and tackle every situation.
You will also be required to be flexible to long-term changes, such as technology and current trends. The students of this decade will be different to the students of another decade and as a teacher, you will be required to adapt your teaching strategies accordingly.
3. Planning and Organization: Planning and organizational skills are vital to being a good teacher. As a teacher, you will be required to plan lessons and activities for your classes to effectively meet the semester requirements for the subject/s you are teaching. It is a common occurrence for many teachers to rush on certain important lessons towards the end of the semester to forcefully complete the syllabus due to lack of time. This is a result of improper planning, and a good teacher must be able to avoid such situations.
As a teacher, you will also be faced with a lot of tasks simultaneously and often be required to multi-task. Proper organization skills are important in effectively carrying out all these tasks. You will also have to mark answer sheets, prepare examination questions etc. all of which requires organization.
4. Emotional Intelligence: Teaching can be frustrating and stressful at times. Such as, when having to deal with students with bad attitudes, or when you are unable to make your students understand lessons or concepts. Such times require a lot of patience on your part, and you must be able to understand and manage your emotions in positive ways. A teacher is perceived as a role model by many students, and the way you behave and handle tough situations can have a large impact on your students.
Empathy is a domain of emotional intelligence that is of particular importance to a teacher. Empathy refers to being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. A teacher should be able to view things from his/her students’ shoes in order to understand and provide help accordingly.
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