There are many different roles to consider getting into if you are interested in working within the education industry. Professors, teachers, educational psychologists, school counselors, and other educational professionals will need to develop a range of different skills in order to be successful at their jobs and have the desired impact on their students.
Whether you’re already working as an educator, have decided to start studying or training to become a teacher in the future or are interested in more senior educational leadership roles, it’s important to be committed to developing the skills that you need to help you get the most from your chosen career.
Developing the right skills to work in education successfully will not only help you get better results from your job but will also have a positive impact on the students that you work with and help you be a better source of both education and support to them.
Investing your time and energy into developing these skills will not only make it easier for you to reach your career goals and be a more effective educator but having this skill-set will also give you a sense of pride and fulfillment in your work and the efforts that you have put in to get where you want to be. So, what skills do you need to be a better and more successful educator?
One of the most important skills that is needed to work as an effective educator is communication. No matter what subject you teach or who you are teaching it to, communicating information is a huge part of the role.
Teachers will work with students throughout different levels of their education and need to be able to not only communicate the information effectively, but also adapt their communication style based on where the student is up to with their learning. In addition to this, it’s also important for teachers to be able to communicate well in a variety of different ways including verbal and written communication, video communication, and more, in order to effectively provide information to students who have different learning styles. Teachers need to be committed to improving and developing their communication skills enough to be able to get their point across in a way that is concise, clear, and enables their students to get a better understanding of the information that is being shared with them.
Along with good communication skills, active listening skills are another key skill for teachers to develop. The ability to not just hear, but also understand what students are telling you or asking of you will enable you to make sure that your point comes across clearly when you answer the students’ questions, leaving them more satisfied with the outcome. You can get better at doing this by making an effort to put yourself in more situations where you are going to be listening to others and have to get messages across clearly, such as volunteering for a support line or coaching a sports team.
Most students will agree that the most influential teachers are the ones that have a strong enthusiasm and passion for their careers. These teachers tend to be the most invested in teaching a subject that they are really interested in and personally feel strongly about. It’s these teachers who often seem to be enjoying themselves while teaching lessons, which in turn is infectious and means that their students will enjoy and look forward to their classes. If you love your job as a teacher and are passionate about the subject that you teach, it’ll be easy to inspire your students and encourage them to engage with the topic. On the other hand, it’s really difficult to fake enthusiasm.
Because of this, before you get into teaching, it’s important to consider which subject you are going to teach. It’s always better to choose a subject that you genuinely enjoy so that your passion and enthusiasm for it can come across in every lesson.
When it comes to learning, everybody is going to be different. Whether you’re teaching middle school kids, high school students, or adult college students, you will need to be prepared for the fact that no two students are going to be the same when it comes to how they consume the information and the pace at which they learn. Often, it’s up to the teacher to help students discover their best learning style and figure out individual ways for different students to be able to learn better.
Patience is so important for this part of the job since you might find yourself in situations where you need to repeat or explain the same information in a few different ways before the student understands it. It can be frustrating as a teacher if you don’t seem to be able to get the point across to a student, even after trying different methods. However, with some patience and empathy for your student, this can be a great opportunity to flex your communication skills and a chance to learn more about your student and get to know them better so that in the future, you know what is more likely to work for them as an individual to help them receive the education you are providing.
When a teacher is confident in themselves, their knowledge, and their abilities, this will also inspire students to be more confident in their teacher. When a teacher doesn’t have a lot of confidence, this can often come through in lessons and may be obvious to students, even if you try and mask it. As a result, students just might not take you as seriously as they should, and they might not take the subject that seriously either.
When you are standing up and teaching classes, no matter what age or educational level your students are at, a healthy dose of self-confidence will help you get better results. Along with this, public speaking is often something that you just can’t get away from as an educator, especially if you are interested in studying for a program such as this online EdD program with no GRE requirement to become an educational leader.
Not only will your confidence in yourself help you progress in your career, but it will also help you take more opportunities, have a better impact on students and other important figures in education, and make a real difference with the work that you do.
When you work as a teacher or in another role in education, you’ll often find yourself in situations where the students just aren’t engaging as well with the subject as they used to. Maybe things have become a little bit repetitive and boring for them, and perhaps you feel a similar way.
In this situation, you will benefit from having a little bit of creativity to think outside of the box and come up with new ways to deliver learning that will wake your students up and get them interested in the subject once again.
Today, education has evolved, and we are more aware of the fact that sitting students at desks with a notepad is not going to work for everybody, and more fun and interactive ways of learning can often be more effective. From classroom games to crafts, there are lots of different ways that you can put information across in a creative way that will help your students get a different perspective and even spark a newfound interest in the subject.
Teachers play a necessary role in the lives of their students, so if this is the career that you want for your life, then you will need to be ready to be dedicated to it. Any teacher will tell you that this is a job that is not always easy to handle, and there are always going to be times where you are going to face adversity and challenges in the role.
A good teacher is prepared for this and their dedication to their career and to helping their students succeed will always come first. Good teachers have the skills to avoid becoming discouraged and keep a positive outlook even when things get tough, while always staying realistic.
Empathy is a key quality that can help you be more dedicated to your career and more effective as a teacher. It will help you put yourself in your students’ shoes and develop a better understanding of what they are going through. In turn, it is easier for you to understand why they are struggling and remain dedicated to supporting them.
Conflict resolution skills are definitely something that you will need to develop when you work as a teacher. This is especially true if you are teaching middle school or high school, where you will be dealing with pre-teens and teenagers who haven’t quite mastered emotional regulation, might be quite hormonal, and are still developing their social skills.
It is crucial that teachers set a good example to their students when it comes to these aspects of their lives, and studies have found that when it comes to these areas, teachers are the people that have the most impact on kids, second only to parents. Teachers need to be calm, stable, and emotionally intelligent enough to deal with a wide range of situations between students and know how to diffuse the situations before they get out of hand. Communication skills and patience are definitely required when it comes to the conflict resolution part of this role.
Willingness to learn
Teachers aren’t just teaching others – they are also spending their time learning new things and updating their own knowledge. This is especially true if you are interested in teaching a subject that is quite dynamic and often changes due to new developments.
For example, if you want to teach science, then you probably know that in a few years, you might be teaching very different things to what you learned during your education due to the results of new studies, experiments, and discoveries that provide us with new information or correct information that we previously believed to be true.
Media, for example, is a subject that is growing in popularity among students and is also subject to a lot of change due to the rapid advancement of technology today.
As a teacher, it is important that you are committed to learning more about your subject on an ongoing basis – just another reason why choosing to teach a subject that you are passionate and enthusiastic about is important. Teachers need to be dedicated to keeping their knowledge up to date, and fact-checking before they teach anything to students.
Teachers are often one of the first examples of a good leader that many students interact with. In this role, you have an important responsibility to teach students who may grow up to become the leaders of the next generation, and the example that you are able to set for them now might stick with them for life and influence the choices that they make in their future careers.
As a teacher, it is important to understand what makes a good leader, and how to demonstrate these skills in your classroom. Developing leadership skills involves more than just telling your students what they need to do. You’ll be a more effective teacher and a better leader if you can inspire students with your own passion for the subject and know how to empower your students to be the best versions of themselves while making sure that they are aware you are there to support them if necessary.
Becoming a better leader will start with getting a better understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses, before determining the next best steps to take to work on your own personal development and self-improvement so that you can set a better example and be more effective in your position.
If teaching is a career that you are interested in, it’s worth investing your time into developing these skills that you need to become more effective in the role.