Whether you are working with pre-schoolers or you are working with teenagers, the role of a teacher in any subject is not an easy one.
Not only do you need to be familiar with most modern and effective teaching techniques, you also need to be able to teach your students effectively and ensure that they are getting the most out of your teaching. As you will play a pivotal role in inspiring your students, you need to have multiple skill sets to be an effective and good teacher, as it is your job to help your students learn by using both hard and soft skills.
If you have never heard these terms before, hard skills are essential skills, such as knowing how to use the technology that you will be teaching your students, whereas soft skills include characteristics such as communication and organization. In this article, five key skills that all teachers need to have, both hard and soft, will be explored.
Basic Medical Skills
Having basic medical skills is a hard skill, and it ensures that all of the students that you teach will be able to learn in an environment where they're safe. Depending on the state that you work in, the level of medical skills needed to be a teacher will differ, but the majority of schools will require you to have training in first aid. In some instances, you will also need to have attended a basic life support course, which is becoming commonplace in schools, especially those which oversee the needs of students who have disabilities.
In fact, every school in the United States has to have an external defibrillator on hand, and undertaking a life support course will teach you and your fellow colleagues how to use these life-saving pieces of equipment.
It goes without saying that every teacher needs to have exceptional communication skills, not only with their students but also with other members of staff and parents. This is a soft skill, but it needs to be as clear as possible exactly what you expect from your students, what your concerns are relating to students, and what plans of action you intend to put into place if a student is struggling. Communication skills are not only verbal, though, and you will need to have exceptional written communication skills as well to make you an effective teacher.
Luckily, communication skills are usually developed on the job, but if you feel that you are not able to communicate effectively, it is worth seeking additional guidance to help your students get the best out of their learning.
Organization and Management
If you're a school teacher, you will need organizational skills to help you devise lesson plans and fit in marking around school hours.
Even though you will be working within a rigid curriculum, you will need to know how to manage your own time and if you are the head of the department, such as English or science, you'll also need to take on the additional roles of overseeing these departments. This may involve promoting students to higher-tier classes, holding meetings with other members of the department, and ensuring that all of the grades are up to speed with the requirements based on the school and the state where you work.
It's fair to say that being a teacher does involve a large amount of juggling and if you do not organize your time correctly, you will fall behind, and in turn, your students will as well. Luckily, you will need to have very good organization skills to get through teacher training, so you're already well on your way!
Being an effective teacher requires leadership skills. You are, after all, teaching a room of children, and this means you have to be the head of the class.
You need to engage all of your students, ensure that they are learning, and, if needed, provide discipline if you have difficult interactions with students. You also need to be able to inspire confidence in your students, so they know that you know what you are teaching.
Technology is constantly evolving, and for many teachers, it is tough to stay on top of the recent developments in technology in the classroom. However, in order to ensure that your students get the best learning experience from you, it is worth mixing the role of technology with your teaching to give them a more rounded education. It also may be worth engaging in additional training in the areas of computer technology, so you can help them to learn at home if they need to.