6 skills you need to be a teacher

It’s no secret that teachers work a lot. That’s because it takes a lot of effort to be a teacher. As well as going to University, you’ll also need to tackle teacher training, which involves submitting a whole lot of essays and going to as many placement schools as your provider asks you to.

It’s a lot of work, and it’s not for everyone. There are a huge variety of skills needed to undertake the path towards a teacher, and most of them you will learn along the way – though it never hurts to go into the profession if you already possess some of them. Here are six of the most important skills that you need to be a teacher.

A confident teacher

Dealing with so many pupils means having boatloads of confidence due to the decisions you’ll need to make regarding behaviour in the classroom. You’ll also need confidence to be sure of the decision that your students are ready to move on in their learning.

Confidence is a skill that I picked up while still at school myself, but you might find yourself while doing an undergrad degree. If you’re still not feeling up to the task, there are so many exercises in confidence that you can undertake, as well as classes you might want to try.

An empathetic teacher

Empathy really can’t be overstated in teaching. If you don’t understand the students – or even make an effort to relate to their struggles – then how can you expect them to listen to you? Would you listen to a line manager or friend who just constantly asked things of you? Or would you begin to resent them? What about someone who genuinely cares?

You students are not robots; nor are they blank slates. They are people that you should understand. It’ll also make the job so much more enjoyable.

A creative teacher

Imagine someone repeating the same tasks, every day, to achieve the same outcomes. Now imagine that you’re the one having to do the tasks. Yawn. Teachers need a creative bone or two in their bodies to ensure their lessons are fun to be in.

Now, am I suggesting that you need to make every single activity an absolute whirlwind? Absolutely not! But don’t get the kids to copy out of a textbook every lesson. It’d be dull for them, and it’d be dull for you if you have to teach the same lesson more than once in a day.

A teacher with people skills

This one goes hand-in-hand with the empathy. Your students aren’t the only ones in the room who are people; you are too! Show your students a side of the Real You, rather than a dramatised performance. You might not be trying to be their best friend, but you should absolutely try to get on with them – it’ll make both your lives easier!

Anyway, I’d much rather be Josh, than Mr Hamilton, for most of the working week.

A public-speaking teacher

This one’s a little different from having confidence. Being confident, to me, is about sticking to your guns and following through with your decisions, whether they lead to positive or negative outcomes.

If you’re good at public speaking, it means being able to command a classroom with the sound of your voice. You could be standing in front of upwards of 300 students every single week, if not more if you progress into a Head of House/Year position because of the huge number of assemblies you’ll be conducting.

It’ll help if you have a deep, loud, booming voice already, but don’t worry if you don’t. The best teachers can also command a class when they give ‘The Look’ (we all know it), so your vocal chords aren’t everything.

A determined teacher

Some students will be tougher to deal with than others. Some will wear you down. But you are there to make a difference to the lives of these young people. If you ever feel like giving up, try your utmost to keep going and get those students the grades – the life experiences – that they deserve.

And remember: for every tricky student, there will be a thousand that remind you why you’re still in the profession. Keep that determined face on, it’s a good look!

What skills do you think are needed to be a teacher? Let me know in the comments below.

While you’re here, you might also like…

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