How to build a strong skill set as an aspiring teacher

If you want to become a teacher then you are probably wondering about the type of skills that you will need to succeed at your future job. Given that you are educating classes of children or young adults about important subjects (as well as advising them on how to behave), this skill set does not end with qualification and knowledge about your curriculum.

Instead, if you want to thrive as a teacher, you will need to cultivate a range of important skills, which will both help you to push your students on to success, and help you to manage what is, at times, a stressful occupation.

These skills include developing your interpersonal skills, allowing you to communicate effectively with colleagues, engage your students and advise parents on their children’s progress. Furthermore, you should learn the value of preparedness, creating lessons in advance which will follow the curriculum without being dry and boring.

On top of this, you could learn first-aid, become more adaptive to challenging situations, be flexible regarding different learning techniques, and even how to project your voice to engage your students.

This is how to build a strong skill set as an aspiring teacher:

Receive official training 

The first and arguably most important step you can take to acquire a strong teaching skill set is to attain the necessary qualifications and training.

The reason for this is simple – without the base layer of education, you cannot hope to apply to become a teacher, let alone become a successful one. Furthermore, having this training sets you up perfectly for whatever challenges come your way. While you will be able to complement this knowledge with other skills and valuable real-world experience to boost your teaching ability even further, it is the ideal place to start.

Naturally, the specific education and training you receive will depend on the type of teacher you are aspiring to become, and the education establishment you want to work for. However, it is worth considering enrolling on an online teaching program, which will teach you the necessary information while allowing you to balance it with a job or other existing commitments.

If you want to find out more about online teaching courses and certification, visit https://online.merrimack.edu/.

Develop your interpersonal skills 

A critical string to add to your bow as an aspiring teacher is strong interpersonal skills.

The reason why this is an important skill to possess in teaching is that it is an incredibly personal process. While you will teach countless classes during your career, you are really only ever teaching individuals, just as you would if it was one-on-one.

Your ability to engage, entertain and discipline your students in the right way can transform their experience of education from one of boredom or even dread to one of excitement and wonder.

There is a reason why many people only enjoy education when they have long since graduated from school. It is because they find a method of learning which works for them, at an age when they understand the importance of learning at your own pace.

This is the role a great teacher plays for students who are in need of guidance. If you can effectively communicate with them, it can transform the relationship they have with learning.

Moreover, interpersonal skills are key in other areas, too.

You will need to work alongside a team of other teachers, teaching assistants, and board members, as well as develop a channel of communication with parents and guardians. The better you are able to communicate with these people (and, perhaps more importantly, get along with them), the more effective a teacher you will become.

Be prepared at all times

Another important skill to adopt if you dream of becoming a teacher is preparedness. In such a fast-paced environment, it can be easy to fall behind and fail to keep up with the levels of organization needed to do your job properly.

Therefore, make a point of preparing each lesson well in advance, creating a filing system for your mountains of paperwork, and setting aside time to mark homework assignments as regularly as possible.

Creating a proper daily routine for these tasks will largely prevent any nasty surprises and ensure you can keep on top of your workload.

Learn how to adapt to new situations

When you are more organized, you will find it easier to develop another critical skill – the ability to adapt to new situations.

No one likes unexpected challenges, but they happen all the time in education. Whether it is a behavioral issue in class, a change of curriculum or an emergency, having the mental and emotional capacity (as well as the mastery of your job) to overcome these challenges is vital if you are to excel at teaching and keep your students safe.

Train yourself in first aid

When you are training to become a teacher, your mind will rightly be on trying to develop teaching techniques, learn the curriculum and understand how to lead a class.

However, it is also important to have emergency training, to ensure everyone remains safe if the worst ever happens.

You could, for instance, learn how to administer first aid, as well as learn what to do in the event of a fire or other emergency situation.

Of course, you will likely learn some sort of emergency protocol when you join an educational establishment, but it is good to have the training, just in case.

Gain a rounded understanding of different learning techniques

A further skill which will serve you well as an aspiring teacher is a rounded understanding of different learning techniques.

Although you will mostly be teaching classes (and therefore have to stick to a fairly rigid teaching method), it is important to recognize that people learn in vastly different ways.

Some people find it easier to verbalize their learning through group work and presentations, while others prefer to sit, listen and memorize, for example.

When you develop this understanding, you will be better able to communicate with your students and help them with any confusion they might have in class.

Learn to project your voice 

Lastly, you may want to invest in developing your voice. Teaching requires you to stand at the front of a room and talk for hours on end, so if you want to ensure you engage your students, your voice needs to be up to scratch.

Perhaps you talk too quietly, you wear out your vocal cords easily, or you are unhappy with how monotone you sound – whatever the issue, it is worth investing in improving the power of your voice before you start teaching.

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