If you’re considering working in the education field or seeking a degree in education, you will want to know what types of skills you should have to become a teacher. While every instructor brings a different personality and unique methods to the classroom, there is certainly basic knowledge and core abilities that someone who intends to convey information and influence students should have.
Patience and Understanding Go a Long Way
Interacting with children in the classroom is much different than interacting with your colleagues or customers in a typical job. Those who are tasked with providing an education for dozens of students per year must be ready to deal with a variety of personalities. Teachers must also be patient enough to deal with the drama and other issues that students go through as they enter and live through their teenage years. Educators who have the most success in the classroom know when to be patient, when to be stern and when to simply ignore those who are being disruptive. Whether you’re managing an elementary school classroom or heading a university seminar, it is important to have an understanding of your students’ personalities and learning styles and an idea of how such differences affect learning.
Channel Your Inner Diplomat
Particularly for teachers of elementary and secondary grades, interacting with parents can be intense. While your goal may be to guide your students and impart knowledge, you may end up spending a great amount of time justifying your methods to concerned parents or defending the decisions you make in the classroom. This means that you may be put on the spot or blamed for a student getting a bad grade or getting detention for being disruptive in the classroom. As a professional, you have an obligation to do your job, but you must have the humility and grace to interact with parents in a diplomatic way. Many parent-teacher relationships will be rewarding opportunities for you to feel appreciated for your work, but you must nevertheless know how to handle those situations that are less than satisfying.
Get Ready for Politics
While there are politics being played in every profession, teachers have to deal with more than their fair share of it on occasion. As education is handled by the government, it is an easy target of politicians who want to make a statement in an effort to get more votes. Therefore, you will need to be ready to deal with extra paperwork, high standards and what may feel to be insane expectations placed on teachers. Those who make the best teachers tend to be the ones who aren’t afraid of being evaluated on a regular basis. For further reading on topics of education, check out 30 Most Controversial Education Practices in U.S. History.
You Need Passion for the Job
If you are going to be a successful teacher, you have to have passion for your job. You also need to have passion for the subject that you are teaching. A science teacher who doesn’t care about chemistry or physics isn’t going to do as well as someone who looks forward to doing experiments and talking about the latest science news with their kids. Those teachers who impart knowledge with imagination, thoughtfulness, and clear dedication to the subject will capture students’ attention naturally.
If you are wondering what types of skills you should have to be a teacher, you should know that you need a passion for your profession and the ability to communicate well. With devotion to your studies and an enthusiastic and hardworking approach, you will enter the field of education with all the skills you need.