What Skills Do You Need to Teach?
The famous saying goes that those who can, teach, but what exactly do they mean by ‘those who can’? In truth, those people who want to be a teacher, require a certain set of skills not only to gain the position in the first place, but to actually be a good, and an effective teacher. As a teacher there is a great responsibility on your shoulders to do the best job possible, so that you can provide the perfect learning experience for your students. I spoke to the Chairman of Alabama University, Kevin Rolle, an inspirational man who has dedicated his career to education, about what skills are required from anyone who wishes to teach.
Patience is a virtue which you will most certainly need if you want to be a good teacher, and it will be tested almost daily. Teaching anything can be a frustrating experience, especially if people don’t understand something. When such a situation arises, a good teacher must remain calm, and work out how they can best help someone, to understand what they are being shown. Teachers must deal with misbehavior and students often set out to frustrate the authority figure, you must ensure that your patience conquers these issues.
In order for a teacher to gain the respect of their students, they must have a deep and clear understanding of what they are teaching. In order to be the best at this, teachers must remain studious, in order to keep their knowledge strong and up to date. If you want to be the best teacher that you can be, you first need to be the best student.
Empathy is a key skill in the world of teaching and your role will actually supersede that of a teacher through the years. At various times during your career you may have to play a parent-figure to your students, a counselor, pr even just a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear. Students are likely to spend more time with you than anyone else, and should they need help, you will be the person that they will look to. Equally your empathy can help you to teach your students better, as you will be able to understand their personal situations, and therefore teach accordingly.
If you are not passionate about education, your chosen subject, or improving the lives of those students in your care, you will never succeed as a teacher. Everyone wants a job that makes them happy. Whilst there will be some days where you wish you had another career, the overriding feeling which you will have as a teacher should always be one that is filled with passion. Teachers with passion are the ones who get the best results, who are respected the most and those who go on to become great educators. If you truly want to be a teacher, displaying your passion for it is the first, and most important step.