As the saying goes ‘those who can, teach’ but nobody ever clears up exactly what the ‘can’ in this statement is all about. The truth of the matter is that becoming a teacher is about having the skills which are required for such a position. Last year I was lucky enough to spend some time with educational expert Kevin Rolle, Vice President of A&M University and a man who has dedicated his life to education. During my conversation with Mr.Rolle we talked about teaching and the skills that are required from those who do wish to turn this into a career. If this is something that you are looking into, here are the skills which you’ll need to teach at any level.
The importance of patience in teachers can not be stressed enough and this is the key to being a good teacher at any level. All students learn at different speeds and they all have different levels of good behavior, with these two points in mind, you can bet that your students will test you each and every day and you must be up to that challenge. Many students don’t like authority figures and that means that you could be in for a tough time when it comes to imparting knowledge. If you are able to stay calm in these situations, you will be on your way to becoming a very good teacher.
In order to teach your kids in the best way, you need them to respect you, one of the keys to gaining this respect from them is deep knowledge about what you are teaching them. Very often people are thrown into teaching positions with subjects which they don’t know enough about, what then happens is that the students don’t pay attention because they don’t believe in their teacher. You must make sure that you not only have prior knowledge when you teach, but also that you remain a student and keep your knowledge up to date.
Many kids are not big fans of school or education and it is up to you to inspire and motivate them.. One of the best ways of doing this is to be energetic in your teaching style, teach the students how to have passion for what they are learning rather than simply doing it because they have to. Classrooms are very often like herds of sheep and if they see you up there in front, with bags of excitement and energy, they will be far more inclined to follow you.
One aspect of teaching which is not talked about enough is the level of empathy that is required. Very often you may have students who have difficult home lives and they may need your help and support. As a teacher you often need to wear different hats, sometimes as teacher, other times you need to play the parent, and occasionally you need to play the police officer. Empathy will get you a very long way in the teaching profession.