All the inventions, discoveries, technologies, the science and the arts that we see around us are a contribution of a teacher to society. However, to have such an impact on society, there are some essential skills that a teacher needs to have to set up a dynamic teaching-learning environment.
To become a teacher, an individual needs a thorough mastery of the respective subject. But is that enough? Does a mere degree ensure a fulfilling teaching-learning experience in the classroom? The most important thing that matters to students is their bond with their teacher. Therefore, to form an effective relationship, a teacher requires several specialized skills. Tomorrowsmith Foundation endeavours to train teachers on these essential skills that a teacher needs to excel in the profession.
Strategic Planning Skills
Every class that a teacher conducts is carefully and strategically planned. At the beginning of each academic session, the teachers set annual goals for their respective subject and learners. To do so, they study the syllabus, set specific goals for the year, and assign milestones for checking student progress. They assess the students’ learning levels, strengths, and weaknesses. Thereafter, they map the progression of teaching, decide teaching approaches and tools they would need during the year.
Behavioural Management Skills
In teaching, behaviour management is an essential skill. Teachers spend a significant amount of their time managing students’ behaviour. This is necessary to increase the possibility that students, individually and in groups, choose behaviours which are productive, and socially acceptable. They use a behaviour management strategies such as modelling, positive reinforcements, and setting group rules. They help students stay on task, reduce interruptions, and help learners form positive attitudes and behaviour for their future.
Performance Management Skills
One of the key roles of a teacher is to cultivate every learner’s capacity, enhancing performance and productivity, and driving continued learning. No amount of strategic planning would help if the teachers do not come up with effective strategies for measuring and enhancing student performance.
To achieve that, once they instruct the lesson, they monitor their students’ grasp of the lesson through various methods, such as surprise tests, assignments, group projects, and yearly examinations. They analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their students and take measures to address them. Preparing reports of each student’s goals and progress also requires performance management skills.
Teamwork is of utmost importance in the teaching profession. Using teamwork skills inside the classroom, a teacher makes the class understand that they are together in the learning exploration. The teacher is not their opponent, but one amongst them. Outside the classroom, teaching involves coordinating with the administrators, teachers, and other staff to ensure smooth functioning of the school.
Safety and Crisis Management Skills
School should be a haven for children. Away from their parents, children should feel sheltered, accepted, and comfortable in schools. To build a safe environment, teachers should be able to identify and respond to emergencies arising on their school campuses. Teachers must have the skills to act spontaneously to preserve the health and well-being of their students.
“Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”
~ Sir John Whitmore
Skilled teachers have great coaching skills. Such teachers help students to stay focussed on their goals. They hold effective, meaningful conversations that spark their soul and bring about meaningful changes. These teachers do not believe in spoon-feeding information to the students. Instead, they constantly support them to think for themselves.
An effective teacher leads by example. Students learn from such teachers, admire them, and try to copy their way of conducting themselves. Children learn from teachers who show determination in face of difficulties. When the actions of the teachers are consistent with their words, children regard them as credible leaders who they can trust.
Deep understanding of diversity & inclusion
Successful teachers know the diverse needs and backgrounds of the students. They constantly remind their students about their equal foothold in the world by creating a classroom environment where each student feels valued, heard, and loved. It creates a sense of belonging among the students.
These were just some crucial skills required by the teachers. Teaching is a highly specialized profession, and to get ahead in that, teachers need these sets of special skills. How far the teachers can aid student learning in this specialized job completely depends upon what choices they make.
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