Teachers are the backbone of the education system. They’re responsible for shaping young minds and instilling values in their students. They teach them good habits, develop their understanding of the world, and encourage them to strive for their dreams beyond the classroom. It’s the teacher’s job to engage students, motivate them to learn even when the subject matter is complex or boring, and ultimately prepare them for success.
That said, teaching is a challenging job. Every day, a teacher transforms — from mentor to friend, from leader to guide, from planning and preparing classes to dealing with students’ expectations. It’s an ever-evolving process, and it goes far beyond simply delivering lessons in the classroom.
Stepping stones to becoming a successful teacher
Whether you’re just starting your teaching career or have worked in the field for years, staying on top of best practices and being open to new ideas is crucial. It means learning about different teaching strategies and techniques, understanding what works for different students, and remaining abreast of the changes in the educational landscape.
It’s also important to stay focused on professional development. Investing in your skills and capabilities can help you become a better teacher and provide an opportunity to remain competitive. The FGDCU education offers an online master’s program that can help you do just that. The program is designed to equip educators with the knowledge and skills needed to provide quality instruction in PK-12 classrooms and cater to a diverse student population.
With the FGDCU master’s program and these seven effective teaching skills, you’ll be on the path to becoming a successful teacher.
- Excellent communication skills
Communication plays a vital role in conveying a lesson plan to students or collaborating with your colleagues, discussing student progress with parents, or answering questions from the school board.
Developing strong communication skills ensures that your lesson plans, instructions, ideas, and feedback come across clearly and accurately. It involves mastering all forms of communication, from verbal and written to nonverbal.
How to develop this skill:
- Find a “bridge” or common ground with the person you are speaking to
- Listen twice as much as you talk
- Actively engage in conversation
- Be mindful of your body language
- Make eye contact and speak clearly
- Adaptability and flexibility
No two students or classrooms are the same, and a teacher must be able to adapt their teaching style and methods to meet the needs of diverse learners. Likewise, a teacher must also be flexible to accommodate changes in the classroom and unexpected situations.
For instance, if you’ve planned out a lesson but find that it’s not working for the students, you must be able to think on the fly and come up with an alternate way to teach the material. Similarly, if a student is having trouble understanding something, you must be able to adjust your explanation to make it clearer.
Being adaptable and flexible will allow you to effectively manage the classroom, foster a better learning environment, and ensure that all students understand the material.
Three tips that will help:
- Observe the needs of your students and adjust accordingly
- Be open-minded and willing to try and adapt to new things
- Listen to students’ suggestions and consider their ideas
- Strong classroom management skills
Students, no matter their age or level, tend to get bored and distracted easily. And this makes it difficult to maintain order in the classroom and keep students engaged with the lesson. And while most teachers focus on punishing negative behavior, it only temporarily suppresses it.
As a teacher, you must understand the importance of positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. It can be done through rewards, verbal praise, and recognition for work done well. Positive reinforcement can help create a more productive learning environment and ensure that all students stay motivated. It will also help you strengthen your bond with your students and make them feel more comfortable in the classroom.
- Planning and organization
Your classroom must be well-organized to be an effective learning environment. Ensure you have a system for organizing and storing student materials, such as textbooks and workbooks. You can use color coding or other visual techniques to help students quickly locate their materials. Additionally, create a filing system for important documents so you can quickly access them when needed.
Have a plan for how you will teach each lesson and ensure that it is well-structured and easy to follow. Ensure no task is too long, with breaks and activities to keep students engaged throughout.
Finally, establish a system of classroom rules and expectations so students know what is expected of them.
These steps will help ensure that your classroom is organized and effective, allowing you to teach in the best way possible.
- Time management skills
One minute you might be teaching students; the next, you could be answering questions, helping a student with their work, or preparing for another lesson. That’s how fast-paced teaching can be, and it’s crucial to have effective time management skills to remain on top of everything.
Planning is essential for you as a teacher to manage your time better. Additionally, setting realistic expectations and goals will help you stay on track and not get overwhelmed.
- Patience and commitment
Teaching can be emotionally taxing as you deal with various personalities and learning styles. It’s important to show respect and empathy to your students and be willing to adjust when needed.
When feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and remember why you chose to become a teacher. Stay focused on the end goal of providing your students with an enriching environment. Remind yourself of the rewards of teaching and the satisfaction of making a difference in students’ lives.
- Technological proficiency
Technology is an indispensable part of the modern classroom, and teachers must be knowledgeable and stay up-to-date on the latest technological trends. It’s essential to properly use and troubleshoot any technological tools in the classroom, such as projectors, computers, and tablets. Also, integrating technology into the curriculum is a great way to engage students and make learning more interactive.
Ways you can step up your technological proficiency include:
- Attending professional development workshops
- Reading educational technology blogs
- Networking with other tech-savvy teachers
- Joining online forums related to teaching and technology
Teachers are the most important role models for students. They can nurture and cultivate a positive learning environment where students feel inspired, respected, and motivated to strive for success both academically and personally.
To become a successful teacher, you must pursue excellence in your professional practice, maintain a strong relationship with your students, and use effective teaching techniques. You must possess effective communication, organization, and time management skills to ensure students receive the best education possible. Strong classroom management, technological proficiency, adaptability, and flexibility are other vital skills for becoming a successful teacher.