Many people embark on a career as an educator, and it is certainly easy to see why. Everyone remembers their favorite teachers from the school, and educators can change people’s lives for the better, set them on a path to success, and shape the world of tomorrow, amongst many other benefits. Working in education can be hugely rewarding, but it is also a unique area to work in, and it is not for everyone. To succeed as an educator, there is a range of skills and attributes that you will need to find success. Read on to find out what these are.
Excellent Communication Skills
Perhaps the most important skill to have as an educator at any level is excellent communication skills. You will spend your entire day communicating, and you must engage with your pupils and build trust. Of course, this needs to include vocal and presentational skills, but the best teachers are also the ones that are superb listeners and those that are good readers of people’s body language. When you are a great communicator, you will be able to help students excel and build trust in the classroom.
Ability to Earn Respect
You will never succeed as an educator if you are not able to earn respect from your pupils. This is never easy, but typically, teachers find that you need to respect your pupils to earn respect. Of course, you need to get on their good side and make sure that your lessons are fun and engaging, but equally, you must also make sure that they are obedient and that you are seen as an authoritative figure.
The best teachers are the ones that have a clear passion for what they do and the material that they are teaching. This is how you encourage students to engage with the content, make your lessons enjoyable and spread your passion to the students. On the other hand, if you clearly do not care about what you are teaching, the students will pick this up immediately, and this will make it hard to encourage the students to feel passionate about what you are teaching too.
As a teacher, it is important to take the time to craft your lesson plans so that you can make sure that you are covering everything that needs to be covered and that your lessons are enjoyable. While good planning is vital as an educator, it is also important that you have the flexibility and are able to adapt your lessons as they unfold. Not everyone will follow, and sometimes you may need to take longer on a certain aspect or perhaps expand into different areas. When you can do this, it will help your students find success and help keep your lessons fresh, engaging, and valuable.
Teachers need to be approachable; otherwise, you might find that your students will not come to you when they need help or advice. You want to command respect, but you also need to be warm, friendly, and welcoming. You also need to be able to make yourself available to your students in case they need help with their studies or anything else. Finally, keep in mind that students often look up to teachers, so you need to try and be there to help them in any way that you can.
Professionalism is important in every industry, particularly in education, where you need to be professional to earn respect, maintain boundaries, and climb the ladder. You need to maintain professionalism in the classroom and outside of it, which will involve dressing smartly, communicating professionally, and never letting your personal life interfering with your professional life.
Ability to Connect with Today’s Youth
If you are to succeed as an educator, you need to be able to connect with the age group that you are teaching. Having good people skills and being a good communicator is key here, but you also need to know about today’s youth and how you can engage with them. Obviously, you do not want to be that teacher trying too hard to be cool, but it is helpful to stay aware of trends and pop culture that could help you connect with your pupils and make your lessons more relevant and engaging.
Ability to Build Relationships with Colleagues
It is not just the pupils that you will need to get along with and build positive relationships with. You should also build and maintain positive relationships with other staff at your school, which will help to develop your professional network, advance your career when the time comes and make work more enjoyable for yourself. You might also find it helpful in providing support for one another, and you may even find someone in a more senior position that can help by providing career advice or even helping you take the next step.
Following this point, you also need to develop networking skills if you have aspirations to climb the ladder in education. As with any type of work, if you can develop a large, professional network, it will help improve your reputation as an educator and open doors to new opportunities. Therefore, you should be making an effort to network both online and offline and always try to maintain these relationships over time.
Ability to Work with Parents
If you work with younger pupils, you must also be able to develop trust and work with their parents. You need to be able to understand each student’s individual situations and often maintain close communication with pupils to ensure that they are getting the support and help that they need both inside the classroom and outside. As an educator, there will always be students who struggle for different reasons and you need to do all that you can to help these students, which often involves working with the parents and other staff members at the school.
Commitment to Career Progression
For teachers that want to climb the career ladder, you need to commit to career progression as it can be challenging to rise to the top and highly competitive. Online EdD programs are an effective way to progress your career as these qualifications will prepare you for a career in educational leadership, which will allow you to affect change at the highest possible level and make a difference in the education system. Graduates with EdD degrees have a wide range of options for their career, such as superintendents of K-12 schools, administrators at colleges and universities, and creating and revising academic curriculum. Additionally, the fact that you can earn this qualification online makes it much easier to fit into your schedule and should not interfere with your teaching.
It is very hard to succeed in the classroom and in your career if you lack self-confidence. Self-confidence is something that many people struggle with, and most would like to improve – this is possible, but it can be hard work and take some time for results to show. You can improve your self-confidence by working on your weaknesses, stepping outside of your comfort zone, and understanding your strengths, just as a few proven ways to improve self-confidence. If this is something you struggle with and believe holds you back both professionally, and in your personal life, you might find it useful to seek professional help.
As a teacher, you also need to make sure that you lead an active and healthy lifestyle. Of course, this is important for your own health and well-being, but it will also help you be a better teacher by having more energy, a positive mindset, and minimizing the amount of time you take. In addition, you need to make sure that you are getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and finding ways to de-stress after work.
Ability to Separate Work & Home
Following this point, you also need to be able to separate your work and home life. As mentioned earlier, this is important in terms of maintaining professionalism at work, but it is also important for your own mental health and so that you can make the most of your time off. This is something that many teachers struggle with because a lot of the work is done outside of the classroom in terms of lesson plans and marking, which is why many teachers find it helpful to have a home office and to stick to a schedule when working from home.
These are the main skills and attributes that are needed if you want to excel with a career in education. Working in the education system can be hugely rewarding with many perks, but it can also be challenging, and there are many skills and attributes that you need to develop if you are to find success. Whether you are just starting out in your career as an educator, or you are thinking about how to update your skills and improve your career prospects, hopefully, this list has given you a few ideas.