Whether you’ve wanted to be a teacher for as long as you can remember or it’s a career choice which crept up on you, working in education can offer a wealth of enjoyable and valuable experiences. Teaching is fairly fluid and flexible in terms of different methods these days, but it still takes a certain kind of person to really hit the ground running. Here are some essential skills for anyone considering a teaching career…
Although the two niches aren’t usually associated with one another, a lot of experienced teachers could probably have a pretty successful career in marketing! Being an effective educator is largely about knowing your audience (the class) in order to pitch the content of the course in a way that coincides with their level of understanding. The tier of the class will determine the tone and nature of the language that you use. Reciting the syllabus in a rigid, inflexible structure won’t go down well in a class full of university students. Similarly, keeping things fluid and informal won’t be effective with a class of young children. You need to be sensitive to the needs of students, and constantly be on the lookout for those who don’t understand what’s being said.
Technology affects absolutely any kind of organization, and schools and colleges are no different. Recent years have brought us all kinds of new, sophisticated tools which are making education more accessible and streamlined. Countless universities are now offering hybrid courses, which allow students to combine online, self-paced learning with traditional education in brick-and-mortar lecture halls. For most people, these new forms of technology are very accessible. For example, if you’re using PeopleSoft at your university, you’ll probably have access to a simple and user-friendly interface which will be easy enough to pick up from day one. However, if you’re not a particularly tech-savvy person, it may be worth brushing up on your knowledge as you pursue a career in education. Your ability to start using tools and interfaces with minimal hiccups is going to be useful in the long run of your career, so honing it will be a very smart move.
The students in any kind of classroom aren’t one big, homogenous mass. While it would make a teacher’s job much easier if this was the case, it’s extremely rare to have a class where one particular style of teaching resonates with everyone you’re giving the lesson to. We’re all individuals who learn in different ways. Some are quick to grasp new concepts, whereas others need more work to consolidate a solid understanding. Some people respond well to visual learning, whereas others are better when they’re receiving auditory cues. Some will need more repetition and reinforcement, and some will need to see a single topic or concept from various different angles. In order to be a good teacher, you need to be conscious of the needs of all your students, and ready to tweak your teaching style according to the dynamics of the classroom.