Jerry Akporho, the Founder and Lead Educator of Informed Teachers Network has unveiled some twenty (20) skills that every good teacher must master to become successful teachers.
According to him, being a successful teacher requires a wide range of skills. Here are twenty (20) major skills that makes you stand out:
1. Subject matter expertise: A teacher should have a strong understanding of the subject they are teaching. This includes knowledge of the content, as well as current research. You may find yourself teaching a subject area outside your field of study but it is not impossible to increase your knowledge. Knowledge is all around us. A teacher mastering subject matter does not only improve students learning outcomes but also boosts teachers confidence.
2. Classroom management skills: A teacher should be able to use his knowledge and experience to create a positive and safe learning environment for their students. Taking individual difference and specialty into consideration and tailoring the learning experience in a way that nobody is left behind. This includes setting clear expectations, managing behavior, and creating a sense of community in the classroom.
3. Communication skills: A teacher should be able to clearly and effectively communicate with their students, as well as with parents and other stakeholders. This includes the ability to listen, speak, and write effectively. It is one thing to know what to say but it’s another thing knowing when to say it and how to say it to achieve the needed results. Knowing the right timing, choice of words and medium to use is key to communication.
4. Planning and organization skills: A teacher should be able to effectively plan and organize their lessons and materials to ensure that their students have the resources they need to succeed. A lesson is as good as how well it is organized. Planning ahead and organizing minimizes time wasting and unnecessary repetition.
5. Differentiated instruction: A teacher should be able to adapt their teaching style to meet the needs of diverse learners in their class, including those with learning differences or English language learners. This is one of the most difficult things to do in our part of the world due to lack of varied teaching- learning resources, large class sizes and one way expectations from education supervisors . But a committed teacher who is bent on making real impacts will go above and beyond to make this happen.
6. Technology skills: A teacher should be proficient in using technology, including educational software and online learning platforms, to enhance their teaching and engage their students. From lessons planning to assessment, there are various technological tools that can help teachers deliver effectively. It is therefore a must for a 21st century teacher to take advantage of them.
7. Assessment skills: A teacher should be able to effectively assess their students’ progress and understanding through a variety of methods, including assessments, quizzes, and exams. This should take into account validity, reliability the importance of prompt feedback.
8. Collaboration skills: A teacher should be able to work effectively with colleagues, including co-teachers and resource persons, to plan and deliver lessons and support student learning.
9. Cultural competency: A teacher should be able to understand and respect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their students, and be able to create an inclusive learning environment for all. Be concerned about his or her own comments and those from students and other teachers.
10. Flexibility: A teacher should be able to adapt to changing circumstances, such as new curriculum guidelines or unexpected disruptions, and be able to pivot their teaching style as and when needed. Be ready to change and improve for the greater good of the learners.
11. Creativity: A teacher should be able to think outside the box and come up with innovative ways to engage and motivate their students. Open your mind to pick inspiration from any source to improve classroom delivery.
12. Time management skills: A teacher should be able to effectively manage their time and prioritize their responsibilities in order to meet the demands of their job. Break away from autopilot and last minute syndrome.
13. Professional development: A teacher should be committed to ongoing professional development, including staying up-to-date on research and best practices in their field. Take advantage of INSET programs, webinars, journals and online platforms to update your skills. Never get tired of learning.
14. Parent communication: A teacher should be able to effectively communicate with parents and guardians, including through regular updates and progress reports. Find and create opportunities to communicate with parents on students progress and the need to play active role through Open days, PTA meetings, letters, report card comments etc.
15. Student motivation: A teacher should be able to motivate and encourage their students to set and work towards academic and personal goals. It can be in the form of a routine daily motivation, one on one interaction, comments on students assessment and during general gatherings.
16. Conflict resolution: A teacher should be able to effectively handle conflicts that may arise in the classroom, including between students or between students and teachers as well as parents.
17. Mentorship: A teacher should be able to provide guidance and support to their students, both academically and personally. Students see their teachers as role models. Identify students interest and abilities and provide them with all the supports they need.
18. Counseling skills: A teacher should be able to provide emotional support to their students, and be able to refer them to appropriate resources when needed.
19. Leadership skills: A teacher should be able to take on leadership roles within their school or district, including participating and leading professional learning communities (PLC) or leading curricular initiatives.
20 . Community engagement: A teacher should be able to build relationships and partnerships with the community, including local businesses and organizations, to enhance their students’ learning experiences. Through this partnership and engagements, the community members get to have more information about the needs of the school, learners and how they can also support.