Do you possess Modern Teaching Skills? As with most professions today, there are rapid developments in teaching that are being driven by social and technological changes. Keeping up to date with these developments within education will pay dividends with improved teaching skills. The skills needed to be a great teacher have now changed; modern teachers need to be competent in many new skill sets that were unknown to their predecessors. So here are, in our opinion, the 10 skills Modern Teachers need to know.
Traditional Teaching Skills
These first 6 teaching skills (in red in the image) are not new, but their importance has increased significantly for the modern teacher.
# 1 Commitment: It is essential that teachers are committed to their work and to the education of young people. The responsibility that lies in the hands of a teacher is huge, so a modern teacher must always be aware of this and be truly engaged in their profession.
# 2 Preparation: There used be a time when the right temperament enabled you to become a teacher. Nowadays it’s nigh on impossible to find a teacher without formal academic training. This requirement is increasing as education levels improve in society. The better prepared you are as a teacher, the more effective you’ll be, so you should pursue you studies with this ethos in mind.
# 3 Organization: Good organization and the planning of a course in advance are key factors for success. It is very important that a teacher organizes the lesson properly and allocates the time to cover it in its entirety. Students can tell a poorly planned class from a mile away and once they realise the teacher isn’t putting in the effort neither will they!
# 4 Tolerance: In an increasingly diverse and multicultural society, it is necessary for teachers to manage any prejudices they may have and to treat all their students equally without showing favouritism. It’s a very important teaching skill not to impose your world view on your students, instead you should openly discuss topics and let students decide for themselves.
#5 Story Telling: One of the best ways to teach and transfer ideas is through stories. The best teachers have used this method in their classes for centuries. Teaching a lesson by incorporating story-telling techniques is a fantastic teaching skill to develop at anytime. Utilizing it leaves your class wanting to find out what happens next. An engaged class is the best way to increase participation and collaboration.
#6 Open to Questions: Having discussions and collaborating in class are essential for encouraging students and implementing new teaching techniques. Teachers must be open to answering their students questions. Modern teachers truly listen to their students questions and answer them honestly, not just with a cursory or textbook response. It may sometimes occur that you don’t know the answer to a question or you don’t have the time! If this happens, don’t waffle or brush the question off, just explain that you will look in to it and get back to the student with a proper answer later.
New Teaching Skills
These new teaching skills complement the more traditional ones. These skills are associated with new technologies (in blue in the image). Incorporating these into your teaching repertoire will ensure you become a modern teacher.
# 7 Innovative: The modern teacher must be willing to innovate and try new things, both teaching skills and educational apps, ICT tools and electronic devices. The modern teacher must be an “early adopter”.
# 8 Tech Enthusiast: The modern teacher must not only be innovative but also be willing to explore new technologies. Whether it is iPads, apps or personal learning environments, modern teachers should be in constant search of new ICT solutions to implement in their classrooms.
# 9 Social : One of the traditional teaching skills was to be open to questions. The modern teacher should lead the conversation to social networks to explore possibilities outside of the class itself. We recommend our “Twitter in the Classroom: Ideas for teachers” to explore this idea in more depth.
# 10 Geek: We mean this in the best sense of the word. The internet is the greatest source of knowledge that humanity has ever known, so to be a modern teacher you must be a curious person and incorporate this resource at every available option. Trust me, your students are going to do it if you don’t! You need to be someone who is always researching and looking for new information to challenge your students and engage them in a dialogue both in class and online.
What is your favourite modern teacher skill? Would you add any others?