Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers you can enter, and nearly everyone has an inspirational teacher from their school days that they remember even decades later.
However, teaching is not easy, and there are many challenges you will face when entering this profession.
Becoming A Teacher
Teacher training is a difficult process to go through but is well worth the investment of time. The first step is always the same: decide if you are suited to teach. If you are not, don’t waste your time and energy on this career.
Teaching requires patience and enthusiasm, you need to have a passion for sharing knowledge with others, and understand that you will face many obstacles when you begin your career.
A career in teaching is a career that lasts a lifetime—you will be able to visit former pupils after they have left your school and hear how much they enjoyed your lessons. Don’t let the idea of this make you nervous, but don’t let it go to your head, either.
There are many entry-level opportunities for those who want to teach, such as becoming a substitute teacher or working as a camp counselor, but these do not guarantee that you will be able to work as a teacher at any given school later on.
Doing Your Teaching Degree
Once you’ve decided to become a teacher and you’ve got some experience, it is time to look into doing your teaching degree.
A teaching degree opens many doors for you, whether it is getting a place on an initial teacher training course, or finding the perfect school to work at. A degree will equip you for this once and future career and will help give you a head start.
Teaching degrees have traditionally been qualifications that are only available via brick-and-mortar universities, but these days there are plenty of online EdD degrees that are available, which will suit those who wish to stay at home and work part-time.
What Skills Do Teachers Need?
In order to be an amazing teacher, there are certain skills you need to have and others that you can learn on the job. Once you’ve got your degree and you are ready to hit the classroom, there are some skills that will help you get started.
To be a successful teacher, patience is key. You will have to deal with temperamental children who are having problems at home, but remember that they are doing their best.
Here are the twelve skills you will need to master if you want to be an amazing teacher to people of all ages.
1. Classroom Management
The most difficult part of teaching is classroom management, which requires you to effectively teach a diverse range of students with different learning styles in one room at the same time.
Teachers must be able to stay focused on their subjects while managing student interruptions. That is hard enough all by itself!
2. Being Inspirational
Another critical skill is being able to inspire your students. Every teacher must be able to do this, even in the most challenging of situations.
Students come to rely on their teachers to be a beacon of hope, and it is for this reason that teachers must be able to inspire. No matter how bad a child’s day has been, no matter how bad their relatives are acting, children will come to realize that they will enjoy what is coming up on the board, which they will learn to look forward to.
This is the most important part of your job. Being unprepared means you are not ready to do your job properly, which will be a disaster for a teacher.
You must be fully equipped with everything you need to present your lessons with confidence and assurance. If you are nervous, no one else will enjoy your lesson, so make sure to write out everything in advance so you know exactly what you are doing and exactly when it needs to be done.
A great teacher always has a backup plan for every scenario that might come up during their lessons.
One of the most important qualities that all teachers must have is patience.
Students will often get frustrated when they don’t understand a concept or when they don’t want to do their homework, but a great teacher stays calm and explains the concept again, or helps them out with their work.
Showing that you are patient will help your students feel comfortable enough to ask you questions and sometimes be honest about how they feel about the class at that particular moment in time, instead of keeping it bottled up inside their heads.
The most important part is, to be honest with them and tell them that you are on their side and that you are not just another authority figure looking out for yourself.
5. Attention to Detail
Being a great teacher is all about being truly exceptional at small details.
Everything you do has to be as close to perfect as possible. You have to have the right tone, the right pitch, the right body language, be engaged with what you are talking about, and tell stories that are relevant to what you are teaching your pupils at that moment in time.
It is impossible to be perfect all the time, but consistency is key. When it comes to learning, students look for patterns and habits of their teachers, so it is important for your curriculum and approach to always remain the same no matter how many years you teach for.
This highlights your credibility as an authoritative figure on any subject or field of study.
6. Open Personality
It is well known that students don’t always like their teachers, and teachers don’t always like their class. Students often get frustrated when they don’t understand a particular subject or topic and you can’t do anything to help them.
It is also well known that not all teachers are alike. Some people are just very good at expressing themselves, being cool with certain types of students, and carrying out activities that will appeal to a wider range of people.
A big part of being an amazing teacher is being comfortable in who you are, in what you deliver your lessons, and in what you teach them so that they will be able to remember it for the rest of their lives.
You have to be patient and kind with every student in the class. They are all different, but they can all learn just as much or even more than any other, so you have to approach every one of them in the same way.
When you are worried about what is going on with one of your students, this will come across as judgmental to the rest of the class. This will show that you are more concerned about what they are doing wrong than helping them to be successful.
It is important that you remain positive while treating every student the same. Be kind, always treat them with respect, be patient with them, but also make sure they understand exactly what is going on in the class at all times.
Approaching each lesson in a confident way is important. It makes you look confident and it also makes your students see that you know what you are doing, which will encourage them to do their best, too.
You have to have this confidence, especially if you are a new teacher. It is up to you to make your class a fun environment where everyone is learning at their highest level.
This will make your students want to learn and do well, and the more fun they have the more interested they will be in finding developing their understanding of the work that you are delivering.
9. Active Listening Skills
Active listening means fully concentrating and engaging with what someone saying to you, rather than just hearing it. Once you understand how to listen effectively, you will be able to give useful feedback, and your students will be confident in interacting with you in class.
There are some skills that come naturally while others don’t. You have to practice this skill a lot before you get used to it and feel comfortable with active listening.
It is easy to get distracted when talking with your students because there are many other activities going on in your class, but you must always make sure that they are the main focus of your attention at all times.
By letting your students know that you care about them, you will be able to build a good relationship with them.
This will make them want to work with you and be part of the class because they trust you. If they trust you, they will always do what you say or at least be willing to try new activities and experiences.
You must also show respect when they do complete their work to a high standard in order for them to feel proud of themselves and compelled to continue doing their best in class.
11. Tech Savvy
When you are a teacher, it is important to know how to use everything in your classroom confidently and not be scared to embrace new technology (such as VR learning or cloud-based working) in order to help your students.
If you don’t have experience in this field, it is hard for your students to understand what you are doing in class because you are using technology that might be new for them.
You must also make sure they know how to use technology themselves when they want to complete tasks such as their homework or taking their exams.
They need to be able to do their work at home and on their own so that they won’t forget what they have learned in class. It is never too late to start learning how to learn.
12. Social Skills
Every time a teacher teaches a class, they must be able to motivate their students and be able to convince them that they should always be trying their best.
In order to do that, you must have good social skills and be able to interact with your students as if you were their friends. If you don’t have the right social skills, it will be hard for you to tell your students what they should do if you notice that a problem is occurring.
You must also be able to interact with them in order for them to learn how to express themselves properly and learn how important communication is for their future development.
Where Should You Work As A Teacher?
There are two aspects to this question; location or type of learning institution.
Being a teacher is a very demanding job. You have to be there at a certain time every day and deal with lots of different situations. You also have to be able to handle problems that can happen along the way at any moment.
In order for you to teach successfully, you need to reside in a place where life is hassle-free and where you can focus on your job with little distractions from the outside world.
You’ll also need to consider the pay scale of where you are teaching. Inner cities usually pay much more than rural areas.
2. The type of learning institution
There are lots of different types of learning institutions. You can work in many different high schools, communities establishments, special education classes, churches, and colleges. Today, it is very common to see people working in kindergartens or K-12 schools.
The Pros of Teaching
You will never regret becoming a teacher. You will spend countless hours with your students throughout your career and see them grow immensely, and you will enjoy seeing them learn the basic skills that they need to succeed throughout their lives.
You’ll also be able to pass on your passion for learning to your future generations so everyone can feel satisfied with their achievements no matter what the circumstances are.
Teacher Pay Scale
Different areas of the United States pay different amounts. It is important to consider this when deciding where you should work as a teacher.
Depending on your level of education and experience, your salary can vary between $75,000 and $85,000 per year.
Disclaimer. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of IdeasPlusBusiness.com. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors is of their opinion and is not intended to malign any organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.
For questions, inquiries and advert placements on the blog, please send an email to the Editor at ideasplusbusiness[at]gmail[dot]com. You can also follow IdeasPlusBusiness.com on Twitter here and like our page on Facebook here. This website contains affiliate links to some products and services. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.
I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.