Th previous article has mentioned five of the teaching skills. Here, I will discuss the remaining three. I’m sure if you’re a teacher, you will find them relatable, and even add more to the list.
You learn loads about child psychology even though the process might not be conscious. When it comes to discipline, motivation, and inspiration, you need to know the personalities and learning styles of your students. Every child is as different as our fingerprints. They might share some similar character traits, but you can always differentiate between their personalities.
By trial-and-error, you learn what tickles their fancy and what shuts them down. You learn which methods to use to effectively to transfer your knowledge and wisdom into their brains. You learn to pick up signals and foreshadow events e.g an argument, a crying fit, a sudden tantrum. It’s amazing how human body is so much like a book. Each tick a word, each movement a sentence, and each expression a chapter. You can silently read their stories without them saying a single word. In daily life, I can use the same techniques with adults around me since I’ve discovered we’re no different than kids when it comes to body language (it’s just a bit advanced and modified).
This is one of the most important teaching skills that can make or destroy your reputation and career as a teacher. This relates to the administration, parents as well as the students. You need to communicate your sympathy, understanding, and compassion in addition to your knowledge.
You learn that respect is a two-way street. If you embarrass, disrespect or insult your students, they’ll do the same behind your back. We make the mistake of taking kids for idiots because they’re not mature enough. I’ve learnt that everything you say or do will be held against you at some point and yes, the mothers will definitely hear about it.
When explaining something, you need to come down to your students’ level and explain things from their point of view. You also need to be extremely tactful when speaking to parents or even students. There’s a major difference between saying “Your child needs to shut up” and “Your child loves to engage with his fellow classmates”. I’ve learnt enough sweet talk to manipulate a significant number of people.
Not exactly one of the teaching skills but still important is grooming and staying updated in regards to fashion. Kids notice everything and by everything I mean EVERYTHING! They will make comments like “You look sick teacher. Are you OK?”. Then you have to explain that it’s just because you aren’t wearing you usual lip tint and concealer. Your poofy hair might steal some looks and your unironed T-shirt might raise some eyebrows. In short, you need to look presentable daily and not just for the meetings and conferences. After a while, you even enjoy dressing up since your kids notice, generously offer compliments, and make you feel like a fashionista. Just adding a tint to your cheeks and mascara to your lashes cheers you up. You know that if a mother randomly drops by for a quick chat, you won’t have to run around asking people for a hairbrush and a mirror.
Also, when you ask kids why their nails or hair or uniform isn’t tidy, they can literally point out the irony. It’s best to avoid that situation. Despite feeling tired and not in the mood to even brush my teeth, I still make myself presentable every morning so I won’t let my kids be put off by my zombie appearance. I have mastered the art of applying makeup in a matter of 5 minutes which is quite helpful for other events as well.
Please leave comments and add some more skills which you have learnt during your experience as a teacher.