Teaching requires investment in the success of others. Because of this, it can be easy for teachers to neglect investment in themselves as professionals. Like any other professional, it is important for teachers to develop skills that make them more employable and effective. As time progresses, valuable teacher skills evolve. Below are five skills every teacher should develop in order to be valuable and effective in education today.
Classroom Management and Organization
There’s a common erroneous idea that classroom management is innate. The truth is that classroom management is a skill that teachers should never cease to develop. Administrators want to trust that you have control of the classroom atmosphere, and that your control elicits a safe learning environment. Classroom management doesn’t only include student behavior, but also the physical management of the learning space. Organization is key to classroom management. An organized classroom is a physical environment that is conducive to productivity.
When a teacher spends precious planning time in forced yet inapplicable trainings, professional development can earn a bad reputation. Even though leaders sometimes miss the mark, a valuable teacher seeks and embraces professional development that yields growth. Teachers should be lifetime learners, and a good teacher is a coachable teacher. Administrators want to know that you are always committed to improvement for the good of your students. Furthermore, a teacher who assumes the role of teacher leader and utilizes his/her strengths to develop other teachers is of the utmost value.
Technology in the Classroom
Technology is always changing the way we operate, it is ever-evolving, and constantly expanding. In today’s classroom, it is crucial for teachers to develop technology skills. This is more challenging for some teachers than others, but necessary for all. If classroom technology is a challenge for you, it’s important to maintain a growth mindset. Seek to learn and master new aspects of technology gradually over time. The pressure to become an overnight tech guru may seem imminent, but growth shows that you are valuable because you are teachable.
One misconception about teaching is the idea that the job is done in isolation. Although teachers often spend the bulk of the day alone with a group of students, educators know that the building blocks to instruction are most effectively created in collaboration. Today’s educational leaders value a teacher’s ability to collaborate effectively with a team. When teachers collaborate, the strengths of each teacher can have a larger impact upon the school.
You have, indubitably, heard this term more times than you can count. Data is definitely a trending educational buzzword. A valuable teacher is not only familiar with collecting data, but also knows how to use said data. After assessing your students both formally and informally, you should always seek to answer one simple question: Now what? An effective school leader knows that data will not always paint a rosy picture, but is invested in how data will drive future instruction.