What are teaching skills? Teaching skills simply mean the ability to teach well and to gain or acquire expertise in the act of teaching.
Similar to other types of skills, teaching Skills are either developed through years of experience or actively acquired through focused learning.
Some authors may say that teaching is a calling and as such some skills and attributes of a good teacher are natural.
However, teaching skills whether learnt or innate are essential requirements for successful teaching. These teaching skills are the ingredients that help teachers keep their pupils or students engrossed in class.
HOW TEACHERS CAN IMPROVE ON THEIR TEACHING SKILLS
Teachers can improve their teaching skills in a number of ways. The steps below can help teachers improve their teaching skills.
One: recognize your area of strength
Just as the saying goes, we move from the known to the unknown, in the same vein, it is better to identify your area of strength as a teacher and use the motivation derived from those areas to develop your weak areas.
Two: List your areas of weakness
One cannot solve a problem he or she is not aware of. A teacher needs to identify the teaching skills she intends to improve on. Once the areas that need improvement have been identified the teacher needs to develop a specific plan on how to actively acquire or improve on the listed skills.
In addition to the above, the teacher needs to put in place tools that assess her progress over time. Acquiring and developing new teaching skills can be quite rewarding, but it requires time and practice.
Three: Take courses
Taking courses is one of the best ways to improve your teaching skills actively. There are a variety of certification courses that one can take to improve and develop their teaching skills.
Four: Learn from other colleagues
A great way to improve your teaching skill is through interaction and learning from other experienced teachers. A lot of practical ways to improve your teaching skill can be learnt from experienced teachers working in your school or other schools.
Below are the teaching skills a teacher needs to have
Communication is very important in the teaching profession. without effective communication, knowledge cannot be impacted.
Teachers need to be super communicators in-order to be able to enlighten their pupils or students.
Apart from communicating with students, teachers also need communication to be able to interact with parents, and colleagues and also for their own personal and professional development.
Project management skill
A teacher is expected to multitask and complete different projects over a specified time. These projects might include classwork, assignments, assessments, following each pupil or student up and so on.
Teachers will definitely need sound project management skills to stay focused, organized and achieve goals.
Teachers need good problem-solving skills. This skill will help resolve problems between students, fellow teachers or pupils’ parents. Problem-solving skills will help the teacher manage undisciplined and unruly student behaviour.
The students or pupils also need to learn problem-solving skills appropriate for their age which will be helpful to them later in life.
Problem-solving skills will help the students learn how to navigate through daily challenges and will help in their overall development.
Different students learn in different ways, some also have a predominant learning style, and knowledge of the different learning styles will help a teacher use different teaching modalities.
Using different teaching modalities covering most learning styles will help students develop faster irrespective of their learning preferences.
A teacher needs good leadership skills to manage her students or pupils effectively. She also needs to impact these skills on the students she handles.
Sound leadership skills will help the teacher manage colleagues, assigned roles, and school and personal projects.
Plenty of patience is a virtue and a skill every teacher should acquire and possess. Students learn at varying rates and as such a lot of patience is needed to successfully teach students.
Patience enables teachers to follow different kids at their learning pace. Teaching a non-attentive child can be very frustrating without patience.
We will all agree that a lot of progress has been made in the world of technology. Consequently, the world is now very digitalised more than ever. Students even the young ones can efficiently use technology.
The use of games and digital learning tools to spice class work will yield better academic outcomes. A teacher can also tap into the enormous online resources to improve her teaching skill.
Versatile teaching strategies
Teaching strategies are teaching methods and techniques that a teacher uses while teaching pupils or students. The technique adopted will vary depending on the nature of the topic, the age of the learner, the understanding and learning ability of the learner and the teaching skills of the teacher.
A highly skilled teacher needs to be versatile in her ability to deploy different teaching techniques and strategies.
Some helpful teaching strategies are listed below
Teaching strategies or techniques
It is worthwhile to state the expected learning goals at the beginning of the lesson. When students know what they are expected to know at the end of each class, they will likely pay attention to pick the needed information.
Cooperative learning has to do with team learning. The class should be divided into teams and each member of the team assigned a specific role to ensure the active participation of all team members.
Cooperative learning allows students to learn teamwork as they have to rely on one another to achieve their goals.
Interact with students to know their strengths and weaknesses
In a class, you will always find different categories of students. Interacting with your students, especially those not meeting up academically may give the teacher insight into the child’s problems.
When these problems are identified measures can be taken to address them collectively or individually.
Applying different teaching skills or strategies targeted at the problem identified may make a difference.
Interact with parents
Learning is a continuous process, and as such, parents play a vital role in students’ ability to learn. Parents ensure that assignments and homework are done.
Communication with parents may illuminate any academic challenge a student or pupil has, furthermore, parents can also help with behaviour management. Especially in instances of unruly behaviour.
Flipped classroom model
A flipped classroom is a teaching strategy aimed at increasing student engagement and learning by allowing students to complete their readings at home and work on live problem-solving during class time.
In a traditional classroom setting, the teacher is usually the leader of a lesson, She stands in front of the students teaching, while the students focus their attention on her. The students ask questions while she responds.
The flipped classroom model is a learner-centred model, in which students are often initially introduced to new topics while at home, thus creating more classroom time for further exploration of the topics in class.
The flipped classroom model uses a variety of methods for content delivery such as video lessons, online collaborative discussions, and digital research.
A teacher’s interaction with students in a flipped classroom can be more individualized with a better academic outcome, also the students are actively involved in their learning experience.
A classroom usually consists of a heterogeneous group of students from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
It is pertinent that teachers make the classroom environment comfortable for everyone to allow the students to express and give their opinions freely.
Teachers need to continuously improve their teaching skills. They also need to evolve and acquire new teaching skills, strategies and tools that emerge with time.
Good communication with the parents of the students will synergistically lead to better academic and behavioural outcomes.
Are there other ways you think teachers can improve their teaching skills and strategy? Share them with us in the comments section below!