There are many different roles someone could take when they want to work in education. The first that will come to most people’s minds is teaching; however, this is only one of many possible routes to go down if education is what you feel would be the best career for you.
Whether you opt to be a teacher, tutor, professor, home educator, administrator, principal, or anything else, there are certain skills you are going to need if you want to go a long way in your chosen career. Read on to find out what they are, and how to develop them so that you can get the most out of every day at work.
One of the most important skills you’ll need when working in education is communication. Communication comes in a variety of different forms, including verbal, written, and through practical classes wherein you show people exactly what you mean. You’ll need to do whatever it takes to ensure that the people in your class or in the boardroom understand exactly what it is you’re talking about. You can’t educate people if they don’t understand you and if you can’t get your point across.
To develop your communication skills, you can take on a part-time job that also needs communication. This should be done before you start in your education career and could perhaps be undertaken at the same time as your studies; an online masters in education is flexible enough to allow for this to occur, for example. An ideal job would be something in retail, or perhaps in a call center. You’ll be learning a valuable skill and earning money at the same time. Alternatively, you could sign up for a debating club or perhaps a local drama group.
One of the key things to remember when you work in education is that everyone learns differently, and they learn at different rates. Although you might have some students who quickly pick up new ideas and can put them into practice, you’ll have others who need more time to understand the same things. As an educator, you’ll need to have patience because you might have to keep explaining the same thing many times, either to the same individual or to different members of the class. You can’t lose patience; you have to stay calm. This is something that many people would find difficult, as frustration can easily set in.
Developing a better level of patience isn’t always easy; it’s a character trait that some people are born with (they are simply calmer people in general), whereas others will need to learn it. If you fall into the latter group (or even the first if you feel you want to be even more patient than you already are), you’ll need to practice patience. Take a moment before you speak, as this will calm you, and use counting and breathing exercises to stay calm. Over time, this will become easier to do.
A classroom (or an office) is best when it’s a fun, creative place. This is how people learn best – they will remember lessons much more easily if they associate it with a fun project or an interesting class. To be a great educator, you must ensure that you hone your creative abilities as much as possible, so that you can give your students and anyone else you might be working with the very best chance of success – which, after all, is always your ultimate goal.
To become more creative, you can look online at different ways other teachers have taught their classes. There are sure to be videos, images, and step by step instructions on some truly innovative ways of teaching lessons, and you’ll gain plenty of inspiration in this way. Over time, as you become more and more aware of what your students need in terms of a lesson, and you’ll be able to come up with your own ideas, which, in turn, you can share online so that others can benefit.
Think back to when you were at school; who were your favorite teachers? It’s highly likely that they were the ones who were most enthusiastic about what they do. This is because enthusiasm is infectious. In other words, if you are a teacher are able to show that you love your subject and enjoy teaching it, your students will pick up on those feelings and often start to feel the same way. At the very least, they’ll have fun in their lessons and remember them more, as we’ve mentioned above. Either way, it’s a good thing to show enthusiasm in your classroom.
There are no real ways to learn this skill; you simply need to be enthusiastic and enjoy what you are doing. This is why, when you choose teaching as a career, you need to choose it for the right reasons. If you only choose it for money or because it seems like a long-term career or because a friend or family member told you it was a good idea, you may not have the enthusiasm you’ll need to be the best. Plus, you just won’t enjoy it, and since being a teacher is a hard job that needs a lot of input, you’ll simply be miserable if you’ve picked it for poor reasons.
You might not associate confidence with teaching and education, but when you think about it, you need to stand in front of a group of people (they might be fiveyears old, they might be teenagers, they might be adults, it depends on what age group and subject you’re teaching) and you have to tell them things. You have to impart information. You need to be confident to do this; it’s a form of public speaking, after all. Plus, the students, no matter what age they are, must be able to tell that you’re genuine; any lack of confidence might make them question what you’re saying. No matter how much knowledge or passion you have, if you don’t have any confidence, teaching will be hard for you, and you won’t get as much out of it as you otherwise would. One good way to develop more confidence is to set yourself a daily challengethat gradually gets harder over time. The more you can do this, the more you’ll show yourself that you can achieve anything, and your confidence levels will soar.