Whether teaching second-graders or high school sophomores, educators today require specific skills and temperament to face the unique set of circumstances .In Edu-tech World classrooms , teachers need to face the unique difficulties of today’s classroom because new trends that are coming down the pipeline. In addition to standardized testing and growing class sizes, there are numerous other factors that educators must account for. One of the biggest challenges for 21st century educators is the role of technology in the classroom. As technology grows as an influence to everyday life, it’s important for teachers to educate students on the best ways to use digital resources on the web and through new devices. However, smart phones, the internet, and myriad apps can also present significant distractions in the classroom and divide student attention. Teaching students how to use technology optimally and appropriately is one of the most difficult parts of being a teacher today.With the rise in classroom size there is also an increase in the diversity of students and their learning styles. For educators, using varied teaching methods to cover specified curricula and meet multiple learning styles is challenging, too. Addressing specific learning styles is an ongoing challenge for teachers today as more is discovered about how children learn best .Other challenges in today’s classroom include too much required material, too little time, scarce resources, finding effective lesson plan ideas, and teacher isolation.
These are the most important skills that teachers need in the classroom today. Each of these can help educators of any grade level teach better.
1. Whether it’s creating and sharing a YouTube video of a classroom experiment or using another educator’s blog to teach the fundamentals of geometry, teachers can work together to teach more effectively and gain peer support.
2. From changing an exercise for a larger classroom to changing lesson plans based on the new testing requirements, modern teachers need to be nimble to adapt to the ever-shifting education environment. This skill is critical for keeping up with new learning styles as well.
3. With teachers having to cover more materials and and take on more responsibility, it’s critical to use every minute efficiently. Planning for breaks as well as lessons can help classrooms stay on schedule consistently.
4. Word processors, spreadsheets, and email may seem like the absolute basics of the digital age, but learning the ins and outs of these software can help save teachers time and allow easier organization. Learning how to search the web effectively is also great way for educators to find the best results.
5. Patience has been critical for educators from the beginning of time, but it’s never been more important than in the hectic age today.
6. When class sizes are large and resources scarce, it’s important for teachers to work with each other. Educators throughout the school or across the web can work together to get better results in their own classrooms.
7. Organizing everything from digital lesson plan files to physical classroom materials will always pay off in the long run.
8. Just because many schools have greater curriculum restrictions doesn’t mean that teachers can’t still have fun with it. Students will appreciate creative ways to prepare for their exams that meet multiple learning styles at once.
9. Teachers can use the numerous online resources for educators to stay up on the newest trends in their field.
10. With school websites, homework portals, and email, parents and teachers have a more open line of communication than ever before. Educators should be sure to have a plan with the school for healthy communication policies.
Traditional Teaching Skills
These teaching skills are not new, but their importance has increased significantly for the modern teacher.
1 .Commitment: It is essential that teachers are committed to their work and to the education of young people. The responsibility that lies in the hands of a teacher is huge, so a modern teacher must always be aware of this and be truly engaged in their profession.
2. Preparation: There used be a time when the right temperament enabled you to become a teacher. Nowadays it’s nigh on impossible to find a teacher without formal academic training. This requirement is increasing as education levels improve in society. The better prepared you are as a teacher, the more effective you’ll be, so you should pursue you studies with this ethos in mind.
3. Organization: Good organization and the planning of a course in advance are key factors for success. It is very important that a teacher organizes the lesson properly and allocates the time to cover it in its entirety. Students can tell a poorly planned class from a mile away and once they realize the teacher isn’t putting efforts.
4. Tolerance: In an increasingly diverse and multicultural society, it is necessary for teachers to manage any prejudices they may have and to treat all their students equally without showing favoritism. It’s a very important teaching skill not to impose your world view on your students, instead you should openly discuss topics and let students decide for themselves.
5. Story Telling: One of the best ways to teach and transfer ideas is through stories. The best teachers have used this method in their classes for centuries. Teaching a lesson by incorporating story-telling techniques is a fantastic teaching skill to develop at anytime. Utilizing it leaves your class wanting to find out what happens next. An engaged class is the best way to increase participation and collaboration.
6. Open to Questions: Having discussions and collaborating in class are essential for encouraging students and implementing new teaching techniques. Teachers must be open to answering their students questions. Modern teachers truly listen to their students questions and answer them honestly, not just with a cursory or textbook response. It may sometimes occur that you don’t know the answer to a question or you don’t have the time! If this happens, don’t waffle or brush the question off, just explain that you will look in to it and get back to the student with a proper answer later.
New Teaching Skills
These new teaching skills complement the more traditional ones. These skills are associated with new technologies (in blue in the image). Incorporating these into your teaching repertoire will ensure you become a modern teacher.
7. Innovative: The modern teacher must be willing to innovate and try new things, both teaching skills and educational apps, ICT tools and electronic devices. The modern teacher must be an “early adopter”.
8. Tech Enthusiast: The modern teacher must not only be innovative but also be willing to explore new technologies. Whether it is iPads, apps or personal learning environments, modern teachers should be in constant search of new ICT solutions to implement in their classrooms.
9. Social : One of the traditional teaching skills was to be open to questions. The modern teacher should lead the conversation to social networks to explore possibilities outside of the class itself. We recommend our “Twitter in the Classroom: Ideas for teachers” to explore this idea in more depth.
10. Geek: We mean this in the best sense of the word. The internet is the greatest source of knowledge that humanity has ever known, so to be a modern teacher you must be a curious person and incorporate this resource at every available option. Trust me, your students are going to do it if you don’t! You need to be someone who is always researching and looking for new information to challenge your students and engage them in a dialogue both in class and online.
Ms. Himani Gajwani,
Assistant Professor, B.Ed.