Teachers wear many hats every day while in the classroom: the organizer, instructor, speaker, facilitator, entertainer and sometimes dispute resolution specialist.
It is a Fifty – Fifty Proposition
Teaching is fifty percent knowledge and fifty percent interpersonal skills. The quality of a teacher’s lecture or teaching methods will be enhanced by the quality of their interpersonal skills.
Teachers need to possess a number of skills in the teaching profession and include communication, empathy, positive motivation, effective and positive body language and humor.
The Necessary Skills
- Communication is the method used to exchange or share information. Teachers have to communicate with students at the students own level of understanding. That can be difficult if each student has a different level of learning and understanding.
- Empathy is the ability of the teacher to express care and concern for a student. Placing yourself in the position of the student and view the problem from their point of view will allow you to develop an understanding of the problem and help to find a solution.
- Positive motivation in education typically produces positive learning. Not all students are on board with all subjects and sometimes it takes demonstrating applications of the less liked subjects in areas that interest students. That will provide the motivation the student needs to study that subject.
- Effective and positive body language is non verbal communications that will help leave a long lasting impression in the minds of the students. Body language will also draw a student into the discussion. Body language is a powerful tool and will maintain healthy interpersonal skills.
- Humor is the one area of skills that allow a teacher to keep the motivational train rolling along. Well placed and appropriate humor will provide additional motivation and the desire to learn. Maintaining the student’s attention is critical to the learning process and humor will help keep that attention.
Maintaining the Interpersonal edge
- Sharpening and toning interpersonal skills will improve teaching skills and methods. Interpersonal skills can be practiced outside the classroom as well within.
- Be conscious of body language at all times and always maintain eye contact when speaking to others.
- Practice your listening skills by repeating what others tell you while putting the subject into your own words.
- Evaluate your interpersonal skills by evaluating your teaching skills. A student’s level of learning and improvement is an indication where your interpersonal skills strength lies. Most school departments schedule professional development workshops for teachers. The workshops teach interpersonal skills improvement and advanced teaching methods. If your school department does not regularly sponsor such programs, request a workshop or put together one with co-workers.
The professional development workshops will include both individual and group exercises and are effective in allowing teachers to better manage their classrooms and students. The workshops will include a method of evaluating each person’s skills and identify areas for improvement.
Aside from being competent in the subject or subjects they teach, teachers must possess extraordinary interpersonal skills. They have to be a good listener and speaker and sometimes at the same time.
A teacher that is confident in the subject matter they teach will inspire confidence in the student and provide a vehicle to better learning.
Watch this video about What Makes Great Teachers Great?