Essential Teacher Skills

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by phil ed, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. phil ed

    phil ed New Member

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    I'm wondering what people on here feal are the MOST important skills for a teacher to have teaching the grade that you teach. More importantly, how do you develop them?
     
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  3. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    To me the most important skill is to be able to accept each child for the person he is and appreciate his positive traits while helping him to develop the weaker traits. This is a challenge everyday and takes tons of patience and keeping your mouth shut when you feel the impatience welling up.

    Other important skills - being able to do several things at once, being flexible, being organized (help!). I think you develop traits by practicing them, being conscious of your own weaknesses and cueing yourself throughout the day.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think we all need the ability to do what's in the best interests of the child, regardless of how hard it is on either of us.

    More mechanically, we need the ability to re-evaluate priorities from one minute to the next. We also need an inate sense of fairness-- treating the kids we haven't yet learned to love with the exact same respect we show to those who make it easy.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Abilitate to communicate logically and sequentially, verbally and in writing, is a key skill. Doesn't matter how well you know your subject, you've got to communicate it explicitly.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    behavior and classroom management (I work with someone who DOES not have this skill set- her lessons are beautifully designed but she can't get through them.....)

    Thinking on your feet

    Flexibility

    A sense of humor

    Thick skin

    Eyes in the back of your head.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    It's something of a minority view, but subject area proficiency really is important: it's hard to teach what one doesn't enjoy, and it's hard to enjoy what one isn't good at. And children are remarkably adept at figuring it out when the teacher doesn't like one part or another of the curriculum.
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Yeah. I hate that.
     
  9. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    They have been mentioned a few times already, but I think flexibility and thinking on your feet are two of the most important skills a teacher can have. Things are not always going to go as planned. There will be times when you plan a lesson that you think is spectacular and then the students just don't "get it." You need to be able to switch gears quickly and come up with another way to present the material. There are also going to be MANY times when there are fire drills, last minute assemblies, unexpected meetings, duties to cover for other teachers, etc. and you need to be flexible in order to keep things running smoothly and keep your sanity.
     
  10. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    All of those listed and the ability to teach the same material in new and different ways. Sometimes, as teachers teaching the same material over and over again can get kind of boring for us and for the students. Always try to do something different. Don't be afraid to think outside the box.
     
  11. Dutch

    Dutch Rookie

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    G'day

    They're all good talents and abilities and stuff to have, sure, but I reckon there's something more important. I believe you have to actively enjoy the company of the kids you're working with. Kids aren't fools. They know when you're not shooting straight.

    I'm the last to say I'm an expert in this field, but I know most of the kids I work with each year enjoy coming each day. That's half the battle to teach won right there before they even walk in the door.

    I make a lot of great little mates each year. It also makes the job such a lot of fun too, eh?

    Cheers.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    You're so right!!

    I taught once with a teacher who knew pretty much no math. (And, no, she wasn't a 1st or 2nd year teacher.) She and I were the 2 math 11 teachers that year. Each day she would stop me in the faculty room and ask me about the day's material. It was fine for a while, but at some point you get tired of being taken advantage of. I spoke to the department chair, and she stopped asking (although at that point I think he took on the job as her tutor.)

    Sorry, but if you're going to try to teach material to kids, you've got to know it cold. You need to be able to understand, re-phrase it, and come up with new explanations and examples. You need to do more than re-copy the model problems from the text-- those are for the kids to use, not you. It requires work if it's a new prep for you-- but then there ARE those two months we call "summer" if you don't want to do it over the school year.

    But you owe it to your kids to be proficient at whatever it is you teach.
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    And that's the opportunity inside the obstacle that is NCLB compliance. Prepping for Praxis II 0014, the AEPA, CSET-MS, or one of the other exams can be seen as a chance to begin exorcising one's own old ghosts in history or math or science or whatever other subject area - and in test-taking, too, come to that.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I agree: a sense of humor (for sixth graders particularly), organization; and to absolutely enjoy the company of your students.

    It is hard to "develop" a sense of humor and the sense of enjoyment around students...it is part of one's personality which does not change easily...although it certainly can. Organization...how do you develop that? Get serious about it, clean your desk area every single day, and have systems that work for you.
     
  15. Dutch

    Dutch Rookie

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    Heh. Organisation...

    I always tell the kids that their lockers are definitely due for a clean when they're messier than my desk.
     
  16. bernie

    bernie Rookie

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    Humor, anger management, patience, deep-seated respect for yourself, others, and the awesome responsibility you have everyday in the classroom, intelligence, creativity, consistency, dedication, and enthusiasm.

    Some of them like respect, intelligence, creativity, and dedication, you need to bring with you, otherwise I don't think you'll be a very good teacher. Some of the others you can learn along the way, some of them sooner rather than later if you want to survive. I think teaching has brought out my sense of humor - I can be pretty goofy in the classroom, and it is also a tremendous outlet for my natural enthusiasm. Teaching and the students I work with are a great catalyst for my enthusiasm. I've had to work on the patience and anger management - they didn't come so naturally for me.
     
  17. daisyduck123

    daisyduck123 Companion

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    Important skills/traits needed for a 1st grade teacher:

    *Organization
    * Understanding

    * I'm not sure what the word for this is, but you need to know how to handle parents....that is a BIG one.

    All of this is learned through experience.
     
  18. teach 4th

    teach 4th Rookie

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    I am going to give a few that have already been stated...

    Classroom management (done in a way that the students don't normally feel managed)
    Sense of humor (the ability to laugh with the kids, and the ability to laugh afterwards on those long, hard days)
    Parental management (being able to keep most parents happy most of the time, and work with parents who aren't happy to make them happier).

    All of these things, I think, are skills that need to be developed over time and with many experiences.
     

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