In today’s world of ever-advancing information, technology, psychology and politics, there’s no doubt that it takes a lot of interest, dedication and balance to become a truly outstanding educator in any field.
Some folks are natural born teachers and others can practice to near perfection certain traits and habits that will bring about the ability to instill knowledge in an impactful way. Have you’ve been wondering what it would take to embrace the responsibility that comes with the great art of education? If so, then you’re likely already a step ahead of the game.
In addition to having curiosity about how to tackle a challenge, an outstanding educator will also be incredibly excited to discover, share and experiment with new ideas for deeper learning and better information retention. They will also be bursting with enthusiasm about the subject they have chosen to share with their students.
Rather than just passing along basic facts and figures for memorization, a successful teacher will cultivate and encourage critical thinking skills—asking and welcoming thoughtful questions and dialogue about the subject matter at hand.
Good communication skills are key in all aspects of life and a skilled educator will be well versed in listening, reflecting, asking questions, sharing their own thoughts, and making clear, present-time, achievable requests.
Being prepared is another trait that translates to all aspects of life, but in teaching, it becomes absolutely critical. Having a clear outline of each topic to be presented, a handful of different approaches to sharing the information, and any/all media and materials ready to go can make all the difference.
Everyone learns at different rates, using different methods. There’s no one magical recipe for learning that makes simple sense to everyone. So, it’s key to keep calm and remember to experiment with different tactics when dealing with the unique styles of individual students.
When aiming to impart knowledge it’s important to remain fluid throughout the sharing process. Teachers must have the ability to form and reform strategies for successful learning on the fly in order to ensure the deep absorption of information.
Learning by example can be one of the most powerful tools for new skill acquisition. A highly successful teacher will be able to easily demonstrate real life utilization of the subject at hand and showcase ways to integrate that information into everyday applications.
Keeping a sense of humor can help foster a connection of trust that creates space for the safe exchange of ideas between teacher and student. Without fear of judgement, creativity and experimentation flow more freely.
Even an outstanding educator, can never be expected to know—or always be prepared to deal with—it all. When in doubt, successful teachers ask for help from a trusted friend or mentor or check in with their students for real time feedback about what’s working and what could use improvement.