What Are Teacher Soft Skills? (And How To Improve Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published August 4, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Pursuing a career as a teacher can be a fulfilling professional path to follow. If you're hoping to become an educator, there are certain hard and soft skills you may benefit from possessing. It's helpful to remain aware of some common teacher soft skills to develop, which can allow you to succeed in your role.

In this article, we explain what teacher soft skills are, provide examples of these types of skills, review how to improve them, discover how teacher soft skills manifest in the workplace and offer a step-by-step guide on how to highlight these soft skills during a job search process.

Related: 10 Teacher Careers: Requirements, Salaries and Duties

What are teacher soft skills?

Teacher soft skills are abilities that entail how educators interact with other people and may include emotional intelligence, social awareness and leadership. Typically, professionals have either developed these skills or at least a foundation on which they can improve these skills. Recognizing which soft skills can enhance your ability as an educator can help you determine if the role is right for you, what you can do to improve these skills and the ways in which you can use them in the workplace.

These skills are different from teacher hard skills, which are teachable, quantifiable and typically specific in their manifestation. Hard skills usually include technical skills, such as possessing a certain certification for teaching or skills obtained through teaching professional development courses. A combination of soft skills and hard skills contributes to a teacher's overall ability to succeed in their role.

Related: Soft Skills: Definitions and Examples

Examples of teacher soft skills

Here are some examples of teacher soft skills that can allow you to succeed as a teacher:

Leadership

As a professional in charge of a classroom, possessing solid leadership skills can help you serve as a leading presence for your students. No matter what age your students are, they usually require their educator to have strong leadership skills that highlight your ability to guide them toward achieving their tasks effectively. As such, having these skills can allow you to work effectively in your authoritative role . Having effective leadership skills can also help you garner respect from not only your students but from your peers and managers.

Related: Learn About Being a Teacher

Communication

Being able to communicate efficiently, clearly and effectively is essential to becoming a high-quality teacher. You're responsible in a teacher role for conveying information to your students in a way that's easy to comprehend and then applying that information to other contexts, so it's necessary to have these skills. Excellent written and verbal communication skills can allow you to succeed in a teaching role.

Social and emotional intelligence

Being socially and emotionally aware of your students' emotional and physical needs is often critical to being a successful teacher. Having the ability to detect how students feel, as well as how you feel, can allow you to interact with students in the way they require. For instance, if a student has exhibited improper behavior in class for the last week, being able to detect the underlying reasons for this behavior can help you understand how you may assist the student moving forward.

Problem-solving

You're likely to encounter challenges in your role as a teacher, so being able to solve problems in a quick and efficient manner is typically helpful. Remaining open to new ideas and solutions can help you with your problem-solving skills and allow you to find solutions to any issues that may arise. Being able to solve problems that you or your students may encounter can help both you and your students succeed.

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Multitasking

As a teacher, you're likely to multitask quite often while on the job. Having proper multitasking skills, such as being able to divide your focus to execute multiple tasks at once, managing several lesson plans or courses and using multi-media, like slideshows, while teaching, may be helpful. Multitasking also allows teachers to remain on schedule with their proposed syllabus.

Related: What Do Teachers Do? Complete Guide

How to improve teacher soft skills

Here are some steps you can take to improve your teacher soft skills:

  • Identify your weaknesses: Determining which teacher soft skills require improvement can help you develop strategies for enhancing your abilities. Acknowledging any weaknesses is the first step in being able to transition them into strengths.

  • Practice: Actively using your teacher soft skills can assist you in honing and perfecting them. You may try to accomplish this with friends, family members or peers.

  • Seek advice: Consider asking for advice or guidance related to improving your teacher soft skills. You may discuss these skills with peer, a mentor or a manager, all of whom may have mastered the skills you're aiming to develop.

  • Ask for feedback: Requesting feedback or constructive criticism can help you improve your teacher soft skills by allowing others to identify which ones could use some enhancement. Asking your principal, assistant principal or anyone else directly involved in overseeing your work can provide you with helpful criticism.

Related: How To Get Hired as a Teacher in 8 Steps (With Tips)

Teacher soft skills in the workplace

Here are examples of situations in which you may exhibit teacher soft skills while on the job:

  • Parent-teacher conferences: You're likely to utilize several soft skills during parent-teacher conferences, including leadership and communication skills. In these situations, you can utilize communication skills to explain how a student performs in your class and leadership skills that confirm your position as head of the classroom.

  • Providing feedback on homework or tests: While giving feedback on homework, tests and other assignments, you might use communication skills to highlight a student's performance. You may also use problem-solving skills and social and emotional awareness skills to give the most helpful, constructive feedback on students' work based on their unique social and emotional state.

  • Presenting lessons: You can also use your leadership skills when teaching every day in the classroom. While presenting lessons, you act as the person who's solely responsible for teaching your students.

Related: 50 Teacher Interview Questions and Answers

How to highlight teacher soft skills during the job search process

There are several ways in which you can highlight your teacher soft skills during a job search process, including the following:

  • Creating a career objective statement: Writing a brief but descriptive career objective that includes soft skills on your teacher resume can quickly and efficiently inform a hiring manager of the exact teacher soft skills you possess and how you've used them in the past.

  • Illustrating your skills in an interview: Explaining which teacher soft skills you have and how you use them in your personal and professional life can be helpful in illustrating your abilities to perform teaching tasks effectively.

  • Describing your skills in a cover letter: Your teacher cover letter provides another opportunity to describe what teacher soft skills you have and how they may assist you in the role for which you're applying. Consider including specific anecdotes that emphasize your soft skills in action.

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