Finding a Job

Top 6 Teaching Skills That Employers Look For

February 25, 2021

A variety of teaching skills are necessary to work effectively as a teacher, coach or mentor in any educational institution. With these skills, you can help students learn more effectively and contribute to the school’s and the students’ success, making you a more valuable candidate for your desired teaching position. In this article, we discuss six necessary teaching skills employers look for.

Why are teaching skills important?

Teaching skills benefit teachers, their students and schools. With these skills, you can help your students achieve better academic performance, which will increase your value to your institution and enhance your job security. Over time, as you continue to improve your effectiveness as a teacher, you can achieve greater job satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment as you see your students earn better results.

For educational institutions, having teachers with excellent teaching skills and abilities will help ensure their students effectively learn and do well on exams and in life. As a result, they will see an improvement in performance and reputation. Hiring teachers who are already competent also enables them to save time, effort and money, as they need to provide only minimal training.

Related: The Best Job Skills To Make Your Resume Stand Out

Skills of a good teacher

The skills needed to be a teacher may vary depending on the institution you work for, the level of the students you teach and the type of instruction you provide. However, school administrators generally regard some teaching skills as more valuable than others. The following are the top six skills required to be a prime candidate for a teaching position:

  1. Instructing and developing
  2. Active listening
  3. Building trust
  4. Encouragement
  5. Providing corrective feedback
  6. Planning

1. Instructing and developing

As a teacher, coach or mentor, you need to deliver instructions and lessons to your students to help them develop their knowledge and skills. Whether you conduct a one-on-one tutoring session, a small discussion or a lecture to a large class, you must use proper communication to make your students more receptive to learning. Teachers with excellent instructional skills are familiar with a variety of methods to present information, such as through lectures, presentations, discussions, reflective activities, games and other processes.

Different people will have different learning abilities and preferences. As such, you have to know your students’ learning behaviors to determine the most effective way to deliver your instructions.

An outstanding teacher knows how to use powerful phrases, stories and metaphors to make a deeper impression on students. This will make students more interested in the lessons and inspire them to improve themselves. Also, you should assist your students in finding resources that can help them develop their knowledge and skills, such as books, websites, software and experts.

Related: Common Communication Barriers (With Examples)

2. Active listening

Besides being an important teaching skill in itself, active listening is also required to build other types of teaching skills. If you can listen well to your students, you will show them that you have heard and understood their concerns. This will make them feel you are truly interested in helping them improve their knowledge and skills, which can motivate them to learn and increase their trust in you.

Additionally, being a good listener enables you to gain a better understanding of your students’ ability and willingness to learn. With this knowledge, you can adapt your teaching methods to suit individual needs, which can lead to more effective learning.

Other than actively listening to your students, you must assure them you are intently listening to them. Give brief, encouraging responses while they are speaking to make yourself appear genuinely interested. Sometimes, you may have to provide feedback on certain ideas or comments to show you have clearly understood their messages, or can repeat their ideas back to them and ask if you understood correctly.

3. Building trust

When you build trust with your students, they will be more committed to learning from you. By showing them you are truly interested in helping them learn, you will make yourself more approachable and create a more conducive learning environment.

Building trust takes time. However, you can take certain measures to build trust more quickly. These measures include:

  • Keep confidential information your students share with you secret unless they’re at risk
  • Follow through on the promises you make to them
  • Respect their boundaries
  • Spend time with them outside classes
  • Admit your mistakes and take responsibility to correct them
  • Tactfully let them know if you disagree with them on something and explain why

4. Encouragement

Being encouraging is one of the most essential skills of a good teacher. If you have the ability to encourage your students, you can help them stay focused and interested in learning. In challenging education programs, students may encounter difficulties and failures that can have a negative impact on their motivation levels. By offering encouragement, you can help them gain the confidence they need to overcome these obstacles and continue improving themselves.

You can encourage your students by giving them recognition and sincere positive feedback when they demonstrate successful attainment of new knowledge or skills. When they encounter learning barriers, draw their attention to their positive traits and proven abilities to make them believe they can surpass those obstacles.

Related: The Best Ways To Motivate Your Team

5. Providing corrective feedback

It is common for students to make mistakes when they are learning new concepts and skills. As a teacher, you should be prepared to give corrective feedback to your students when they make mistakes. This can ensure that they make a conscious effort not to commit the same mistake again, which will help them progress faster.

Whenever you see your students making mistakes, you should be direct with them. Let them know what the mistakes are and show them how to correctly perform the tasks. The following are some useful tips for providing corrective feedback:

  • Use positive, professional words and tone to correct your students when their performance or behaviors are unsatisfactory.
  • Provide corrective feedback as soon as it is feasible to do so.
  • Give feedback in private whenever possible.

6. Planning

Any instructional process must be properly planned to achieve the desired results. With good planning skills, you can ensure your students will learn the knowledge and skills needed within the specified timeframes. Efficient teaching methods can help your institution save time, effort and money. Teachers need to plan lessons and assignments, including timelines for completion, manage their own time for preparing and grading and often put together school events or extracurricular activities.

However, it may not be easy to plan learning processes for your students, considering that their learning abilities may vary greatly. Take the following steps to devise effective learning plans for them:

  • Identify the skills or competency levels your students need to attain during the learning process.
  • Set goals for them to reach within certain timeframes.
  • Recognize their abilities, strengths and weaknesses to create suitable learning plans for them.


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