One of the biggest attractions of teaching at secondary level is the variety of work involved. During a typical day, you’ll teach a number of different classes made up of different year groups, with classes containing pupils of various abilities, attitudes and experiences.
Another appealing factor is the opportunity to teach a specific subject reflecting your area of interest. Teaching a subject that you enjoy, and helping pupils find enjoyment in it too, can be extremely satisfying.
Skills For Success
An effective secondary school teacher can have a huge impact on a pupil’s life, but to leave a lasting impression and deal with the daily challenges of managing a classroom of 11 to 16 year olds you’ll need a mix of soft and specific skills. These include:
The Ability To Build Strong Relationships
Good teaching practice is built on the working relationships developed between teacher and pupil. ‘It is important to treat each learner in a class as though they are significant. This is more likely to lead to pupils being engaged and honest about what they know or do not know and can lead to them sharing ideas and asking questions.
Aspiring teachers can develop their relationship-building skills by asking questions, listening to answers, finding out about individual interests and remembering names in group settings.
Building strong relationships is a key component of successfully managing classroom behaviour.
Excellent Communication Skills
The ability to communicate positively and effectively is essential. When you’re teaching, you need to learn to moderate your speech and tone of voice. Pupils at secondary age are good at reading a teacher by observing their facial expressions, so keep your body language positive.
When it comes to communicating with your students you need be able to explain with clarity is a vital communication tool. You need to be able to explain things to classes that consist of pupils of different experiences and abilities. This involves breaking a topic down into its constituent parts and then sequencing these parts in an accessible way.
The Ability To Model
As well as being adept at explaining, teachers also need to be able to demonstrate how to do something. Teachers learn how to teach better by doing things themselves, whether it be writing a poem or preparing for an exam question.
Modelling is an important skill, as it fully demonstrates a process and enables a teacher to talk through their actions and decisions in order to benefit the learners understanding.
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