By Jennifer Magliano
Not all teachers start out with mini chalkboards, offering spelling tutorials to their stuffed animal students, at age 5. Sure, some future educators’ fates were sealed early on by a teacher they loved to imitate, but many arrive in the classroom after starting down different paths.
Whether you’re newly inspired or have been training since kindergarten, how will you—or those hiring—know you’re right for the job?
It seems natural for service-oriented folks with great people skills to consider teaching, especially if they’re already an amazing aunt or fun uncle. But what if you’re nothing like the dynamic teacher who galloped into fourth grade on a hobby horse, sporting a powdered wig?
We’ve got the advice you need to evaluate whether teaching is right for you and tips for polishing up your skills if you decide it is.
Evaluate Your Skills
Not every teacher needs to be that over the top singing and dancing educator to be great. Many skills and attributes you already possess have prepared you to make the life-changing commitment to teach—sans props and costume.
Your best qualities, whatever form they take, are needed in classrooms everywhere. Whether you submit that resume tomorrow or years from now, you can make your unique skill set practically pop off the page. Check out the skills below to see if any sound like you.
Not all great communicators are able to get up in front of a group and improvise. But, just because you’re not a ham, doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes. Are you an active listener, who engages deeply? You might be just the right person to encourage a struggling student, respond with humor, or point out a dynamic no one else has noticed. Education means “to draw out,” and introverts have a knack for allowing others to open up.
Creative Problem Solving
Are you a creative type who’s always finding an alternative solution? Your resourcefulness will make for a more interesting classroom experience that engages kids with different learning styles. When you integrate music, nature, movement, or visual arts into your lessons, you’ll motivate students—and interviewers, too.
Strong Organizational Skills
One of the best teachers I’ve ever worked with started as a substitute. She impressed others, too, with her color-coded planner replete with goals. She toted multi-colored highlighters and wore a smart watch. Her penchant for planning and organization, impeccable time management and purposeful use of technology (and stylish way of showing it), along with her passion for teaching, made her incredibly effective in the classroom. Needless to say, my school offered her a full-time position as soon as one became available.
There are many skills and traits personified by accomplished educators. When it comes to your resume, those that come naturally will be easy to highlight as you outline your experiences with clubs, activities, and work.
Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article.