The soft skills are termed for skills needed in different aspects of life including your career. Let me give an example. If two co-workers are working in a team then they need to have good communication skills, team-building skills, collaborative problem-solving skills, etc. along with the academic knowledge and cognitive skills needed to do the job. The first 3 skills mentioned are examples of soft skills.
Here are some specific areas of soft skills and why they are important for teachers besides being able to teach the students well.
It is important that the teachers become assertive and can able to exchange feedback with all the different guardians and parents of the students. And this means exchanging something more that writing sweet comments in the result sheets/report cards. It is also important that the teachers consult with previous teachers of the students to find out the learning’ needs of individual students and how to help them make progress.
Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills: Teachers must be able to deal with unwanted problems that are not related to classrooms but can affect the learning outcome of the students. Think of the learner who witnesses abuse at home. How does the teacher deal with it if the parents are reluctant about such cases? How will the teacher make sure that the kid is not dragged into it?
When it comes to teaching at schools using the curricula of different cultures and societies it is important that they can help the learners understand the subject matter in their local context. Moreover, the student groups may represent pupils from different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, who can understand the lessons better if they are taught by educators having cultural intelligence.
I used to believe that teachers receive a lot of training to deal with the constant and continually changing need of children in their classroom and so they could handle the emotional needs of the children as well as the learning needs. Little did I know that managing your own emotion in front of these kids can be a real challenge especially when you are trying to help these little angels be themselves and ask for whatever they want until I entered this classroom a long time back with the intention of conducting the class. At one point I could only hear myself. It was because I was screaming to the point so that everyone could hear what I was ‘trying to say loudly but politely’ in the middle of all the screams of urgent requests made by all the innocent kids at the same time. (Oh my God..sigh!)
There are lots of competitions in many countries’ education system in terms of the exams of the students where the students go through tough competitions. It is important that the teachers teach the students to build teams and solve problems collaboratively. If they are good team-players then they can induce the same type of skills and attitude among the learners. Furthermore, if the teachers and the parents/guardians can practice a good team-work then the child’s creative potential and the academic performance will foster.
Social Media and Networking: Long gone are the times when we used to wonder which version of Microsoft Excel would be better to analyze the results of the learners. It is now the time to find out how computers and smart phones (and hence social media) can help us to connect with other educators and compare our teaching practices to help us perform better in the classroom.
How can the Teachers learn these soft skills?
Now the question arises how you can learn these soft skills. Or may be who will teach you these. You need to look for ways by which you can learn. Play the role of a student here so that you can further find out how to help your learners at school learn more efficiently. Here are some ideas by which you can try learning these:
Visit other schools where there are international students. Try to see and interview how the school actually accommodates all the needs of a multi-cultural pool of learners of various ages.
Read a lot
We know that teachers should read a lot of books to enhance their knowledge, which has now been made easy through online publications. You can read in your i-Pads and Smart Phones. But you should not miss out reading other people’s/educator’s blogs. Blogs are personal opinions and experiences shared online for the benefit of the mass. You will learn how the soft skills are developed at other corners of the world, some of which are in fact through the classroom activities. Don’t miss out on it or you will be in the dark.
You can get a list of some blogs for teachers here.
Attend Sessions on Soft Skills
Self-Explanatory! Try to join workshops and training programs other than areas directly related to teaching pedagogy. The topics can be as diversified as Creativity, Social Media, Emotional Intelligence and so on
source: Goal-net international