Thursday, July 01, 2010

Unwritten Teacher Skills

Or should I call them survival skills?

Skill No. 1 : How To Be A Team Player

The school organisation is like wheels in a cog, fitted together, sometimes well, sometimes awkwardly.  But STILL fitted together.  Those who aren't team players will find themselves facing hard times.  They'll still get on... but not as easily as when they take the team into consideration.

Skill No. 2 : How To Identify Team Leaders In The Staffroom

Every school staffroom has leaders.  They could be the Loud Busybody or the Strong Silent GC or the Smiley I-Love-Everybody Gossip.  They could be the principal's first cousin or the Education Director's wife.  But usually what they say goes.  And it tends to go a long way.  Getting on these people's good side is usually the smarter thing to do.  Unless you really have no choice.  Then I wish you luck.

Skill No. 3 : How To Identify Clique Leaders In The Classroom

In any group of people, there will be the followers and there will be the leaders.  In my first year of teaching, I found out that I could control a whole class of grim-eyed, knuckle-cracking teenagers just by identifying the three clique leaders in the classroom and getting them on my side.  Why didn't my lecturers ever tell us about this?

Skill No. 4 : How To Prioritise Work

Or in simpler terms, how to recognise work to complete and work to keep in the file.

Teachers now have so much work to do that it is just IMPOSSIBLE to finish everything.  So a smart teacher will decide which work to complete and which to shelve (until available time opens up.. such as during a flood or storm).  Usually, the most important things to do will be the teaching record book, student records-keeping (especially the attendance record!) and the marking of books.  Next will be data that needs to be submitted to the District Office or the Ministry of Education.  Other things come low on the list.

Other skills are optional :)

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