Top 12 English Teacher Skills (Plus How To Develop Them)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 1 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Teaching is considered a popular, rewarding and fulfilling profession as teachers help develop skills and knowledge in students. The job of an English teacher can be demanding as it requires a specific set of skills to succeed in this role. Understanding the skills and characteristics of a successful English teacher can help you prepare for this career. In this article, we discuss the 12 essential English teacher skills, share some ways to develop them and explain how to highlight these skills in your job application.

Top 12 English teacher skills

Here are some important English teacher skills that can help accomplish their daily tasks:

1. Communication skills

English teachers require having an excellent understanding of both verbal and non-verbal communication. For a significant part of their day, English teachers have to deliver lessons, interact with students and supervise them. Teachers also communicate with parents, administration and colleagues, both in writing and verbally. Strong communication skills can also make classes more engaging and interactive for students.

Read more: Communication Skills: Definitions And Examples

2. Patience

It can be challenging to teach a new language to non-native speakers. Instilling the habit of using the language in everyday life can require a lot of patience from trainers and teachers. Furthermore, students can be from various cultural backgrounds and have different intellectual abilities. This requires creating an engaging environment to provide an equal and fair learning experience. Teachers may also repeat sessions or key concepts to ensure that students understand key concepts. All of this requires tremendous patience and discipline from teachers.

3. Empathy

Empathy is being aware of and understanding how others feel. As an English teacher, it is an important skill to have. Being empathic towards students helps teachers understand their problems from a new perspective. Empathy can help the teacher prevent anger, be patient to understand the reason and put effort to make things easier for the student. Empathy is also essential for teachers to manage students that come from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.

4. Organisational skills

The role of an English teacher includes making lesson plans, conducting classes, supervising activities and performing assessments. They may also perform several other jobs including, maintaining student records and generating report cards. With so many duties to manage, it is crucial for teachers to organise their work and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Organisational skills also help a teacher keep track of student records, lessons, learning progress and student assessment reports of several students.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition And Examples

5. Computer skills

Teachers use computers to track student progress, create worksheets, make examination papers and do other administrative tasks. They may also use devices in the classroom to teach English to students through videos, and they may also require to use computers and projectors if they teach in smart classrooms. They often research online to stay up-to-date on teaching methodologies or other teaching-related tasks. This makes basic computer skills essential for teachers to perform these tasks effectively.

6. Lesson planning

English teachers create lesson plans for their students by combining various teaching methodologies that allow maximum transfer and retention of knowledge and prepare students for examinations. This may require research, planning and organising topics in a manner that is the most effective for different student groups. A well-designed lesson plan contains practical projects, important basic literature and classroom activities that can engage students and help them learn the language.

7. Intercultural sensitivity

English teachers interact with students from different backgrounds. They understand and value all cultures to create an inclusive classroom environment. They try to ensure that no course material is insensitive to cultural differences. Teachers knowing multiple languages can help students learn and understand English better.

8. Teamwork

Large schools and institutions may employ multiple English teachers. There can also be other departments working within the institute. Apart from taking classes, it is vital for teachers to communicate with their colleagues to discuss lesson plans, student performance, administrative tasks and school affairs. Teachers who have good teamwork skills can perform their duties better and help students learn English better.

9. Adaptability

Adaptability refers to how well someone responds and adjusts to change. It is important for teachers to be adaptable to unanticipated changes, like classroom interruptions or modifications in the academic curriculum. Being adjustable requires flexibility, the ability to improve performance according to the feedback and commitment to updating the most effective learning approach.

10. Critical thinking

Teachers having strong critical thinking skills are more likely to help their students develop skills, values and knowledge. As teachers can make a significant impact on the impressionable minds of young students, having critical thinking skills allows teachers to encourage their students to learn things beyond the academic curriculum. Teachers with strong critical thinking skills can help students introspect, understand complex ideas and form objective opinions.

11. Time management

The responsibilities and duties of a teaching role can extend outside the classroom. Teachers may work extra hours to make lesson plans, assess papers, prepare teaching-learning materials and supervise extra-curricular activities. To keep a balance between work and your personal life, you may require to develop effective time management skills. Effective time management skills can help you accomplish your tasks efficiently and prioritise them.

12. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to acknowledging the feelings, reactions and emotions that others experience and being aware of your own. It is important for teachers to have high emotional intelligence so they can interpret how students may feel, particularly when students cannot share this about themselves. Having this skill can help you in any type of work environment and help you better understand your colleagues and build healthy relationships with them.

Ways to develop your skills as an English teacher

Anyone can benefit from improving their teaching skills. For instance, being a good communicator, having patience, and active listening can help you be a better teacher and a colleague. Enhancing your knowledge and skills can make it easier to deliver your lesson in a way students can understand. Here are a few ways you can improve your teaching skills:

  • Practise new skills: You can practise skills like empathy, patience and active listening with people around you, even on or off the job, including colleagues, friends and students. You may find that improving your skills with practice can help you better understand and engage your students.

  • Ask for constructive feedback: Generally, teachers are responsible for how their students perform, which is dependent on their classroom learning. You may ask your students if your teaching method is comfortable and easy for them to understand and your colleagues for feedback on your lesson plans.

  • Take on new responsibilities: One way to improve your teaching skills is to take more responsibilities outside the classroom. For example, volunteering to help students prepare a sketch for the annual day celebrations can help improve your communication, interpersonal, time management, teamwork and organisational skills.

Related: 10 Common Teacher Interview Questions And Answers

Highlighting your English teacher skills

Here are some ways to highlight your English teaching skills during the different stages of the job application:

On your resume

When preparing your resume, try using words that showcase your verbal and written communication skills, patience and organisational skills. Using keywords like active listening and lesson planning in the skills section can be effective. You can also highlight your teaching skills in the work experience section by mentioning a previous job where you created lesson plans and organised events for students.

Related: How To Write A Teacher's Resume (With Tips And Example)

During the job interview

Job interviews are great opportunities to demonstrate your teaching skills. When discussing your skills and strengths, include real-life anecdotes that showcase your skills and match the requirements in the job description. Try showing some skills through your behaviour, like actively listening to the interviewer's question and showing effective communication skills in your answers. In all your responses, you can use the STAR approach to highlight the result of your skills or actions.

Related: How To Use The STAR Interview Response Technique

At your workplace

While at your work, showcase your skills as an effective teacher by listening carefully to your colleagues, directors and principal, displaying a positive attitude towards your role and engaging your students. Also, consider developing professional relationships with other teachers and work on collective student projects or events. To be an effective English teacher in the classroom, consider preparing interactive lesson plans, making the lesson conversational and taking input from students while making lesson plans.

What is the average salary of an English teacher?

The average base salary of an English teacher is ₹29,224 per month. There are many factors that can influence the pay, including the type of job, geographical location and educational degree. To get a better salary, you can improve your teaching skills or consider pursuing training certifications or higher education.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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