Essential teacher life skills

Nina Boniface

Essential teacher life skills

Life skills are something which carry through to every aspect of your life. When you teach, there are a few obvious life skills you need in order to do it well; time management, problem solving, presentation skills and conflict resolution. But have you considered the other types of life skills that might also be pertinent in a teaching role?

Integration and friendship

It’s important to integrate yourself in any new situation well, whether you’re an international teacher whose relocated to England to teach, or if you’ve just taken the plunge and found a job in a new school. Making friends is the key to ensuring a happy and successful time in a job, after all, you spend a lot of your time at work! It’s also important to make sure you have a support network outside of work, too.

Being empathetic

Empathy is an important part of teaching. You need to be able to read people and react accordingly and understand that pupils are human. For example, if one of your students isn’t working very hard one day, maybe look past this and find out why. Recognising that someone is upset or down is a good way to show them you care and it shows them that they can trust you.


Did you know there are 37 types of special educational needs which you should at a minimum be aware of? Recognising and identifying behaviours associated with a special educational needs is vital when dealing with your students. You may experience students with EBD, BESD, ASD, HI/VI, PMLD and SEMH and these should all be dealt with differently. For example, children with Autism generally respond better to schedules and consistency. Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties could respond better to humour or “planned ignoring”. There are lots of resources on the internet to help, or you can take advantage of our free SEN courses. You should also take into consideration children’s learning styles when teaching, too. With 7 types of learning styles, it’s always important to note that some children may react differently to topics or activities. One pupil may not enjoy or actively take part in a kinesthetic activity because they learn in a more visual way.


Finally, being flexible in your role is key! You need to be able to adapt yourself to each situation, whether that be child meltdowns, troubles with peers or changes in approach. Fearing change can hinder you both short and long-term, it’s inevitable.

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