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10 top skills educators need

Discover the essential skills of a modern educator in an ever-changing world. Learn about the key qualities needed to foster inclusion, confidence, and growth.


Education has always played a vital role in human society, but the format and purpose of our personal and professional development has changed dramatically over time. From learning to read and write, then preparing for specific careers, the focus is now more about preparation for life in a rapidly changing world. So, what makes a good modern educator


Nowadays, education is as much about learning new knowledge and skills as it is about developing the values, beliefs and understanding that shapes the character and trajectory of our lives. Over and above the transfer of knowledge, what skills are needed to foster inclusion, confidence and opportunity in all manner of learning, training and development.


Below, we’ve pulled out 10 key skills we think you’ll need.  

1. Adaptability 


Technology transforms the way we interact with each other and engage with the world around us. It has evolved the way we learn too – with much more access to online courses, downloadable apps for tourist attractions and interactive exhibits and public displays. One of the most important skills the modern education can possess is therefore adaptability, able to modify learning techniques and embrace new technologies as they arise. 

2. Communication 


Whether you’re standing at the front of a classroom or lecture theatre, meeting with parents, presenting educational guidelines or lobbying for increased development funding, communication is key. You not only need to be able to share information effectively, but also listen to and observe the behaviours of those around you, be that students, parents, senior managers, board members or decision-makers. 

3. Confidence


Confidence breeds success – and confidence in others. In other words, if you believe in yourself, it encourages others to believe not just in you, but themselves as well. Self-confidence will improve your own performance and inspire the support of those around you. However, your confidence should extend to your colleagues, your subject matter or area of expertise, and the individuals or communities you are seeking to educate.  

4. Collaboration 


Modern life is all about the connections and relationships we form with others. For educators, proactive collaboration and teamwork is crucial, whether you’re trying to engage learners, requesting support or feedback on a new initiative, or finding like-minded peers to share and receive insight within professional networks and special interest groups. 

5. Expertise 


Whatever field of education or sector you end up working in, you need to establish and maintain an in-depth knowledge, understanding and expertise. The higher up the chain of management you go, the broader and more advanced that knowledge needs to be. From initial subject, role, organisation and sector-specific knowledge, be prepared to master activities related to funding, lobbying, leadership and public consultation, to name but a few. 

6. Passion 


In the same way that confidence is contagious, so too is passion. Research has found that enthusiasm for your work not only makes you more committed and motivated, but also directly affects the commitment and motivation of those around you. Conveying information with passion means it’s much more likely to be received and understood, which is especially critical to learning outcomes.  

7. Creativity


When it comes to learning – in whatever situation or context that may be – the learning experience should be an enjoyable one for everyone involved. When devising educational programmes, use your imagination to make sure learning is fun, interesting and engaging. Research new ideas and consult with others, including the intended audience, to find ways to inject creativity into learning activities.  


8. Organisation 


Studies show that the more organised the teacher, the more effective the learning. Even if you don’t end up in a teaching role, being organised is essential to increase personal and operational efficiency and productivity, ensuring both you and your organisation are able to function successfully. Be sure to manage your time, energy, workspace and activities, prioritising resources and tasks appropriately. 

9. Leadership 


Effective leadership is required throughout an educator’s career, whether you remain involved in direct teaching and instruction, empowering and guiding learners to success, or move to more senior administrative and advisory roles, steering the goals of an organisation. The latter in particular requires delegation, resource planning, strategy making and crisis management. 


10. Lifelong learning 


If you’re passionate about helping others to learn, chances are you’ll seek out learning opportunities for yourself too. Educators should want to continuously grow and develop themselves, learning new skills and techniques to improve their own performance and practice. It’ll also help you keep up-to-date with current trends and any new thinking about learning and public engagement. 

What will you learn on our MA in Education? 


On our MA in Education, you’ll expand your knowledge and understanding of current educational practices and contemporary issues facing those within this wide-ranging profession. You’ll develop the educational understanding, analytical skills and leadership qualities necessary to improve learning and development, whatever the setting or context. 


Our curriculum is designed to prepare you for a broad range of careers as a modern educator in teaching, research, policy making, consultancy, leadership, management or administration. You could go on to work in nurseries, schools, universities, youth and community work, charities, museums and galleries, government departments and non-governmental organisations. 


Would you like to help teach and inspire the next generation? Discover the University of Hull online MA in Education: 


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