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The Top 6 Teaching Skills by Marilyn Buehrer, Teacher

A bright blue metallic background. Man in suit holds a plate. The word "Skills" appears and four symbols: tools, person, head with cogs, light bulb.

The following skills are necessary to be a great teacher:


  • Verbal and written, friendly body language, and the ability to really listen.

Critical Thinking

  • Ability to solve a variety of problems often under a tight deadline.
  • Ability to answer difficult questions on the spot, solve conflicts between students, revise lesson plans, and deal with issues among colleagues.
  • Knowing the appropriate resources to use to solve questions and conflicts quickly and effectively.


  • Juggling several tasks in a day, from teaching and attending meetings, to lesson planning and grading.
  • Keeping it all organized and in writing.


  • Being enthusiastic about whatever subject s/he is teaching. Students see that passion and become enthusiastic participants.


  • Demonstrating patience when dealing with difficult classroom situations, explaining concepts multiple times, and dealing with parents, colleagues, and administrators.
  • Handling situations with a calm, professional demeanor with careful attention to the challenge of the moment.
  • Emotional control and maturity can be learned and must be practiced.

Technical Skills

  • Teachers must understand the material they teach. Even teachers of very young children need significant expertise. It is not enough for a first-grade math teachers to know how to perform basic arithmetic; s/he must have a solid understanding of numbers and numeric relationships in order to be able to explain the material in a thorough and responsive way.

Marilyn Buehrer was a public-school English teacher in Washington, California, and Arizona, a national motivational speaker and educator to home schoolers for nearly a decade, as well as a workshop speaker at home school conventions nationwide and at public middle school consortia in Arizona.  She is the developer of Lyric Power Publishing’s comprehensive Workbooks and Activity Sheets.

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