Monday, 3 November 2014

Soft Skills and Teaching

Soft Skills and Teaching
Prepared by
M.Sc., M.Ed., JRF & NET
Assistant Professor in Physical Science, Arafa Institute for Teacher Education
Attur, Thrissur.
Soft skills is a sociological term relating to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.
“Soft skills refer to the cluster of personality traits, social graces, and facility with language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that mark people to varying degrees. Soft skills complement hard skills, which are the technical requirements of a job.” (Britannica, 2014).
According to World Health Organization (WHO) “Soft Skills are nothing but Psychological Skills, which insists upon accepting the behavior of others along with their culture”. Fundamental Soft Skills put forth by WHO are: Self- Awareness-Self Esteem; Critical thinking Skills; Decision Making skills: Problem Solving skills; Interpersonal Skills; CommunicationSkills; Empathy; Coping with emotions; Handling peer pressure and Negotiation Skills

Soft skills are very important as they help:
>>To handle interpersonal relations
>>To take appropriate decisions
>>To communicate effectively
 >>To have good impression and impact to gain professional development.

Significance of soft skills in teaching.
 “You teach who you are.”
Both technical and soft skills complement each other and the balance between these two is what makes a teacher a complete professional. Soft skills help a teacher by the following ways
1)      To Communicate Effectively
2)      To become an Organized Teacher.
3)      To Avoid Teacher Burnout
4)      Help to develop Strategies to Become an Effective Teacher
5)      Helps to Motivate Students
6)      Helps to create Incentive Ideas and Modern Methods of Teaching, Listening Skills.
7)      Know how to Give Good Feedback for Others Work
8)      Win people’s cooperation.
9)      Helps in Goal/Target Setting.
10)  Helps to positively deal with criticism.
11)  Keep discussions from turning into arguments.
12)  Resolve Conflict
13)  Helps to know Interpersonal skills / Interpersonal Relations and their Empowerment.
14)  Helps in Objection Handling and Problem Solving

Essential soft skills required for a teacher.

1)      Communicative Skill
Ability to deliver idea clearly, effectively and with confidence either orally or in writing
Ability to practice active listening skill and respond.
Ability to discuss and arrive at conclusion.
Ability to communicate with individual from a different cultural background.
Ability to expand one’s own communicative skill.
Ability to use non-oral Skills.

2)      Team Work
 Ability to build a good rapport, interact and work
Ability to give contribution to the planning and deal effectively with others.
Ability to understand and play the role of oneself and follower alternatively.
Ability to recognize and respect others Attitude, behavior and beliefs.
Ability to coordinate group work.
3)      Leadership skill
Ability to lead.
Knowledge of the basic theories of leadership and leadership qualities.
Ability to understand and take turns as a leader and follower alternatively.
Ability to supervise members of a group.
4)      Time management skill 
Time management is the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectivenessefficiency or productivity.
The major themes on time management include the following:
·         Creating an environment conducive to effectiveness.
·         Setting of priorities
·         Carrying out activity around those priorities
·         The related process of reduction of time spent on non-priorities
·         Incentives to modify behavior to ensure compliance with time-related deadlines.

5)      Event management skill
Events management is the process behind planning, executing and evaluating corporate, association, government social and educational events.
Some of the key skills involved in event management are:
·         Attention to detail
·         Creativity (not just in designing the ‘look and feel’ but also in how to get round the inevitable problems)
·         Planning and rehearsal (plan, plan, plan…rehearse, rehearse and rehearse)
·         Multitasking
·         Budgeting (delivering within budget)

·         Team worker