We’re doing some interesting work in Chile on training teachers from a competency-led point of view.

Here are some we came up with:

1. Open Mindedness – I see two sides to this. One is to realise that no matter what has gone on before, there is always the possibility that there might be better (ie more efficient, more effective, more appropriate…) ways of doing it in the future. A good teacher is as open to new the possibility of new possibilities as he or she would want the learners to be. Secondly, they must be open minded enough to know their own inadequacies. In my experience, during a feedback session, the teacher who spends all the time telling me how good they are and how much they know is rarely good or knowledgeable. 

2. Innovative – You grab a new idea (from anywhere, not just education), you adapt it, you give it a go, you do things with learners not to them, you get feedback, you tweak it some more, you try, you fail, you succeed, you iterate, you grow, everyone wins

3. Bravery – what you need to do the above

4. Love Children – if you’re not in it for the children, you’re just not in it

5. Sense of Humour – the ultimate secret weapon when it comes to engaging children. Just ask them

6. Teacher as Life-Long Learner – share with them how much you are learning and dabbling and growing. Talk about your INSET day (if you learned anything). Or that training event you went to (if you learned anything). Let them know by your actions that learning is not something you do only at school and only as a child

7. A Focus on Competencies (as well as knowledge)  – don’t be fooled by the ‘either/or’ debate, usually used by the ‘Knowledge is King’ set (or ‘Prince’ maybe, ahem…) to belittle the idea of competencies. They need knowledge. You can either get them to sit there while you give it to them (see Freire’s ‘Banking Concept of Education‘) or get them to develop some real-world skills (report writing, presentation skills…) and competencies (leadership, resilience…) whilst learning the knowledge

We’ll let you know how our thinking goes but feel free to add any of your own to the list.