Teach First Ambassador presenting

Nine classroom skills that are handy in all situations

Nine classroom skills that are handy in all situations

Training to be a teacher isn’t easy but you’ll come away with some impressive skills that’ll last a lifetime. These will come in pretty handy if you decide to take your career in a different direction.

1. You'll be used to motivating a crowd. Every day.

If you can do that in the classroom on the tough days – when everybody decides to play up at once and the interactive whiteboard stops working – leading a team in an office will feel like child’s play. Sam Dickinson, lead inventor at Google and Teach First ambassador, says “knowing when you might need to inject a bit of stimulus to help people think in new and fresh ways, to get where you need to go,” is a skill he can trace right back to teaching in the classroom.

2.  You'll know what it takes to get a job done.

“The ability to welcome students in the morning and figure out what’s going on with them and how they’re feeling is massively important as a consultant. You have to be aware what is important to different people, what are the priorities of different departments and that awareness is really vital to getting our job done,” says Ryan Bartlett, consultant at Oliver Wyman.

3. 'Organised' is your new middle name.

And you’ll be able to multitask like a pro. “Organisation was a must in the classroom. Going from class to class – different topics, different lessons – knowing where they are, how I’m going to pick up [where I left off] and how I’m going to go on. I now take that to managing different projects with different clients,” says Maksim Mojiovic, who’s now a management consultant at PWC.

4. 'Confidence' is your other middle name.

Being dropped in the deep end, and floating, does wonders for your confidence. "I developed quite a big teacher persona and you carry that into whatever you do afterwards. The professional face that makes you feel like you can go over to anyone and start talking to them and interacting with them," says Hannah Cusworth, HR analyst at Goldman Sachs.

5. When something doesn't go to plan you take it in your stride.

“[In the classroom] you’ve got to react to whatever happens, whether a fight breaks out or whether a thunderstorm starts and disrupts the lesson. You’ve just got to roll with the punches,” says Maksim, who’s the first person to call if there’s some argy-bargy in the boardroom.

6. Your people skills will go off the charts.

“In teaching you’re working with so many different people. You’re working with colleagues who have their personalities and quirks. You’re working with lots of children who have their own problems and personalities and issues. The people management skills I have now compared to what I had before are vastly different,” says maths teacher Jessica Gould-Roberts.

7. Explaining complex concepts comes easily.

You’re used to taking tricky subjects and breaking them down into simple explanations that children, and clients, can understand.

8. Presenting to the boss? No problem.

Not when you’re used to performing daily. “People are like ‘wow, you are so good at presenting, it seems to come so naturally to you’. But I essentially spent two years of my life presenting for a good six hours a day in front of quite a challenging audience,” says Hannah.

9. Most importantly you’ll learn how everyone in the staffroom takes their tea.

And, wherever you work, nothing wins you brownie points like the ability to make a good cuppa.

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