DISC Leadership: 5 Soft Skills You Need to Succeed as an Educator
As the pandemic continues, educators, specifically K-12 teachers, are exploring ways to engage students virtually. Teachers across the nation have required support from families and colleagues, but continue to struggle in capturing their students’ attention.
Brookings.edu forecasted that learning gains in mathematics would decrease exponentially due to the pandemic. “In mathematics, students were predicted to show even smaller learning gains from the previous year, returning with less than 50% of typical gains.”
What are some ways you, as an educator, can adapt to the current learning environment?
Developing your DISC leadership soft skills is critical. Soft skills are personality traits and behaviors that leaders use to have their classroom function with fluidity. There are several soft skills that you need to possess to reach your students.
Soft skills that you can use in any learning environment include:
As a result of the pandemic, teachers needed to change their teaching style, which became stressful for most educators—also addressing the stress of students changing learning environments. Stress management in a classroom setting is imperative. One of the most important initial steps you can take as a teacher is to increase your self-care routine. Knowing your DISC personality style can help you understand how to manage your stress and what self-care routines will work best for you. Self-care can involve learning relaxation techniques, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Also, take time to reach out to students who seem to be struggling or need extra encouragement.
Quarantine has made it difficult for teachers to capture and hold their students’ attention, especially younger students. With the support of parents, educators can achieve this task. Tips to keep different DISC style's attention include: adding variety to your presentations, keeping a good pace so students do not space out, allowing for enough breaks in between topics, and being consistent with asking questions to engage them.
Remote learning forced teachers to manage their time and priorities differently. Time no longer was told by a bell ringing, yard duty teachers calling children into the class, or lining up to go inside. As an educator, the way you can make the most out of your students’ learning time is by setting goals for the day. Learn how to say “No” so you can stay on track, pay attention to the activities students enjoy (so you may make more time for it in the future), and eliminate time-wasters such as students gathering their supplies. Ask parents to have students’ supplies ready before class begins.
Sitting in front of a computer can take a toll on students. The absence of social interaction can lead to a student feeling unmotivated and depressed. To be an effective leader, not only is it your job to teach, but it is also vital to support the emotional well being of each of the students' relative to their DISC style. Teachers need to have skills such as being empathetic, maintaining awareness of their students' performances, and creating a strong rapport with students to feel comfortable enough to express themselves.
Reports have stated that many teachers and parents have experienced technical difficulties while learning remotely. At times, technical support was not available, so it was important for teachers to think on their feet. Recommendations to solve a problem could be identifying the problem, listing all possibilities, and trying different methods when aiding parents and students.
At PeopleKeys, we believe that educators are teaching not just students but our future leaders. PeopleKeys offers various tools to help teachers increase their soft skills as they prepare students for success. Learn how to become a behaviorally aware educator through DISC certification and begin preparing your students for a bright future.