our everyday life

List of Core Competencies for Educators

by Alicia Anthony, studioD

Teachers are expected to be competent in several key areas to be considered effective teachers. According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, teachers are expected to demonstrate competency in five core areas. These five competencies are the basis by which teacher effectiveness typically is measured.


Educators who are dedicated to their students qualify as an asset to any school. To be a good teacher, you must understand and appreciate the challenges faced by students and be willing to go the extra mile to help them reach their potential. Only teachers who are committed to their careers can make a true difference in the lives of their students.

Knowledge of Subject Areas

Good teacher education is essential for educators to gain the base of knowledge they need to teach their subjects. Both teaching pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching) and content-area knowledge is expected. Teachers who know and love the subject matter they teach are often more effective instructors. It is important for educators to stay up to date on new teaching concepts as well as specific subject-area knowledge.

Classroom Management

Classroom management is a skill set that often improves with experience. However, the ability to bond with students and foster an environment of mutual respect within the classroom is the first step to a well-managed classroom. Fairness and consistency go a long way in dealing with everyday classroom-management issues.

Creative Thinking

Teachers who possess the ability to think creatively qualify as an asset in their schools. These teachers are able to differentiate instruction to better meet the needs of individual students and are able to handle the ever-changing tide of educational regulations with ease. These teachers are often assets to their team members and sources of innovative information and ideas.


Educators are expected to show leadership within their schools as well as their communities. Teachers may be expected to organize head committees as well as foster relationships with parents and community members. Such leadership helps schools gain funding and support for educational initiatives. Educators should possess the ability to demonstrate effective leadership qualities both in and outside of the classroom.

About the Author

Alicia Anthony is a seasoned educator with more than 10 years classroom experience in the K-12 setting. She holds a Master of Education in literacy curriculum and instruction and a Bachelor of Arts in communications. She is completing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing: fiction, and working on a novel.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images