What does it take to be a college professor

Besides certain skills, professors should also have a certain work style. This will allow for growth and also for the best potential career path. You must understand and remember that being a professor is not an easy career, you must have a dedicated work ethic in order to be successful and to not fall behind on your work. Here are some components that are crucial to a professor’s work ethic.
• Leadership skills. As a professor, you are essentially a teacher to your students. You must lead them and take charge in the classroom. You will find it hard to teach and deal with students if they feel they can walk all over you and have their way with you. This doesn’t mean you need to be intimidating, it just means you must display to them that while they are in your classroom, you are in charge.
• Self-motivation. You are usually not supervised as a professor when it comes to how you plan your course. This is why self-motivation is an important component to your work ethic. You will need to depend on yourself to get things done and not rely on others. There will be no one holding your hand to make sure you are doing your job, your employers in your institution give your free reign to teach in your own style as long as students understand the subject you are teaching.
• Creativity. While the majority of your students are in your class because they find the topic interesting, there will be times certain themes and concepts may seem mundane or even boring. It’s important to be creative with your teaching style and be innovative. This doesn’t mean you need to make an elaborate presentation, but this could mean you have students do a project together that will require some creativity on their part. Think out of the box and see what you can come up with.
• Attention to detail. It’s important to pay attention to your work. Little errors here and there can make you seem unprofessional and careless as a professor. You can’t expect your students to be meticulous with their work when you aren’t yourself. You must lead by example.
• Flexibility and persistence. Those who are open to change are more prone to success that those who are not. There will be times where you will have to deal with change but that shouldn’t ruin your mood or any goals you were trying to reach. Instead of dealing with the change negatively, embrace and see where it can take you. You must also be persistent when facing obstacles. You cannot give up just because something doesn’t go your way.
• The ability to handle stress. This can go hand in hand with flexibility, but there will be times your teaching techniques will be criticized by peers or even students. Instead of getting angry at these criticisms, take them in and see if they are valid. Sometimes harsh critiques are just constructive criticism wrapped in negativity. Learn from them and become better.
Sources:
• http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1081.00
• http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-2

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