Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as ¿building blocks¿ because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Instructors in this unit group teach courses, such as motor vehicle or motorcycle driving, sewing or other courses, which are outside of educational institutions and not job-related. They are employed by driving schools, fabric retailers and other commercial establishments or they may be self-employed. This unit group also includes driver's licence examiners, who are employed by provincial governments, and tutors who provide instruction in elementary or secondary school subjects.
- Encounter faulty and poorly maintained equipment which forces rescheduling of their lessons and courses. For example, driving instructors may be forced to reschedule practice driving with students because vehicles are not working properly. First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructors may reschedule defibrillator training sessions because automated external defibrillators were not properly charged before the sessions. (1)
- Find that classes are disrupted by students' inappropriate behaviours. For example, driving examiners may be confronted by students who are enraged because they have lost their drivers' licenses and may lose their jobs because they failed their driving examinations. Modelling instructors may speak to students who verbally disrespect each other and constantly compete with each other for the instructors' attention. They express their disapproval with the students' behaviours and suggest ways to correct them. If students do not remedy their disruptive conduct instructors may ask students to leave the class and report the inappropriate conduct to students' employers. (2)
- Discover that normal instructional methods and learning activities are not effective for some students. For example, modelling instructors may encounter students with extremely low self-esteem. Driving instructors may encounter aggressive or arrogant students who have been referred to their courses after dangerous or impaired driving convictions. They try to empathize with students' situations and provide one-on-one tutoring and other supports to help their students achieve their goals. (3)
- Select learning materials, equipment and other supplies required for their courses. For example, modelling instructors may choose suppliers and brands of cosmetics which offer quality results at lower costs. Sewing instructors may choose makes and models of sewing machines that have garnered excellent consumer reviews. Instructors may use past experience with suppliers and their products to inform their decisions. (2)
- Set fees and payment terms for their instructional services. For example, driving instructors may choose to offer discounts and corporate rates to larger groups of long-haul truck drivers. First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructors may choose to allow clients to pay for their services in instalments. (2)
- Choose instruction methods to use for their courses. For example, sewing instructors may choose areas of instruction for students' varying ages and experience levels by reviewing high school home economics curricula. Driving instructors may decide which routes their students will take during practice using the content of current lessons and their knowledge of daily traffic conditions in their areas. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
- Judge the effectiveness of learning activities. For example, they observe students' responses to questions and evaluate their comments for appropriateness. They assess the degree to which students are able to achieve their learning goals. They review course evaluations and remarks submitted by students who take their courses, clients who purchase their courses and sponsors who provide financing for their courses to ascertain whether they are satisfied. (2)
- Evaluate students' achievement of learning goals. For example, they consider students' marks in assignments and written and practical examinations. They may give weight to students' participation in classes and their personal attitudes to determine final grades. (3)
- Evaluate the suitability of the courses they offer. For example, they may review current best practice guidelines and confer with other instructors in their areas of expertise to ensure their courses are contemporary and accurate. (3)
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Other instructors plan, organize job tasks according to the needs of students and clients. Driver examiners may have to meet daily testing quotas and follow schedules planned by administrators and supervisors. (3)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Other instructors may plan and organize job tasks for junior instructors, assistants and helpers during large group assignments and examinations. (3)
Significant Use of Memory
- memorize the names of students in their courses.
- may remember teaching strategies that engage disinterested students.
- Find information about industry trends and teaching methods and strategies by browsing internet sites, by reading books, magazines and newspapers and by talking to co-workers and colleagues. For example, sewing instructors read sewing magazines to get ideas for class projects. First Aid instructors browse health and wellness web sites to find supplemental training materials. (2)
- Find information about their students by reviewing students' records and by speaking to employers and other instructors. For example, driver examiners search their clients' driving records for demerit infractions and convictions. Self-employed instructors may contact other instructors to find out if shared clients paid for their courses promptly and fully. (2)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Other instructors often work alone to prepare and teach their courses and to administer examinations. They may coordinate and integrate job tasks with helpers and assistants. (2)
Other instructors are required to learn continuously to keep their knowledge of their subject areas current. As experts in their chosen fields, instructors must ensure a complete and current understanding of the concepts they teach. They generally set their own learning goals and find their own learning opportunities. To achieve learning goals they read books, magazines and other reference materials, visit internet sites related to their specialties and attend conferences and seminars. They also learn through conversations with other instructors and colleagues and through daily interactions with students and clients. (3)