Characteristics of a wanted teacher: what schools are looking for
When a school looks for a new teacher for an open teaching position, it already has a picture of the teacher it wants. Every school has certain qualities that they feel a teacher must have in order to be successful. Those qualities can be many things depending on the needs and location of the school. While the qualities that each school considers important may vary, there are generally shared qualities that all schools would consider important for the job.
The experience or background of a teacher is the most important quality a school looks for, so your resume should highlight the qualities you are looking for. If you are looking for an ESL TEFL TESOL teacher for kindergarten students, it may be best to highlight the lessons that contain activities that you have started and prepared in your previous schools regarding language acquisition. Also, if you are looking for a position for a content topic like science or math, highlight your knowledge and education (i.e. degree) in that area. This is especially important if you are a new teacher with little or no experience. Regardless, you should also have all academic qualifications available for the school to preview before going for an interview. Most schools want to review qualifications before hiring or considering applicants for a teaching position and sometimes they pass these items on to teachers who do not submit these items for review at the time of application. This is especially true of TESL TEFL TESOL training, which is a requirement for obtaining a visa and work permit in most countries, regardless of the subject taught. Each school is unique, so it would be best to have a cover letter that refers to that school and the teaching job they seek to perform. Don’t just have a blanket letter and resume from the teacher that you send out in droves to any potential school looking for a teacher in hopes of getting a job. It can be beneficial to have a list of professional highlights that you can copy and paste into a cover letter based on the requirements of the position.
Another important consideration for schools is the personal qualities of a teacher. Most schools look for a long-term commitment from a teacher, so they want to make sure the teacher fits their school. The obvious qualities that come to mind are personable, positive, and flexible / patient because these qualities will carry over into the classroom and into the interaction with your future students. In addition, the school will look at the qualities of a teacher regarding their professionalism because there is much that is required outside of the classroom, such as preparing lessons, creating worksheets and tests, and the ever popular grading of assignments. In other words, they will want an organized and committed teacher. If they feel that the teacher cannot be depended on, they may not consider him a viable candidate. One of the things that can highlight a teacher’s lack of commitment is a resume that shows numerous teaching positions in a short period of time. Remember that you will not be judged strictly by your qualifications, but by the sum of who you are as an individual.
The factors that intervene in the decision of a school to accept a teacher are varied and many, so it is impossible to cover them all. Regardless, cover the basics that any teacher is looking for for any teaching job, and then identify the unique characteristics or qualifications of particular teaching jobs. Remember that looking for a teaching job, like many other job searches, is about selling yourself and the best way to do that is by identifying what the employer (i.e. school) wants.
The following is an abbreviated list of characteristics published by a teacher in response to a UNICEF request on “What makes a good teacher?”:
Positive – Think positively and enthusiastically about people and what they are capable of becoming. You see the good in any situation and can move forward to make the most of difficult situations when faced with obstacles. Encourage others to be positive too.
Dependent – Honest and authentic when working with others. He consistently lives up to commitments to students and others. Work with them openly, honestly and directly.
Organized – Makes efficient use of time and moves in a planned and systematic direction. You know where you are going and can help students with their own organization and planning. You can think in terms of how the organization can be beneficial to those it serves.
Engaged – Demonstrates commitment to students and the profession and is self-confident, balanced and personally in control of situations. You have a healthy image of yourself. Encourage students to view themselves in a positive light, taking care to honor students’ self-respect, while encouraging them to develop a positive self-concept.
Motivational – Enthusiastic about standards and expectations for students and himself. You understand people’s intrinsic motivations and you know what motivates students. Act constructively.
Compassionate – Loving, empathetic and capable of responding to people at the level of feeling. Open up with personal thoughts and feelings, encouraging others to do the same. Know and understand the feelings of the students.
Flexible – Willing to alter plans and directions in a way that helps people move toward their goals. Seeks to reason through situations with students and staff in a way that allows everyone to move in a positive direction.
Expert – He is in constant search of knowledge. You stay up-to-date in your areas of expertise and have the ability to integrate new knowledge. It takes the knowledge and translates it to students in a way that is understandable to them, but retains its originality.
Creative – Versatile, innovative and open to new ideas. It strives to incorporate techniques and activities that allow students to have unique and meaningful new growth experiences.
Patient – It is deliberate when drawing conclusions. He strives to analyze all aspects of the situation and remains very fair and objective in the most difficult circumstances. He believes that problems can be solved if affected people provide sufficient information and care.
You can also practice answering typical teacher interview questions, such as those from the following sites:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute: profession.vt.edu/JOBSEARC/interview/TEACHER.htm
Resumes for teachers: resumes-for-teachers.com/interview-questions.htm
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