Top Skills to Include on Your Teacher Resume (with Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Working as a teacher provides the opportunity to make a difference in someone's life, and there are numerous other advantages to working in this career. Not only is teaching a respected profession, but it's also fairly well paid and provides good job security. To get the pick of the best teaching jobs, it's essential that you demonstrate you have the skills to excel, and learning how to show your skills on a resume may increase your chances of success. In this article, we explore the top teacher resume skills to list when you're applying for jobs and show you how to list them on your own resume.

What are essential teacher resume skills?

Because teachers plan lessons for various age groups and provide instruction in the classroom, some of the most essential teacher resume skills are excellent communication, organisation and patience. Working in this role requires a range of different hard skills and soft skills. A teacher's day may involve several hours of creating lesson plans, instructing students, researching and marking work. As a teacher, you may interact with many people throughout the day, including students, parents, administrators and the principal or headteacher. Therefore, great speaking and listening abilities are at the top of the skills list.

You may learn some of these skills as a result of formal education or on-the-job experience. Other skills may be an innate part of your personality. These abilities help you work with children or adults to develop their knowledge and critical thinking. By finding out how to show your best skills on your resume, you can set yourself apart from other candidates.

Related: How to Become a Teacher (Including FAQs)

Examples of teacher skills for your resume

Being a good communicator is a key skill in the teaching profession, perhaps equally important is an ability to inspire others to succeed. To find work as a teacher, it's useful to make a list of your top skills on your resume. Here's a list of professional skills for teachers:

1. Communication

Strong communication skills are an essential part of working in the teaching profession. This means not only being able to deliver information in an easy-to-understand manner but also being able to speak confidently to students one-to-one if need be. If a student doesn't understand straight away, teachers may rephrase or think about how to explain things differently. Being able to clarify any tasks students are unsure of and asking for feedback to check comprehension is also key to good communication.

Body language is another important element of communication in the classroom. If you stand tall in the classroom, smile frequently and make eye contact with lots of different students, you can appear confident and friendly. A confident manner helps students to trust you.

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

2. Organisation

There may be more than 30 students in a primary or secondary school classroom, so organisation is another key skill. Working through the curriculum, managing groups of students with different abilities and checking students' progress demands excellent organisational skills. Organised teachers plan their lessons carefully and ensure students have all the right equipment and materials, such as pens, notepads, textbooks, printed handouts and access to computers and other technology.

3. Approachability

If a student has any concerns, a teacher shows them they're available to explain or offer support. Whether in primary school, secondary school or university, students may ask teachers for help with personal issues. Therefore, being able to demonstrate approachability and empathy is important. If students feel as though they can open up to a teacher and that the teacher listens to them, this can greatly assist their learning and understanding.

4. Imaginative thinking

Depending on the age of the students, teachers may use their imagination in various ways. At primary school, you may teach creative arts, drama or music. In secondary school or adult education, creativity helps you to think of alternative ways of teaching a subject to make it more interesting. Though you may teach a set curriculum, you can use your creativity to make the lessons more interesting. A creative mind helps ensure lessons are fresh and exciting for the teacher and the students.

5. Multitasking

The ability to do more than one thing at a time is an important part of being a teacher. Life as a teacher is often challenging and there are many expectations. You may deliver lessons while checking your students understand the key message and ensuring they behave appropriately.

Teachers have many demands on their time, so it may be necessary to mark exams, set homework, write reports and oversee extracurricular activities all in one day. A teacher possesses multitasking skills to perform these tasks to the best of their abilities.

Related: How to Write a Resume Headline (Tips and Examples)

6. Leadership

Leadership is essential both in and outside the classroom. Setting a good example is key to developing students' responsibilities and life choices or when disciplining children. Strong leadership helps when interacting with other teachers, teaching assistants and school staff.

You may take on coaching duties or lead clubs and organisations, such as a hockey club, drama group or other extracurricular activity. Possessing good leadership helps you to move on to more senior roles, such as the principal or headteacher.

7. Patience

Being an effective teacher means encouraging your students to do their best while recognising that certain students have unique abilities and may require a different approach. Some students may present challenging behaviour which can test your patience. A good teacher maintains a balance between expecting their students to do their best and having realistic expectations. When students struggle with a piece of work or miss homework deadlines, patient teachers look for alternative ways to help their students to learn.

8. Sense of humour

While not a specific job requirement, having a sense of humour can help in many teaching situations. While keeping a check on discipline, humour often helps to get the message across and is a useful way to relate to others. Encouraging others to show their sense of humour can also help students relax, as long as it doesn't disrupt the lesson.

9. Time management

Teachers often work in the evenings and at weekends planning lessons, marking homework and setting tests. To maintain a healthy work-life balance, good time management is essential. It's a good idea to set a schedule to mark papers, prepare exams and return assignments to students. For example, you may set a goal to return marked essays within one week of receiving them.

10. Discipline

Learning how to deal with disruptive students is one of the most challenging aspects of working as a teacher. While teachers can't be too lenient when students behave in an unacceptable way, maintaining a sense of authority is essential. Laying down firm rules and ensuring students understand the school's code of conduct helps keep classrooms calmer. As teachers gain more experience, they learn how to handle challenging behaviour. Being able to stay calm in difficult circumstances is a key skill in teaching.

11. Adaptability

Teachers often face unpredictable situations which require a quick response. For example, another teacher goes off sick and you cover their lessons in a subject you're unfamiliar with or equipment breaks and you then improvise by thinking of a different way to teach the lesson. Teachers adapt to many scenarios throughout their careers. Since students are individuals, adaptability helps teachers adjust their lessons to their different needs.

12. Conflict resolution

A teacher's responsibilities include managing disagreements in the classroom. Younger children may fight over resources such as games, toys or books. Older students may have personal conflicts over relationships and friendship groups. Good conflict resolution skills such as active listening and negotiation help your students to compromise and find an agreement. This is a useful skill when speaking to parents or guardians at open evenings or parent-teacher consultations.

Sample resume sections showing teacher skills

There are a few ways you can display your teaching skills on a resume. Here are a few sample sections you can reference:

In the skill section

It's a good idea to list your teaching skills on your resume in a dedicated skills section, for example:

Technical skills

  • general computer skills

  • database management skills

  • electronic presentations

Additional skills

  • highly organised

  • critical thinker

  • excellent communicator

  • good time management

In the work experience section

You may also display your skills in your work history section. Here's an example of how that might look:

St Mary's School, Sydney

History teacher / January 2015 to December 2021

  • Used research skills and critical thinking to develop the curriculum on Australians on the Western Front, using materials from a wide range of academic resources

  • Developed multimedia presentations including photos, video and interactive whiteboards

  • Graded assignments and end-of-year tests using strong attention to detail

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