Accessibility Links

Top skills you need to keep an eye out for when hiring a teacher


Most of us can remember a teacher who inspired us at primary or secondary school. The teachers who motivated us to work harder and aim higher, and who set us up for the success we’ve enjoyed in life.

A great teacher does not rely on instinct alone; teaching is a profession that requires a specific skill set. Those educating the next generation need to be aware of the science behind the learning process and use their expertise to benefit their students.

How to recognise a great teacher in an interview

A teacher pursuing an education career will not see it as a job, but a vocation. Great teachers are passionate about making a positive impact on their students’ education.

If you’re looking to hire in-demand teachers like a maths teacher, science teacher or special education teacher – or any type of teacher, for that matter - here are the top skills you need to keep an eye out for


Patience is an essential characteristic for any teacher. Students, whether at primary or secondary schools, learn at different paces. Some will struggle, where others will forge ahead. A patient teacher will know how they can both help a struggling student and stimulate a bright student.


An ability to empathise is a critical skill for a successful teaching career. For example, a primary teacher will need to show they can understand a four-year-old’s emotions. Students who feel understood will, in turn, feel safe and be more likely to perform better in the classroom. Teachers who are not empathetic may struggle to help students overcome their challenges.


A great teacher will constantly look for ways to improve themselves. They might be looking to level up their teaching techniques, interpersonal skills, or subject knowledge. That drive for self-improvement is a valuable asset. Teachers who are willing to develop themselves could make a great addition to your school.


A teacher may find that one of their regular teaching methods is not having the desired effect with a particular student, or maybe even the whole classroom. In that case, they will need to make adjustments to how they work with little or no notice.

An effective learning environment depends, in part, on a teacher’s ability to honestly evaluate themselves and make these kinds of quick adaptions..


Someone might have extensive and impressive knowledge of a particular subject. However, the ability to transfer that understanding to another person comes down to communication.

A great teacher should be able to impart their knowledge to a student and build rapport with colleagues and parents. When you’re hiring a teacher, communication skills should be a top priority.


A great teacher will view each pupil as equally worthy of their time, attention, and care. The academic staff you want in your school are those who will achieve the best results from students, regardless of their differences. Quality teachers won’t just focus on the most outwardly receptive pupils; they will invest effort in getting through to the students who seem harder to reach.

Stress management

The ability to cope with everyday classroom stress is a necessity for any teacher. A skilled teacher is prepared for the unexpected. By creating a safe and supportive learning environment in the first instance, teachers can reduce the potential for stressful situations to arise.

But when they do arise (as they inevitably will), a skilled teacher will be able to manage the situation without losing pupils’ trust or respect

How can Teaching Personnel help you?

Recognising the difference between an average teacher, a good teacher, and a great teacher comes with experience. With 25 years of work at the forefront of education recruitment, Teaching Personnel knows how to find you the best candidates, while providing the best service for the best value.

If you’re looking for new teachers, our workforce of flexible education professionals have the right skills to contribute, get in touch, and a member of our team will contact you to discuss your school’s needs.

Add new comment