19 Skills a Teacher Should List on a Resume (A to Z List)

Examples of teaching skills needed to be successful in today’s classrooms include: leadership, communication, multitasking, patience, and reflectiveness.

When adding these skills to a teacher resume, you can list these in two categories: ‘soft skills’ and ‘hard skills’. We’ve listed which type of skill each is below.

Be sure your teaching resume highlights some of the skills listed below, and discuss how they will benefit the students in your classroom.

A to Z List of Skills for a Teacher Resume

1. Communication

Type: Soft Skill

Teachers need to be able to communicate in the classroom as well as with colleagues, parents, and administration.

Show prospective employers that you are able to effectively communicate with parents in-person.  Demonstrate your ability to speak professionally and articulately, as well as your ability to be an empathetic listener. 

Teachers will also be required to communicate through different media formats such as Google Classroom, Canvas, Edutopia, or any other required website by your district.

Be sure you are informing prospective employers that you are savvy in communicating your class objectives, standards, and assignments in an easy-to-use media format for parents and administrators.

A teacher who has dynamic communication skills will stand out as a candidate that school districts can trust to effectively reach all members of a learning community.

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2. Computer Skills

Type: Hard Skill

Technology is here to stay in education. Feature how you use technology in your classroom to make yourself stand out on a resume.

If you use a smart board, projector, online classrooms, or technology in general to drive your instruction, make this stand out on your resume.  In the real world your students will be using computer skills in any or all future job opportunities. 

For example, a student might have to access google classroom in order to access a text and assignment for the day. In math, a group might be working on a shared online document to create a graphing presentation. In Science, students could be using project-based learning to demonstrate their understanding of skills or concepts taught in your class.

A resume that doesn’t highlight a teacher’s ability to incorporate and promote computer skills in their classroom will simply be overlooked.  It is no longer a skill you can go without in the classroom.

3. Creativity

Type: Soft Skill

Administrators love hearing new ideas for successful lesson planning and teaching. Demonstrating how you provide a creative spin to older teaching practices is a fantastic way to stand out on your resume.

Creativity can be highlighted in many different parts of your teaching style:  how you develop unique lessons, how you informally assess students during class to drive your instruction, innovative solutions you have to common behavioral problems in your classroom, how you support students in sharing ideas and communicating, etc. 

Any way you can offer new insights for common practices in the classroom that lead to student success will highlight your ability to be creative.

For example, a teacher who uses a peer learning strategy that allows their students to read multiple examples of their classmates would showcase that you understand that exposure to multiple examples increases student understanding of writing skills. 

Provide specific examples of how your teaching practices go beyond normal expectations in a classroom setting and highlight the benefits of those examples for your students. This will prove your ability to be creative on your resume.

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4. Cultural Competence

Type: Soft Skill

Diversity in education cannot be overlooked.  Your resume needs to prove you can connect with and include to a multitude of cultural backgrounds in your classroom.

An English teacher might discuss the multicultural literature they use during their lesson plans to allow their students to see themselves within the stories and topics they are discussing, for example.

Any teacher can include cultural competence by promoting and respecting dynamic cultural differences of their students in the classroom.

Your resume should highlight how you allow your students to share their personal stories and how you, as their teacher, both formally and informally recognize those differences.

One tip would be to outline how you reach out to students at the beginning of the year and allow them to share their cultures and experiences before diving into any given curriculum.

Cultural competence cannot be overlooked on your resume.  You need to prove your ability to be culturally aware, and how you encourage students to be aware and accepting of their peers’ cultural differences. 

5. Goal Setting

Type: Soft Skill

Goal setting for teachers involves making sure you have short-term and long-term plans, as well as knowledge of the steps required to get there.

This is required because teachers need to be able to create a coherent unit of work to get students from their prior knowledge to mastery of a topic.

Your resume should outline how you set goals for yourself and your students, the tasks you need to accomplish, how you minimize distractions, and your overall plan for accomplishing your daily activities successfully.

6. Leadership

Type: Soft Skill

Teachers are leaders inside the classroom and in the school community. 

In the classroom, teachers lead groups all day long. They need a leader’s negotiating skills with students while also being able to assert their authority in the classroom.

They might also train and mentor younger and less experienced teachers and help parents with child development information that can help them raise their children.

In the school community, teachers participate in school committees where they develop educational programs and school policies. will usually be more sought after than a candidate focused solely on their classroom instruction.

School districts also have many leadership positions that need to be filled outside of the classroom, including:

  • coaching,
  • school improvement plans,
  • mentoring,
  • curriculum planning,
  • policy and procedure development,
  • behavioral programs, etc. 

Market your leadership skills on your resume by showing times when you have been a leader in and outside of the school context. Showcasing these leadership skills are sure to get you closer to securing an interview spot.   

7. Lesson Planning

Type: Hard Skill

Lesson planning is a skill specific to our profession. It involves the ability to lay out not just what you will teach but how you will teach it.

Many employers now ask to see samples of lesson plans appended to resumes. If this is required, make sure you list your teaching strategies and be aware of the layout of the classroom. Your lesson plan should answer questions like:

  • Where is the teacher standing?
  • Are the students in groups or working independently?
  • What will be the pacing of the lesson?
  • How will you transition into and out of phases of the lesson?
  • What education theories are you relying on while executing this lesson?

8. Math Skills

Type: Hard Skill

Even if you are not a math teacher you can still easily highlight your math skills on a teaching resume.

Data-driven instruction is a major theme in successful classrooms.  Be sure to demonstrate how you collect data from your students in regards to skills they are working on in class. Questions you might get in an interview may include:

  • How do you organize student data?
  • How do you interpret data to drive your instruction for your next lesson plan or unit? 

Outlining these components on your day-to-day data collection and assessment will showcase your math skills, even if you are an English teacher.

You can even provide an example of your data collection on an anonymous student and describe how you might interpret that data to a parent or guardian so they can better understand their child’s progress in your class. 

Even if you aren’t a math or science teacher, math and data collection should still be a driving force in your teaching.  Prove this on your resume and you’ll easily showcase your math skills!

9. Multitasking

Type: Soft Skill

Your resume should lay out your ability to facilitate the many roles teachers play in their classroom.

In a single class, a teacher will take attendance, engage students, provide materials, introduce assignments, give directions, document behaviors, informally assess student understanding, reteach, and the list goes on!

There is no end to the amount of tasks a teacher may or may not perform in a single class period, let alone an entire day. 

Your resume needs to display your ability to handle the ever-changing needs of your students on a daily basis.  This includes both instruction and social emotional needs of your students. 

Be sure your employer knows that you understand the complexity of what happens in a classroom on a daily basis by giving examples of your ability to handle and adapt to the ever-changing environment of your classroom.

10. Patience

Type: Soft Skill

Teaching is the most patient of professions. Often times, you need to sit patiently with a student for a long time before they finally have the ‘light bulb’ moment they need.

A patient educator needs to be able to change up their pedagogy to match the needs of the student. For example, they should identify when a student is struggling with your teaching modalities and switch them up to a modality that is more beneficial for the student.

If you can, provide examples of past experiences where you’ve demonstrated patience and the positive outcomes that came from those experiences.  Real examples of how you can be patient in an academic setting will set you apart from other candidates.

11. Problem Solving

Type: Soft Skill

Being able to identify a problem, determine the cause of the problem, and initiate possible solutions to a problem are a prominent skills for any teacher and should be showcased on your resume.

Problems will appear throughout a teacher’s day. Problems with technology, problems with parents, problems with student behaviors, and student learning difficulties are all examples of issues teachers will need to face. 

‘Putting out fires’ and finding solutions for both your own problems and the problems of your students are therefore central skills. 

Showcases this to employers as a way to enhance your resume. Make sure you demonstrate you are capable of finding solutions for a variety of situations that could occur in any teacher’s day-to-day encounters.

Be sure your resume discusses your problem-solving skills with simple examples and solutions to ensure your prospective employer understands you fully acknowledge that all competent teachers can problem solve.

12. Punctuality

Type: Soft Skill

A classroom full of unsupervised students can lead to catastrophe. So be sure your employer is aware of your ability to be on time.

Being punctual to your classes at the start of the school day is necessary for the wellbeing of the students within the school. Teacher presence is often seen as one of the most important aspects of keeping students’ good behavior.

Beyond student supervision, you should be demonstrating to your employer that you are a candidate that they can count on to show up. Nothing is worse for administration than scrambling to find a last-minute substitute for a teacher who doesn’t show up on time to work.

Furthermore, nothing is worse for one of your colleagues than being called out of their planned period to substitute because you were a no-show! No one wants a colleague like that.

Your resume should prove you are accountable and that you will be present every day for your colleagues and your students. 

13. Reflectiveness

Type: Soft Skill

A reflective practitioner is one who pauses at the end of the lesson and reflects on how it went. By being reflective, they can continually learn from their experiences and improve.

One way teachers show reflectiveness is to discuss how the use students’ formative assessments to plan future assessments.

Once learning is assessed teachers then need to plan their next lessons based on student mastery and determine whether they require interventions for greater understanding or enrichment opportunities for continued growth within a skill. 

One way you can accomplish this is discussing how you might incorporate reteaching strategies when students are not yet reaching mastery for a task that you previously planned to move on from.

14. Resilience

Type: Soft Skill

Teachers need to be able to quickly recover from difficulties in their day-to-day jobs. 

Things aren’t going to go right for you. There will always be issues that you could have solved better, and prickly parents who you need to deal with regularly.

Much like a teacher’s ability to problem solve and find solutions, teachers need to quickly bounce back after handling problems.

For instance, a teacher may receive an email in the middle of day outlining a parent complaint where their practice or skills are put down or diminished. Oftentimes, teachers must quickly adapt and continue meeting the needs of their students after facing such scrutiny.

Your resume could include a glimpse into how you might recover from such situations and your plan for growth and improvement. If you have specific examples of your previous resilience in your teaching experience, be sure to highlight these on your resume.

15. Social and Emotional Intelligence

Type: Soft Skill

Demonstrating your ability to be are aware of your own feelings, including your strengths and weaknesses, will prove your social and emotional intelligence.

Incorporating social emotional intelligence on your resume is simple. It can be outlined in your ability to communicate, problem solve, and self-assess your work.  

Be sure that you offer examples of both what you excel at in the classroom and what you need to work on.  When discussing what you need to improve on, be sure to include how you will make those improvements and the benefits they will have in your classroom and for your students.

Another way to include social emotional intelligence is your ability to be responsive to your students’ social emotional status within your classroom.

Provide examples for when you understood a student was struggling and provided them with resources needed to support them.

A student who may have struggled to pay attention might be struggling with hunger.  As a teacher, you were able to find them resources for free breakfast and lunch at school is a dynamite way to highlight your social emotional intelligence.

Highlighting your own social emotional intelligence and your ability to recognize social emotional cues in your students will give you an edge on your resume.

16. Subject-Specific Knowledge

Type: Hard Skill

Subject-specific knowledge is the hard skill of knowing not how to teach, but what you’re teaching.

A math teacher needs to have excellent math skills, a physics teacher must be excellent at physics, and a woodworking teacher needs excellent skills with a lathe!

One way to demonstrate excellent subject-specific knowledge is to show how you’ve used your subject-specific knowledge in your work prior to becoming a teacher.

17. Teamwork

Type: Soft Skill

Being a skilled team member is one of the most crucial parts of being a stellar educator. 

In order to efficiently meet the needs of diverse learners, teamwork is crucial.

Current trends in teamwork for schools include just that: teams of teachers who teach the same group of students.

One example is a school who has all core teachers (Math, Social Studies, Science, and English) overseeing the education of the same group of students.

These teachers will communicate on a daily or weekly basis on the needs of individual students including:  their success in classes, behavioral issues, social emotional needs, special education needs, etc. 

Teams of teachers should be able to observe and provide interventions for students struggling when they work together to meet student needs.  A greater impact can be made on a students’ success in the classroom when there’s a team of teachers in that student’s corner.

Exemplifying your ability to work on a team in an educational setting is a great way to increase merit on your teaching resume.

18. Time Management

Type: Soft Skill

In teaching you will not be seen as a viable potential employee if you cannot demonstrate your ability to organize and plan your time.

We live in a time where the crowded curriculum means we need to leverage every moment of the day. If we don’t, we’ll never get through all the teaching we need to get done by the end of the school year.

19. Writing Skills

Type: Hard Skill

There’s nothing worse than a teacher who sends home a newsletter with spelling mistakes all over it. It undermines your credibility as an educator!

Your resume is the first look your potential employer has of your writing skills. Make sure it’s impeccable.

You could also explicitly discuss your writing skills. For example, you could provide examples of how you model writing in your classroom, regardless of your discipline. 

Remember, your resume itself will showcase your writing skills.  Be sure you have proofread your resume and that your writing is grammatically correct, formatted efficiently, and is easy to navigate for potential employers.

FAQs

Soft Skills vs Hard Skills

Soft skills are generalizable skills that are difficult to measure whereas hard skills are specific skills required in a profession, which are generally quantifiably measurable.

1. Soft skills are skills that are general in nature and can be transferrable across different professions. They are usually not quantitatively measurable. Examples include communication and leadership skills.

Soft skills also often require use of emotional intelligence to get them done. In other words, they often involve navigating complex social situations (although not always).

2. Hard skills are skills that are specific for tasks rather than generalist. They’re usually quantifiable and relate directly to your profession. For example, creating lesson plans is a measurable skill (you produce something at the end) and one that is specifically for the teaching profession.

Common Interview Questions for Teachers

  1. How would you handle a disruptive student? I would answer this by highlighting the important to stay calm and patient, show concern for the student’s needs, and work together with the student, parents, and support staff to ensure the student is comfortable in the learning environment to minimize disruptive behavior going forward.
  2. What is your teaching style? Most teachers would answer this with reference to active learning, placing an emphasis on situated learning, or achieving differentiation (see: examples of differentiated instruction).
  3. How do you plan to contribute to the learning culture at our school? Emphasize your ability to support other teachers, demonstrating high-standards to be a good role model to all students, and your enthusiasm to participate in extracurricular activities.

Conclusion

While the skills included in this article can seem overwhelming, remember that many of these skills are layered within each other and can be incorporated together in different aspects of your resume. 

Time management, patience, resilience, and problem solving are all skills that piggyback off of one another.  You likely won’t have one without touching on some of the others.

Work to group or highlight skills included in this article together.

Most importantly, remember to always make the forefront of your resume about the students.  Highlight how your skills enhance their learning.

The focus should always be on how you can increase student success in your classroom both academically and as citizens.  Teaching is really about the skills you have that make your students thrive!

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