Teaching is a challenging and rewarding profession, and landing your dream job starts with understanding what principals are looking for during the hiring process.
Are you on the hunt for your dream teaching job? Maybe you’re looking to get hired for your first teaching job.
When principals look to hire new teachers, you need to have the right qualifications and licenses, be passionate about teaching, demonstrate a commitment to students and inclusivity, pay attention to detail, and have strong communication skills.
By showcasing these qualities in your job application and interview, you’ll not only increase your chances of landing the job you want, but also demonstrate your dedication to providing the best possible education for your future students.
Let’s dive in and explore what it takes to impress principals and land your dream teaching job.
Table of Contents
- Table of Contents
- What Principals Look for on a Teacher Resume
- Relevant Work Experience
- Qualities Schools Look for in Teachers
- Passion for Working with Students
- Passion for Learning
- Flexibility and Adaptability
- Attention to Detail
- Communication Skills
- Collaboration and Teamwork
- What Principals Want to Hear in an Interview
- Passion for Teaching
- Commitment to Students
- Sense of Humor
What Principals Look for on a Teacher Resume
When it comes to resumes, principals want teachers who stand out from the crowd. A well-crafted resume can demonstrate your relevant experience and qualifications and set you apart as a top candidate for the job.
So what should you include on your resume? Here are some key elements that principals look for:
This is pretty basic, but make sure your resume shows that you have the education and licenses to teach the subjects and grade levels you’re applying for.
Remember to include your degree and any relevant coursework or certifications. You’ll also want to put the name of the institution and the dates of attendance.
Relevant Work Experience
Principals obviously want to hire teachers who have relevant experience in the subject area or grade level that you’ll be teaching.
But that’s not all principals are looking for when hiring teachers.
Principals want to see what other experience you’ll bring to their school. Be sure to list any teaching or related experience, such as tutoring or coaching, and highlight the skills you gained in those roles.
For example, if you’re applying for an elementary teaching position, list any experience you have working with young children, such as volunteering at a daycare or leading a summer camp program.
In addition, if you served on any committees or in any leadership positions at a previous teaching job, put them on your resume and plan to talk about them in your interview.
A few examples of relevant experience includes:
- PBIS team member
- Team leader
- Technology team member
- Reading interventionists
- Experience with specific software (especially if it’s a software schools you’re applying to use)
Don’t be shy about highlighting your achievements! Whether it’s leading a successful project or implementing a new teaching strategy, principals want to see that you’ve made an impact in your previous roles.
Putting your professional accomplishments on your resume shows principals that you can be a leader in the classroom and within the school staff.
For example, if you implemented a new reading program in your classroom that led to significant improvements in student literacy, make sure to highlight that accomplishment on your resume.
Make sure to include any relevant skills that you have, such as proficiency in a foreign language or experience with technology in the classroom.
These skills can help to set you apart from other candidates. For example, if you’re fluent in Spanish, be sure to include that skill on your resume, as it may be relevant for teaching in a bilingual classroom.
It’s always a good idea to include references on your resume. Make sure to choose people who can speak to your teaching abilities and professionalism.
For example, you might include a former supervisor, a colleague you’ve worked closely with, or a mentor from your teaching program.
By including these key elements on your resume, you can showcase your relevant experience and qualifications and demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the job.
In the next section, we’ll discuss how to prepare for an interview and what principals want to hear from candidates during the interview process. You can also read about interview tips for teachers.
Qualities Schools Look for in Teachers
When it comes to what principals look for when hiring teachers, it’s not just about meeting the basic qualifications. Schools want teachers who possess certain qualities that go beyond their education and experience.
In this section, we’ll explore some of the key qualities that schools are looking for in their ideal teacher candidate.
Passion for Working with Students
This is probably the number one quality of a good teacher.
Principals look for teachers with a genuine passion for working with students and helping them succeed.
Teachers who are passionate about their work are often the ones who make the biggest impact on their students’ lives.
I’m sure you can remember that ONE teacher who really made a difference for you. Maybe they cheered you on at your sporting events or made you feel safe and welcome no matter what.
It’s true that students often remember how teachers made them feel more than what they learned in the class.
Teachers with a passion for working with students go above and beyond to ensure that their students are engaged, motivated, and challenged. They take the time to get to know their students as individuals and create a safe and supportive learning environment.
Principals want to see that you’re committed to making a positive difference in your students’ lives. By showing a genuine interest in your students’ well-being and success, you can demonstrate that you have the passion and dedication needed to be a great teacher.
Passion for Learning
One of the most important qualities that schools look for in teachers is a passion for learning.
Are you excited to learn new teaching strategies, technologies, and educational research?
Principals want to see that you’re committed to lifelong learning and that you’re eager to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in education. Being a great teacher means being a lifelong student yourself, always striving to improve and enhance your teaching skills.
Flexibility and Adaptability
Another key quality that schools look for in teachers is flexibility and adaptability.
- Can you think creatively and come up with fun ways to engage your students?
- Are you comfortable with trying out new ideas and teaching methods, even if they’re outside your comfort zone?
- Are you able to adjust lesson plans to meet the needs of your diverse learners?
Principals want to see that you’re willing to adapt to new situations and technologies, and that you’re not afraid to take risks in the classroom.
Being a flexible thinker is essential in today’s ever-changing educational landscape, and crucial to help your students thrive.
Inclusivity is not just a buzzword – it’s an essential part of being a great teacher. By prioritizing inclusivity in your teaching practice, you can help create a better learning environment for all students.
Inclusivity is also a major priority for schools and principals who want their students to feel seen, noticed, and cared for.
- Do you celebrate diversity and encourage students to be themselves?
- Can you create a safe and welcoming environment for all students, regardless of their backgrounds or abilities?
To achieve an inclusive classroom, you can celebrate diversity by incorporating resources that represent a variety of cultures and backgrounds, and create opportunities for students to share their own experiences.
You can also ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all students, such as making your classroom accessible to students with disabilities and being aware of any biases or stereotypes.
Principals want to see that you’re committed to creating a learning community that values diversity and promotes inclusivity. By embracing differences and creating an environment where every student feels valued and supported, you can help ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed.
Attention to Detail
Principals want to see that you’re organized and detail-oriented, and that you’re able to juggle all the little things that come with being a teacher.
Here are some specific examples of how attention to detail can make a difference:
- Classroom management: Can you manage your classroom effectively, create and follow lesson plans, and keep accurate records of student progress?
- Lesson planning: By carefully planning your lessons and activities, you can ensure that your students are getting the most out of each class period. This can involve identifying clear learning objectives, choosing appropriate materials and resources, and adapting your teaching style to meet the needs of different learners.
- Grading and assessment: Keeping accurate records of student progress is an essential part of being a teacher. By paying attention to details such as grading criteria and deadlines, you can ensure that your students receive fair and timely feedback on their work.
By staying on top of all the little details while still making learning fun and engaging, you can help ensure that your students are getting the best possible education.
And by demonstrating your attention to detail in all aspects of your teaching practice, you can show principals that you have what it takes to be a great teacher.
As a teacher, you’re basically a professional communicator. You’re like the Beyoncé of getting your point across. Whether you’re emailing parents, chatting with colleagues, or explaining a tricky concept to your class, you’ve gotta be able to adapt your style to different audiences. It’s like being a chameleon, but with words.
Principals want to see that you’re a master communicator, able to convey complex ideas in a way that makes sense to everyone from kindergartners to college professors. If you can break down the quadratic formula or explain why Shakespeare is still relevant, you’re already halfway there.
By being a clear and effective communicator, you can help ensure that your students are getting the most out of their education. Whether you’re using analogies, storytelling, or interpretive dance (hey, whatever works), your goal is to help your students understand and engage with the material. And if you can make ’em laugh along the way, even better.
So don’t be afraid to flex those communication muscles.
Collaboration and Teamwork
Finally, schools want teachers who are collaborative and team-oriented.
Are you excited to work with others to create the best possible educational experience for your students?
Principals want to see that you’re a team player who is able to work effectively with other teachers and administrators, as well as building positive relationships with students and families.
By being collaborative and team-oriented, you can help ensure that your students are getting the support they need to succeed.
In the next section, we’ll dive deeper into what principals want to see during the interview process.
What Principals Want to Hear in an Interview
Ok, so you’ve landed an interview. Congrats, hotshot. Now it’s time to show ’em what you’re made of.
But what do principals actually want to hear from teachers in an interview?
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Passion for Teaching
Let’s be real, teaching is not for the faint of heart.
It’s like being a superhero, but with more red pens and less spandex. But if you have a genuine passion for helping kids learn and grow, that’s something principals will definitely want to hear about.
If you have a passion for teaching, it’ll probably come through in the stories you tell, your body language, and how you talk about your content area.
Just don’t get too carried away and start reciting the quadratic formula unprompted. That’s a bit much.
Commitment to Students
This one’s a no-brainer.
Principals want to see that you’re in it for the long haul, that you’re committed to helping your students succeed not just academically, but also as human beings.
Talk about how you plan to create a safe and inclusive classroom environment, how you’ll get to know your students as individuals, and how you’ll support them both in and out of the classroom.
Sense of Humor
Ok, hear us out. We’re not saying you need to do a stand-up routine during your interview (although if you can pull that off, more power to you).
But showing a little humor and personality can go a long way in making a positive impression and let principals see how you might interact with students or staff members.
Maybe you make a joke about how your cat is the real mastermind behind your lesson plans, or maybe you share a funny story about a classroom mishap that taught you an important lesson.
Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. And above all, remember to breathe.
So, what do principals look for when hiring teachers?
It all comes down to a few key things:
- The right qualifications and licenses for the job
- Passion for teaching
- Commitment to students and inclusivity
- Attention to detail
- Communication skills
By understanding what principals are looking for and showcasing these qualities in your job application and interview, you can increase your chances of landing that dream teaching job.
But beyond just impressing principals, focusing on these qualities can help you become a better teacher overall.
When you’re committed to helping your students succeed, communicating effectively, and creating an inclusive and engaging classroom environment, you’re setting yourself up for success both in and out of the classroom.
For more on how to get a teaching job, read some teacher interview questions to brush up on your interview skills.