Your resume is more than simply a piece of paper. It’s your ticket to the teaching job of your dreams.
But if that ticket doesn’t have all the right information, you’re going to have a much more difficult time reaching your destination.
A resume is about selling yourself and boasting the teaching skills you’ve learned through hard work. But not all qualifications are created equal. That’s why including experience that is impressive, timely and relevant to the position you’re seeking is critical to landing a job interview with a principal.
Below are some examples of the best qualifications - from education to experience - you’ll want to include in your resume as you begin applying for teaching positions.
You’ve worked hard for your education, so it makes sense to include it in your resume. However, it’s important to be specific, especially if your educational qualifications are relevant to the teaching position you are seeking.
For example, include any subject tests you have passed in Texas, as well as alternative certification programs, such as ECAP. If you’ve earned a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, include that as well.
Be sure to note:
The name of the institution
Location of the institution (city, state)
Degree/certification and year
Any other relevant certifications or minors
Note: If you have an extensive work history in teaching, your education credentials may go toward the bottom of your resume.
Your educator experience - whether as a student teacher or as a seasoned classroom teacher - is one of the most important qualifications you should include.
However, how you present this experience is just as important as the experience itself.
Include schools and dates in which you have taught, starting with the most recent. Under each listing, include qualifications that are relevant to the new position you are seeking.
For example, if you’re applying for a high school teaching position, emphasize any experience you have teaching at the secondary level, as well as the subject area.
Some other resume do’s to keep in mind:
Emphasize your accomplishments. Be as specific as possible, and write in active voice.
Include duties of your position, such as developing lesson plans. But, showcase how you made those lesson plans go above and beyond the minimum required.
Boast any new technology you used when implementing your plans.
Incorporate any other experiences related to teaching, such as assessments, collaborating with ESL students and individualizing lesson plans to meet the needs of all students.
Communication skills are vital in the field of education. Teachers must correspond and interact not only with students, but with families, other teachers and administrators as well.
Working communication qualifications into your resume can convey to the potential employer that you understand the importance of these skills. They’re also beneficial to include if you are new to teaching, and don’t have as many classroom qualifications.
For example, qualifications you may want to incorporate into your resume include:
Beyond standing in front of the class, teachers must communicate with students’ families during parent-teacher conferences. More experienced teachers may be called on to train novice teachers. Also, teachers are the eyes and ears of what goes on inside a school, and may be called on to provide insight to administrators. Any experience you have in these situations is valuable to include.
In addition to lesson plans, written communication with parents is often a requirement as well. Other items to note on your resume may be newsletters you have created that are sent home electronically or with the students, or experience writing instructions for school-wide projects.
Active listening is an important skill that is developed over time. It involves building trust, demonstrating concern, showing understanding and affirming what is said. The best teachers listen to their students as well, and know the importance of encouraging questions.
There are several other skills that are beneficial to include on your resume as well. If you showcase these, include examples when possible for the largest impact and so your resume is focused.
There are many teaching methods out there that refer to general principles or management strategies.
For example, a student-centered approach focuses on inquiry-based learning, while a teacher-centered approach focuses on more direct instruction. Other teaching strategies may embrace technology, while some may focus more on hands-on experience.
If you are applying to a district that emphasizes one approach over the other, and you have experience that makes you qualified in this approach, it’s important to emphasize this on your resume.
However, there are teaching methods that are universally encouraged, and further highlight your qualifications for a position. Some examples include:
Adaptability: Each child learns differently, and being able to adapt to varying learning styles shows that you can tailor your approach to teaching.
Leadership: Principals or hiring managers want to know you can manage a classroom. Whether it’s at the elementary or high school level, principals want to feel confident that you won’t be pushed around even though you’re outnumbered. If you don’t provide leadership, your teaching methods will get lost in the shuffle and the students will suffer.
Creativity: Thinking outside the box can help in many situations, especially in interactive learning situations. This is especially a useful point on your resume to showcase examples of how your creativity has benefited the students in your classroom.
With the skills you’ve gained earning your alternative teaching certificate, teaching in the classroom and through life experiences, you’ve set yourself up as a qualified candidate. Now it’s time to showcase that talent.
Writing the best resume that highlights these qualifications involves choosing the experiences that are most relevant to the position you are seeking, and backing up those qualifications with in-classroom examples that demonstrate your abilities as an educator.
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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