Top 10 Skills To Include on Your Teacher Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated January 17, 2023

Published January 3, 2020

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.

Students sit at a shared desk with laptops and instructors look over their work.

Teaching is a rewarding career that requires a combination of both hard and soft skills. During a normal day, teachers accomplish a variety of tasks, including creating lesson plans, providing classroom instruction and interacting with students, principals, parents and administrators. When applying for a teaching position, it's important to highlight all of these varied and relevant teaching skills on your resume.

In this article, we discuss the top skills to list on a teacher's resume and we provide examples of how to add these skills to your own resume.

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

What are teacher skills?

Teacher skills are those necessary for creating lesson plans, instructing students, working with administrators and interacting with parents. Some of these skills may be innate to the teacher’s personality, but teachers may learn some as a result of formal education or on-the-job experience. With these skills, teachers learn to work with children to develop their knowledge and critical thinking. Listing your best skills on your resume can set you apart from other candidates and potentially earn you a teaching position.

Related: Character Traits: Definition and Examples

10 teacher skills to add to your resume

Here is a list of the ten most common and relevant professional skills for teachers to add to their resumes:

1. Critical thinking

With strong critical thinking skills, teachers are able to consider the best interests of the students while also working within their institution’s goals and standards. Teachers of primary and secondary schools must also remain aware of parents’ expectations for learning and discipline and ensure that the classroom is a safe and nurturing environment.

For instance, a middle-school English teacher with well-developed critical thinking skills would consider the themes of a story before deciding if it’s appropriate for their class. When teaching post-secondary education in colleges or universities, instructors must consider the best ways to keep students engaged with the course material. A college English teacher might enjoy Victorian-era novels, but students may appreciate something more contemporary.

2. Patience

Teachers of all levels should know their classrooms will represent a variety of cultural backgrounds, learning styles and intellectual abilities. Dedicated students will likely contribute more to class discussion and be more easygoing, but many students might present other challenges like turning in work late or causing behavioral disruptions. Teachers should be patient and help maintain a balance between their own expectations and each student’s unique abilities. For instance, if a student struggles with learning multiplication tables, a patient teacher might work with the student after class or extend the due date for homework.

3. Communication

Teachers communicate in a variety of ways, including verbal and written. Strong verbal communication means that teachers make their lesson material and expectations clear. They will present concepts in a way that students can understand. Teachers exhibit written communication skills when they give feedback on assignments and write progress reports for parents.

Read More: Nonverbal Communication Skills: Definition and Examples

4. Organization

Primary and secondary public school teachers often have 30 or more students in a classroom. To be effective, teachers must be able to manage their materials and students’ assignments well. A well-organized classroom will have books and technology in places where students won’t be distracted during lessons. Teachers with strong organizational skills will have pens, whiteboard markers, extra paper and other materials in an easily accessible place.

Teachers use organization skills to keep different classes’ assignments separate to ensure a smooth grading process. For example, a high school teacher with six class periods will need organizational skills to separate first-period assignments from fourth-period assignments, and so on.

5. Imaginative thinking

Teachers use their imagination in a variety of ways. Teachers of younger students might learn to incorporate singing or creative arts into their classrooms to stimulate learning. Secondary or post-secondary educators may use more current media, such as film or television, to illustrate recent forms of similar themes. Teaching requires a certain amount of imagination to create lesson plans that will educate and inspire students.

6. Leadership

Teachers need leadership skills inside and outside of the classroom. Modeling behavior for students can be key to developing a dedication to learning and general responsibility in life. Leadership is also important when interacting with teachers and school administrators. To show strong leadership skills, teachers may accept additional duties like coaching a sports team or directing a special interest club, like chess or drama. Teachers with heightened leadership abilities may be more likely to advance to senior positions like principal or superintendent.

Read More: How To Demonstrate Leadership Skills at Work

7. Teamwork

Similar to leadership, teamwork helps teachers interact kindly and effectively with other school personnel. Teachers frequently have planning meetings to come up with the best curriculum and classroom practices for students. In these meetings, teachers with strong teamwork abilities can accept input from others, even if they have differing opinions.

For example, if a middle school science teacher wants to teach introductory physics, they will consider the input of others on their team to decide if the topic is appropriate for that age group. Teamwork will help teachers use other personnel as resources for their students. Teachers with strong teamwork skills can collaborate with guidance counselors, school nurses or psychologists to help students in need.

8. Time management

Teaching is a job that often requires working from home. Teachers need evenings and weekends to plan lessons, grade papers and occasionally shop for classroom materials. To maintain a healthy work-life balance, teachers will need to utilize time management skills. Some strategies may include setting aside certain hours of the day for relaxation, exercise or other personal activities.

It will likely also benefit teachers to set a timeframe for having papers, tests and other assignments graded and returned to students. Teachers, for instance, may set a personal goal of returning grades within one week of receiving the submission. When working on grades, it may benefit teachers to set a time and work for specified lengths of time to avoid distractions.

9. Computer skills

As classrooms continue to incorporate technology, computer skills are becoming more important for teachers to have. Besides tracking grades, educators may use computers to formulate lesson plans, worksheets, study guides, tests and other deliverables. Teachers also use digital media in the classroom, including online videos and interactive exercises to make their material more engaging. For teachers of older students, computers may be necessary to help direct research in online libraries and databases. Educators also frequently communicate with parents and school personnel digitally, so they must be comfortable sending and receiving emails.

10. Conflict resolution

Part of a teacher’s responsibilities includes being able to manage disagreements in a classroom. Teachers of younger children might encounter conflicts over sharing resources like books, games or toys. In post-secondary classrooms, students may have conflicts over more personal matters like relationships. A teacher with well-developed conflict resolution abilities will display patience and active listening to consider each viewpoint and come to a compromise. This skill will likely also be useful if disagreements arise between the teacher and the student's parents or guardians.

Sample teacher skills resume section

You can list your teaching skills on your resume in a dedicated skills section and/or by mentioning them in your work experience.

Examples of a teacher resume skills section

Technical skills: Word processing software | Classroom technology

Additional skills: Organization | Critical thinking| Leadership

Teacher skills in a resume work experience section

Poplar Grove Community College

History Instructor| January 2012 to July 2019

  • Used critical thinking and research skills to develop a curriculum using materials from a variety of academic resources

  • Developed multimedia presentations using videos, slideshows and other technology

  • Graded term papers and other assignments with strong attention to detail

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