Friday, October 2, 2015

The Top Ten Qualities of a Good Teaching Candidate

by Lori Soard, Demand Media

Principals seeking a teaching candidate may have a hard time deciding between several highly qualified people. Fortunately, there are some qualities that skilled teachers tend to possess that school administrations can look for during the interview process. These qualities may not guarantee that the teacher is the best fit for a particular school, but they show a propensity for the teaching profession and make the likelihood of a good match more likely.


Positive Attitude

An educator with a positive attitude inspires students to look at the world in the same way. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire lists positivity and enthusiasm as two of the most desirable traits for teachers. The last thing students should have to face every day is a cranky, negative teacher.


Good Communication Skills

A teacher’s job is to discuss key concepts and explain them in more than one way so that visual, hands-on, and sensory learners all understand the idea and how to apply it to future problems. To achieve this goal, the teacher must be able to communicate clearly and effectively.


Organization Skills

Keeping track of student’s papers, who received what grade and what material has been covered and what still needs to be covered are all vital parts of running an efficient classroom. While interviewing a teaching candidate, it is appropriate to ask questions about how the person stays organized.


A Forgiving Heart

Children make mistakes, in behavior and schoolwork. A teacher must be able to move forward and allow a child to grow. In "Highly Qualified for Successful Teaching: Characteristics Every Teacher Should Possess," a 2004 essay written by Susan Thompson, John G. Greer and Bonnie B. Greer and published by the University of Memphis, the authors suggest that teachers must start each day with a clean slate so students have the opportunity to improve.


Brilliance in Their Subject Area

A highly qualified teacher is one who understands her subject area inside and out and who has book and real world learning; the teacher should be able to apply concepts in their certification area, offer students real-life examples and show how students can apply what they learn to the everyday world.


Willingness to Communicate with Parents

A good teacher is open to talking with parents. Letters home, telephone calls and emails are all important in keeping parents informed of what is going on with their children. Look for candidates who are open to multiple forms of communication and who desire an open dialogue with parents.


Respectful of Students

Teachers want their students to respect them, but teachers who get the most respect are the ones who give the most respect to their students. Look for a teacher who fosters an atmosphere of mutual respect.


Value for Inquiring Minds

A good teaching candidate values inquiry from her students. Students who engage in learning by asking questions and posing "what if" scenarios retain what they learn. The National Science Teachers Association recommends students utilize inquiry to better understand the world around them.



A teacher can be the most entertaining, brilliant, supportive educator ever, but if he does not show up for work, tudents will suffer. Students need the assurance that their teacher will be present the majority of the time. This keeps distractions from learning and interruptions in the natural flow of a classroom at a minimum.


A Liking for Children

This might seem like an obvious characteristic, but people do sometimes go into teaching because of the schedule and not because they genuinely enjoy children. A teacher who does not like students may become derogatory or apathetic to the needs of her students.


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