Despite the many, many ways there are to measure the effectiveness of teachers and different training in teaching methods, how to deal with misbehaviour and safeguarding there are still characteristics of teachers that are rarely, if ever, given the spot light.
Below are three characteristics I see in the teachers we recruit that we feel are shockingly underappreciated by schools. You won’t find them as a performance related pay target and you won’t be signed up for any of them in an INSET training session but nevertheless they are vital qualities.
If you want to spend time with your class and you want each child to succeed for themselves not just for your reputation; then you are going to enjoy teaching them more, your teaching will become more animated, and you will be more likely to go above and beyond to help your students. If you don’t like your students then you may be able to work just as hard in the beginning but faking it is exhausting and eventually motivation will decrease and the cracks will show.
Of course subject knowledge is on every Ofsted inspector and school leader’s checklist when it comes to observing teachers, but all too often this box is checked without much consideration. However a teacher with a really detailed knowledge of their subject, someone who knows about the latest development as soon as they happen, someone who continued reading textbooks for pleasure after they graduated university will be able to inspire a class a lot quicker than a less interested teacher. Then there is the questions, of course all teachers have been in the position where they don’t know the answer to a particularly obscure question and this is totally acceptable. However if you can answer a ridiculous question off the top of your head, whether it’s an earnest query or mocking interrogation, then you will really earn the respect of your students.
I know that reliability is almost an overused adjective in teaching job ads. However with teaching - like a lot of industries - the people who turn up day after day, meet even the most unimportant deadlines consistently by doggedly work to a good standard can often be outshone by others. It is simply because it is harder for a head teacher to recognise the importance of a teacher like this, when other teachers may perform really well during an inspection and earn an Outstanding Ofsted rating, get better results, or come up with an ingenious new method that improves student engagement. However it is the reliable teachers that keep things ticking over, support the rest of the staff with their conscientious approach, and ultimately give students the consistent help they need to grip the most complicated subjects.