Top Ten Transferable Skills You’ve Gained From Teaching

  1. Working with People

As per the teachers’ standards, you inspire and motivate your pupils and know what makes them tick. You might even be able to say the same to their parents, too! Soft skills like working with people shouldn’t be underestimated: they’re key in many jobs, and some might say they can’t be taught. As a teacher, you’re likely emotionally intelligent and supportive, able to engage with children on their level and help them to achieve their best. You may have dealt sensitively with pastoral issues that have occurred.

But this isn’t limited to your pupils: in your work with colleagues, senior staff, and parents, you may have encountered situations that working well with others has gone a long way to solve. So think about what you can draw out of those experiences and where else you might be able to bring those skills to bear.

  1. Communication

One skill you’ll likely have gained from teaching, if you didn’t have it already, is public speaking and presentation skills. You can explain ideas clearly and concisely, and you know how to make what you’re saying interesting and easy to understand and read the audience well. As for written communication, you’ll have high standards of spelling and grammar, and you can give constructive and useful feedback. And all those lesson plans, class blogs, and school newsletters have given you experience writing different content for different audiences.

  1. Time Management

You work to tough deadlines and are probably a multitasking genius. (Think of the last time you had 30 school reports to write by the end of the week!) You know how to prioritize, and you can work under your own steam to meet complex and changing needs.

  1. Organisation

I don’t know about you, but I made myself very organized and efficient when I first entered the classroom. It was either that or become buried in paperwork and never resurface again. All your lesson preparation has equipped you with planning skills: you can anticipate how long a unit of work will take, plan this out and then adapt if necessary along the way. You manage lessons’ pitch and pacing with attention to children’s learning and have organized school trips to the smallest detail.

  1. Teamwork

Many of us form great relationships with our teaching assistants and other teachers, and we can make a great team. You might have planned schemes of work with other teachers, shared responsibilities, and brainstormed new ideas; you’ll have delegated tasks as appropriate to teaching assistants, ensured they have what they need to do an effective job, and made the best use of their skills and experience. You may well have supported your colleagues when they’ve struggled and been kept in return.

  1. Work Ethic

Everyone who teaches has an excellent work ethic. We’re used to putting in the hard work and seeing this pay off in children’s learning and development. We’re determined and persistent in facing obstacles (ask any teacher about behavior management), and so many of us are willing to go the extra mile, leading clubs, volunteering for fundraisers, or taking on additional duties (such as organizing the Nativity!).

  1. Teaching

Although this sounds obvious, some employers may not be aware of all this involves unless you tell them! You’ve taught others new skills and knowledge through practical activities, written tasks, and assessments. You’ve led larger groups, and you’ve taught one-to-one. And you can adapt your teaching methods to your audience, changing tack if you pick up that what you’re doing isn’t working. You can give clear explanations and useful feedback. You may have mentored newer teachers or trained other staff, too.

  1. Computer Skills

You’ve probably used Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) to prepare lessons and resources and track pupil data. You may have used content management systems such as WordPress or Blogger to post class blogs. You’re probably also familiar with a range of social media. You might even have other technological skills unrelated to teaching, which you should list – you might be a whizz at Photoshop or experienced in video editing software. Although this point does veer more into technical skills, it’s still relevant if you feel it’s something you could bring to another job.

  1. Attention to Detail

You’ve proofread and edited children’s work, fact-checking and catching errors as you go. You’ve used your strong SPaG and numeracy skills to teach English and Maths and respond to gaps in children’s knowledge; you may have designed creative resources, and you’re accurate and precise in producing lesson plans that cover all learning needs.

  1. Problem-Solving

Every teacher has had a moment – probably quite a few moments! – where we’ve had to think fast to deal with a challenging or unexpected situation. You might have come in to find that the whiteboard’s broken, or Ofsted is visiting tomorrow, or a safeguarding issue has arisen. These situations require us to think on our feet and do what we can with what we have, which is a useful skill! If you’ve worked as a supply teacher, too, you’ll have particular experience with adapting what you’ve got to suit a change in plans that happens at the last minute.

Choose your Reaction!