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Teacher Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Teacher, or Educator, educates students on a particular subject. Their duties include creating lesson plans, leading classes and setting and marking examinations.

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Teacher duties and responsibilities

Their tasks vary depending on their learning environment, subjects and students but may include:

  • Devising lesson plans based on curriculum guidelines where appropriate
  • Leading classes by giving lectures, demonstrating tasks, assigning tasks and encouraging discussions
  • Encouraging student participation and performance
  • Supervising students while they complete tasks independently
  • Answering student questions
  • Setting homework or exercises for students to practice their skills after class
  • Developing and marking examinations to measure students’ progress
  • Assessing and reporting on students’ academic achievements and behaviour
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What does a Teacher do?

Teachers share their knowledge and skills to help students learn. They can teach children and adults in several educational settings, including schools, universities and community centres.

Teachers can also work in remote learning environments online. Primary school teachers educate children in a range of foundation subjects. Other Teachers usually specialise in one subject or a small selection of related subjects. Some of these subjects include mathematics, science, English as a Second Language, pottery and dance. The reputation of every educational institution relies on high-quality Teachers. The best Teachers help students learn effectively so they can achieve their potential.

Teacher skills and qualifications

A successful Teacher candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include: 

  • Written and verbal communication skills, including confident public speaking and active listening
  • Superior knowledge of subjects they teach
  • Ability to break complex topics down to make them more accessible
  • Conflict resolution and classroom management for managing disagreements between students and for unruly behaviour
  • Organisation for managing various projects and administrative tasks for different classes
  • Creative thinking to engage students and develop innovative solutions to aid learning
  • Basic computer literacy, including proficiency in data entry, word processing and record keeping software

Teacher experience requirements

Experience requirements for Teachers vary depending on where they are teaching and their subject. Paid experience is not essential, but is valued. School and university teachers are required to complete a Teacher placement which is part of their Initial Teacher Training. During placement, Student Teachers will lead classes under the supervision of a mentor. Teacher placements provide classroom experience before Student Teachers enter the paid workforce.

However, people can teach in unregulated subjects, such as yoga, without Teacher placement.

Teacher education and training requirements

The type of degree a Teacher needs, if any depends on their subject and place of work. Teachers at primary and secondary schools and state-funded academies need GCSEs A* to C. They also need a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Teachers can achieve this by earning a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor, of Education degree. Alternatively, they can gain QTS status by studying a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. While this is not required, it allows teachers to study their masters.

Teachers with students under five need the equivalent of a QTS: the Early Years Teaching Status. While it is not essential, many Yoga Teachers obtain certificates or diplomas in yoga teaching. All Teachers educating students need a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Teacher salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Teacher is £130 per day. A teacher’s school and its location, along with experience and subject all influence earnings.

Job description samples for similar positions

Are there more specific types of Teachers that you need? Reading our samples for similar positions may help you write your own job description.

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Teacher job description FAQs

What are the qualities of a good teacher?

The best teachers are passionate about their profession and subject area. Their enthusiasm inspires students to achieve more. Passion for their subject and teaching others also motivates them to prepare engaging and informative lesson plans. Good teachers are patient when dealing with unruly students or those struggling to grasp concepts. They should also feel confident speaking in front of students.

What should you look for on a Teacher CV?

Look for awards, advanced degrees and other achievements that suggest an applicant is exceptional. Having a master’s degree, rather than a bachelor’s degree, is impressive. Teaching awards also show an applicant is a superior educator. Candidates who describe their skills with specific words, rather than vague terms are also appealing. Many people prefer hiring Teachers who stay at schools for five years or more. A teacher dedicated to the student community is more likely to achieve positive results.

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