Qualities schools look for in newly qualified teachers include:

  • Proactivity and resilience
  • Passion for the chosen subject
  • Knowledge of the education sector
  • Willingness to learn
  • Ability to work as part of a team

As a newly qualified teacher (NQT), the first few steps in your teaching career can be both an exciting and daunting time. You’ll have completed your relevant degree or qualification, gained qualified teacher status, written a CV that stands out from the crowd, and be looking to secure an interview and a job in a school you love.

NQT jobs and how to get the role that's right for you.

When you’re a newly qualified teacher, you’ll be looking for a job where you can complete your induction year with support from the school. Then, you’ll have the ability to teach confidently in any school you like, and build your career in the education industry. So, whatever stage of your application you’re at, you’re probably wondering exactly what schools are looking for from their NQTs. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of top five qualities you should aim to have when starting your first job:

1. Proactivity and resilience

In any workplace, everyone loves someone who is proactive: getting on with tasks without needing to be asked, planning ahead of time, setting goals and working towards them. Well, teaching is no different to this. Schools will look for NQTs who are able to create a positive classroom environment and plan exciting lessons for pupils, whilst being able to adapt their teaching style if needed.

The best NQTs will also be able to show their resilience - teaching can be a demanding job, and you’ll be thrown in at the deep end with your own lessons to plan, classes to teach, and homework to mark. Whilst you will be supported by your school, you’ll need to demonstrate that you’re ready for any challenge the job throws you.

2. Passion for the chosen subject

A key quality that schools look for in their teachers is a love for their chosen subject, and for teaching it. So, during interviews and when you start your first job, try to convey your enthusiasm to your students. Then, your energy and desire to help your students will motivate them to learn.

3. Knowledge of the education sector

As an NQT, it can be easy to get absorbed into the small details of teaching that you will have learnt whilst completing your qualifications, for example lesson planning and classroom management. Whilst this is important in being able to teach well, it’s also key to be able to show off a wider knowledge of the education sector, such as any policy updates, and its curriculum. You can do this by keeping your eye on the news and the Department for Education website.

4. Willingness to learn

Even though you will have spent a lot of time in education yourself, you won’t know everything yet. For newly qualified teachers, it’s important to show that you are eager to continue to learn while you work, whether this be finding out more about the sector itself, or about different teaching methods. You could, for example, ask your new school whether they run any mentoring schemes with their other members of staff. Or, you could speak to other teachers yourself, and ask to observe their lessons or speak to them about their experience.

5. Ability to work as part of a team

As a teacher, although you will be largely teaching your lessons alone, you will be part of a wider department, who you’ll be working with closely. So, teamwork is key. If you work well as part of a team, your department will be able to maximise pupils’ learning by sharing ideas, resources, knowledge and understanding. Plus, the department can provide you with an important support network as you settle into the job.

Looking for a job as a newly qualified teacher? Want to put these tips into practice in your next interview? At Randstad, we can help. We’ve got over 150 NQT positions available, and a team of dedicated consultants to support you with everything from your first job search, to your first day in the role, and beyond. If you’re interested, you can get in touch with your local Randstad team by clicking here.