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Here at Sugarman Education, 21% of our recruitment professionals are former teachers themselves. That’s why we take great pride in helping others find their dream jobs within the education sector.  


We asked some of our consultants who used to be teachers to share their answers to the questions they’re most asked by aspiring teachers all over the UK. 

What personality traits should a teacher have?


While there are many ideal personality traits for a teacher, these three qualities are absolute must-haves if you’re thinking of working in the education sector:



Having a friendly attitude towards your students can give them a better learning experience. However, it’s important not to let your friendly demeanour compromise your authority.


The ability to care

The ability to build caring relationships with your students is vital. A great teacher is able to develop a strong rapport by establishing and maintaining trust.



A great teacher should be passionate about working with children and excited by the opportunity to influence and educate the next generation.

What should I be prepared for if I become a teacher?


It’s important to be aware of the aspects of teaching that aren’t necessarily advertised in the job spec – the factors below may help you make a more informed decision about becoming a teacher:


Working after hours

The 2018 Global Teacher Status Index study found that teachers in the UK work some of the longest hours in the world. In fact, at 50.9 hours per week on average, the UK placed 4th of the 35 countries studied – with only teachers in New Zealand, Chile and Singapore working longer hours than that.


Dealing with parents

It’s virtually impossible for an educator to avoid dealing with difficult parents at times, that’s why it’s important to be diplomatic in all decision-making processes. Keep your cool, show that you care about their child and try to find an amicable solution where possible.



According to the Global Teacher Status Index, teachers’ average hourly pay has fallen by 15% in the last decade. Be sure to do your homework on pay scales and earning potential before fully committing to a teaching role.

What skills are important for a teacher?


Qualifications and knowledge aside, there are many other skills that lend themselves to being a good teacher:


Excellent communication

If you don’t have the skills to convey your knowledge in an engaging and understandable way, then it doesn’t matter how much you actually know because no one will benefit from it. The key is to explain all assignments and expectations clearly, making sure that every student understands. By the same token, being a good listener is crucial. In an ideal learning environment, a teacher should actively and attentively listen to their students and use what they hear to build upon that communication.


Organisation and preparation

Not surprisingly, you’re going to need to be organised. After all, you can hardly expect your students to exhibit organisational skills if you can’t! And believe me, you will have a lot to organise and prepare. From lesson plans, to marking work, to a long list of administrative tasks, you’ll need some sort of system in place to keep from drowning in paperwork.

What do you wish you’d been told before becoming a teacher?


Be prepared to work hard!


Although teaching is arguably one of the most rewarding professions out there, it is by no means an easy ride. To the contrary, you’ll work harder than you ever have before, but the advantages of enriching the lives of young people and building a better future will help you grow both professionally and personally.


Want to chat with one of our recruitment advisors? Get in touch today!