The term highly qualified teacher comes from the No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2001. Under the act, teachers specializing in core subjects such as math, language arts and social studies must meet specific criteria. These requirements include a bachelor’s degree, licensing or certification and demonstrated competency in their primary subject. If you’ve earned the highly qualified designation, note this and illustrate your expertise by describing your accomplishments and skills on your resume.
Degrees and Certifications
Some school districts won’t consider candidates who don’t hold undergraduate degrees or haven’t earned their teaching license. Showcase your qualifications at the top of your resume to set yourself apart. For example, note that you hold a California license to teach English at the secondary school level. Also point out any additional endorsements you hold or expect to receive. For instance, perhaps you hold a license to teach at the elementary level but anticipate earning an endorsement to teach middle school as well.
Demonstrate Your Expertise
When listing your work history, go well beyond listing your previous job titles. Highly qualified teachers must demonstrate competence in their core subject area, so include examples that showcase your unique talents. For example, note that you used your knowledge of child development to tailor lesson plans for individual students. Or, describe interactive projects you created to help students better understand the material. If you teach science, discuss the science fair you organized to give students hands-on experience applying what they learned.
Focus on Contributions
Show employers that you’ll enhance the quality of education offered to their students. For example, note that you participated in choosing a new curriculum at your previous school, or that you helped develop more effective and individualized methods for evaluating student progress. Also point out how you helped boost the school’s reputation, such as raising standardized test scores for students in your class or that several of your students participated in a prestigious and highly competitive academic competition.
Emphasize Your Reputation
Note any awards or honors that distinguish you as an accomplished and competent teacher. For example, perhaps you earned teacher of the year at your previous school or district. Or maybe you were invited to sit on an important committee for a professional association or your local government. Demonstrate to employers that you not only meet the requirements for the highly qualified teacher designation, but also that it’s something you strive to embody in your day-to-day role as an instructor.