I READ in the Adver the other day about a new scheme to attract more young people into teaching.

It involves teachers spotting aptitude in pupils and encouraging them to explore the option, and the eventual aim is to tackle the recruitment crisis in the profession.

A school or two in this neck of the woods are taking part in a pilot scheme, and I very much hope it’s a success.

I wonder what characteristics are being looked out for; what aspects of a developing personality say: “I’d be a great future teacher.”

Had the scheme been running back when I was at school, some time between the extinction of the trilobites and the invention of trees, it would have been very easy to spot teachers of the future because existing teachers had readily identifiable characteristics.

“Hmm,” those in charge of the scheme might have said, “I see one of the pupils likes to throw board rubbers at fellow pupils’ heads - and if there isn’t a board rubber to hand, they’ll throw chairs, desks or smaller classmates. Clearly a possible teacher in the making.”

Or: “This child insists on having little leather elbow patches on their shirts and sweaters, and on apparently cutting their own hair using a spoon and without the aid of a mirror. I’d better alert the head of geography to a potential candidate.”

Or: “This student smells of Players No6, mothballs and gin, drinks a flask of oxtail soup through a straw every lunchtime and has the dead eyes and chilling, shifty demeanour of a fugitive war criminal. Clearly management timber and perhaps even headmaster material...”

Thanks to the passage of time and some welcome alterations to the criminal law, most of the old-fashioned signifiers that a young person should consider a career in the classroom no longer apply.

I can only assume that different ones are looked out for now, such as intelligence, curiosity, kindness, compassion, helpfulness and an unquenchable desire to pass on knowledge to others and help them reach their potential.

All the teachers of my acquaintance certainly have those qualities, but based on what some of them have told me I reckon some other characteristics should also be looked for.

For example, at lunchtime does the student eat a standard-sized portion of food or can they happily consume far less food and still manage to do their work?

If asked to draw or describe their ideal home and when they hope to obtain it, would they envision buying a nice if fairly modest house with a decent roof, and managing to do so by the time they reach about 30? Or would they instead happily envision spending spending years at the dodgier extremes of the private rented sector as they try to scratch together a deposit and qualify for a mortgage?

If you ran a reward scheme for good work - giving stickers or similar as prizes, say - and the student received far fewer stickers than certain classmates in spite of working harder than them and being given more responsibilities, would they mind?

If you told the student in the morning to, for example, arrange a pile of school library books in alphabetical order, only to tell them in the afternoon that you’d changed your mind and that they should now arrange them in reverse alphabetical order, by thickness or according to some other arbitrary rule you pulled out of thin air, would they persevere or become frustrated?

Of course, some radical thinkers say solving the teacher recruitment crisis is simply a matter of paying an appropriate salary, treating teachers with respect and not subjecting them to the whims of politicians and senior managers afraid of angering those politicians, but I’m not so sure.

If it were that easy, surely it would have been done already?