Important Qualities for English Teachers
Being an English teacher can be challenging when he/she do/does not count on the qualities mentioned down below.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Tatiana M. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The teacher must be patient with his students, without forgetting about the goals of the class. As a teacher (especially with kids) we have to understand that not everyone's mind works the same and not everyone absorbs the information at the same speed. Some subjects might be more difficult for some specific students and we don't have to lose control or judge the students for it. A good teacher would find the right way to approach the student and try to understand his weakness so the teacher can find a solution that motivates the student and encourage him to believe that he can do great. A good teacher will understand that losing control of himself is losing control of the class.
Good at communicating
As we all expect, teachers should be good with this quality, otherwise, the students won't be able to understand and connect with their teacher. Good teachers communicate clear and in an appropriate intonation for the students, leaving his/her message be absorbed properly by the students. For this specific quality, the teacher needs to also be confident in his/her knowledge about the subject he/she is trying to explain, otherwise, the teacher won't feel comfortable and as a result, won't communicate properly.
We believe sometimes that being a teacher is all about talking and sharing our knowledge with the students, and it is a part of it but it is not everything, you also have to be a great listener to your students. This helps to create confidence with them, making them feel more comfortable around you, and you can learn a lot about what is their English level, motivation, skills, preferences, what kind of activities they prefer and how they feel with the class. With all this information the teacher can improve the class and adapt to the needs of the student (in a one on one class) or students (in a group class).
We have to be conscious that things do not always go as we plan and some things might go wrong. As a good English teacher, you have to be able to front these situations and find a solution for it as soon as possible without losing self-control and keeping the students motivated for the lesson. Having a backup plan for a certain activity and always checking the electronics devices that the teacher might require during class can be a good option to prevent unexpected problems.
Students need to feel comfortable with their teacher, this increase the enthusiasm in the class and the willingness to learn a new language. This quality can generate great energy in the class because the students won't feel extra pressure or judgment, instead, they will trust their teacher and will feel confident to communicate in class. Being approachable is also great to know the student's opinions about the class and create a great opportunity for feedback and improvements.
You must be organized if you expect to become a great and inspirational teacher, this quality is very important because it is the base of every class and it can create a huge difference between a very productive class or chaos. The teacher should have a plan for each class and keep organize the classroom he/she is in. This transfers confidence and trust to the students and makes them feel like their teacher is professional and knows what he/she is talking about.
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