The Essential Set of Personal Qualities Every Teacher Should Have
Since my childhood, I have been frequently asked the same question "what kind of teacher do you want?" At different life stages, I have different answers. When I was a kid, I would say a teacher who dresses neatly and smiles nicely; when I was a teenager, I would prefer a "cool" teacher as a good teacher, who behaves differently from other boring and stereotyping adults; until I grow up, I think a good teacher should have sound subject knowledge, be fair and consistent with all of the students as well as being sensitive to the students’ reactions and providing necessary support, and until now I know being a good teacher has nothing to do with his/her appearances and dressings.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Feifei W. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
What makes a good teacher?
In my opinion, a teacher must have these attributes which may closely resemble those of yours, they are listed, without priority, as follows: being kind and patient, confident and fair, lively and entertaining, and physically and mentally strong.
Being kind and patient
Because of the complex formation of students of different ages, personalities, behavior problems, and different language levels, not only English teachers but also teachers of other subjects should be kind and patient.
Being confident and fair
An English teacher is often the only source of real, live English the student has ever encountered, he/she acts as a model of all English knowledge, and in the English area, they have particular responsibility and authority in the eyes of the learner. So English teachers ought to be confident enough to deliver knowledge on English grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation and be fair to correct as well as evaluate and grade.
Being lively and entertaining
An English teacher is not only introducing English knowledge to learners but also creating and delivering an exotic atmosphere for students. Besides regular drills and practices during the study stage, various kinds of activities, such as crossword, hangman, Pictionary during the engage stage, class management techniques teachers can employ, which don’t always happen in class in China, should be brought into English classes. These activities can prompt and provoke students’ curiosity towards English and warm up the relationship between teachers and students, creating harmony environment for studying as well as interaction.
I mean being strong physically as well as mentally. In some classes, teacher acts as a controller or manager, they are effectively in charge of the class and of the activity, normally they stand at the front of the class giving explanations, speaking aloud, giving instructions, organizing students into groups/pairs, collecting feedback, etc. you have no idea how chaotic it will be, how many students will be involved and how difficult and anxious you will feel at that time, so you must have a strong body and mind to cope with the complexity. What’s more, being strong mentally also means never being afraid of losing face in front of students at any time. Chinese students have been raised traditionally and conservatively, so most of them are too shy to express themselves in public. As English teachers, the introducer of a totally new language, they must encourage them, by all means, to speak, to express, to get involved in, etc. in some occasions, students may ask you some questions you probably feel awkward or embarrassed to give a response, such as "do teenagers have sex experience at a very young age in America?", en English teacher must try to clam yourself and explain with plenty of patience to them what really happens in America and the distinct gap between reality and tv series.
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In conclusion, en English teacher should own all of the merits a good teacher owns, being kind and patient as a mother, confident and fair as an organizer and manager, lively and entertaining as a partner and friend, strong mentally and physically as an athlete, and they also need to swift flexibly from one role to the other.
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