The Principles of Acquiring Teaching Skills
How can I be a good teacher, that is the question that we, as prospective teachers should be working on and should never stop asking ourselves. It is important, first of all, to know what makes for a good teacher. What kind of skills do you actually need to succeed in your goal and what things should you keep in mind walking towards it.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Vjorela P. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
First of all, the main thing should be the willingness to become one.
You should want to improve yourself otherwise everything else might become pointless. Be kind and patient with your students, don’t make them feel inferior, rather make them see mistakes as a way to improve and learn. This way they will be more motivated and you will also be able to create a better rapport with them. That is not to say that you shouldn’t correct their mistakes, but finding that delicate balance that is needed when correcting someone while still keeping them motivated and without them feeling offended or hurt is something that you should constantly be working towards. So now that we have established that let's go into some more detailed insights as to how to achieve that.
Emphasis on the student is one of them, the most important one actually, from which we can build our way up to being what we call a “good teacher”.
There are many roles that the teacher can assume during class. The controller is one of them. The teacher would be standing in front of the class explaining a specific part of the lesson, or in the middle of the class if it’s a circular seating arrangement. Some teachers might find themselves a bit uncomfortable is this position, as they see it as time being takes away from the students so keep that in mind as you implement this method. Another important role might be one of an organizer. Often teachers have to organize the students in different groups or make up different activities. It is important that the teacher is fully comfortable in the role to make up for a successful result. As a prompter, however, you have to be a lot less active, you only need to get the students to express and put their thoughts into words or prompting them to use English, instead of their mother tongue. The tutor is another interesting role you will have to assume. Some students might need a bit more attention than the others when students are working as individuals or in pairs. Never forget to give each and every student equal attention. In the role of an observer, you might want to monitor what is going on in the classroom. While observing, however, it is important to maintain some distance from the student as not to distract them from the task at hand.
Also Read: How long does it take to get a TEFL job?
So now that we went over (not all but some of the most important) roles that a teacher should assume during the lesson we are faced with a different question. Which role to assume and when. It mostly depends on the type of activity that the students are trying to achieve. In some stages, you might want to be more relaxed and let the students do their thing. While at other times you might want to be more in control. So it’s really up to you if falls within the attributes of a good teacher to decide which situation calls for which specific role.
Now let us go over the definition of what makes for a good student.
Willingness to listen, willingness to ask questions, accepting error corrections, figuring out their own way of learning and most important of all, a good student must have a desire to learn.
Also Read: Can I choose where I teach English abroad?
Age is an important factor to keep in mind while teaching.
Young leaners are divided into three groups. The preschooler which are becoming an increasing market in recent years, pre-puberty learners, 8-12-year-old which respond a lot to new sounds new grammar and the language in general. Then come the most problematic ones, the adolescents. They are difficult to engage and usually unmotivated. And then we have the adults. As a general rule, adults are more motivated and they have a greater attention span they have also experienced a lot more which leads to more interesting conversations in the classroom. On the other hand, they are also more nervous about the new learning experience and mind be difficult to unroot any previous mistakes. While young learners are pretty much the opposite of the above-mentioned examples. Except for age, there are also different cultural backgrounds to take into account and a good teacher should always be aware of them. It is also a good idea to take into account the language level of the student. Making their and your time in the classroom more fruitful and pleasant. All of these factors contribute to arranging the class and making it as efficient as possible.
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When it comes down to it, the teacher's attitude toward as he/she enters the classroom will make or break the lesson. When you are open, encouraging, enthusiastic and motivated the students will come to class more willingly and will learn a lot more as a result.
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