Ways You Can Act in Your TEFL Class
How do you define who a teacher is? In the general sense and definition, a teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competence or values. In an informal scenario, someone who helps another learn something new can be called a teacher while in a formal setting, teachers are seen as educators as they teach knowledge through the curriculum to the learners through lectures for adults, lesson, small group activities or hands-on activities for the young learners.
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This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Jackline M. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The education that the students acquire is key to determining the future of the learners as teachers provide the tools and environment for the students as they develop into adults. Teachers have a long-lasting impact on the lives of their students, and the greatest teachers inspire students toward greatness.
The most common role a teacher plays while teaching is to teach knowledge. While the level of the learners is a factor to be considered, a teachers role tends to change based on these levels. Young learners require different teaching and learning techniques as compared to the adult learner. The teachers follow a given curriculum that meets educational guidelines so that all the relevant knowledge is passed to the learners. A great teacher has incredible knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject matter they are teaching and they are well prepared to answer questions and keep the material interesting for the learners.
Creating a classroom environment that projects positivity, warmth, and happiness is also an important role for the teacher as learners tend to mimic a teacher's actions as this behavior is primarily a reflection of the teacher's attitude and environment that they set. Teachers are responsible for the social behaviors in the classroom, and a great teacher should have good classroom management skills and can ensure good student behavior, effective study and work habits, and an overall sense of respect in the classroom. A great teacher should engage and hold the attention of students in all discussions with effective discipline skills and promote positive behaviors and change in the classroom.
Teachers are generally highly respected and are also seen as role models within the community and therefore become role models to learners. However, from an inward perspective, most teachers do not see themselves in the same light though they are. Most learners spend a great amount of time around their teachers and therefore the teacher becomes a role model to them. This somehow has its pros and cons, especially with the young learners compared to adult learners as the teacher's role is not only to teach the young learner but also to love and care for them. A great teacher should be passionate about teaching and working with their learners. They should be excited about influencing a learners' life and understand the impact they have on every person they teach by building strong lasting relationships.
Mentoring is a natural role taken on by teachers, whether it is intentional or not. This again can have positive or negative effects on children. Mentoring is the way a teacher can encourage his/her students to strive to be the best they can be. This also involves encouraging students to enjoy learning and listening to the students. By taking time to listen to what students say, teachers impart to students a sense of ownership in the classroom. This helps build their confidence and helps them want to be successful. If a student is taught well, they will always have a yearning to learn more and improve their knowledge base.
In summary, based on my personal experience, teaching is one of the most challenging yet fulfilling careers I have pursued so far. The fact that I can change a student's life remains the most satisfying experience is enough proof to show just how important this job is.
A famous Italian saying holds meaning 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for his lifetime'.
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