What Makes You a Good Teacher?
The role of a teacher is to help students acquire knowledge so that eventually, they can be competent in understanding and communicating in English. A good teacher is a successful teacher. The success or failure of a teacher lies not only on his/her teaching styles, but more importantly, the learning of the students. To a certain extent, the personality of the teacher may affect the learning of his/her students, but what is more indispensable is the relationship between the teacher and the students. A non-threatening relationship with the students can help to build the students’ interests in learning, and create an atmosphere that is conducive and light-hearted for learning. A good teacher is also a responsible teacher who takes time in planning and organizing his/her lesson and is concern about his/her teaching so that the students can gain the most of the teaching.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Ng Xin Y.
To be a good teacher, he/she needs to be effective in managing his/her role in the classroom. By managing this aspect well, it will help to build a stronger rapport with the students. This requires a teacher to do detailed planning and preparing himself/herself before class. During a lesson, a teacher got to take on multiple roles. For example, at the start of the lesson, a teacher could be a manager/controller. She/he needs to be standing at the front of the classroom, explaining what the lesson will be focusing on and what the activity will be. After-which, a teacher may take on the role as an organizer; organizing them into their groups and giving specific instructions, and then becoming a facilitator; taking the backseat and let the students interact and participate in the activity on their own, while they can still be a resource for them to seek help from.
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A teacher may also participate in the activity as well to build rapport and bond with the students. At some point in the lesson, a teacher must play the assessor role because a teacher needs to ensure that the students are producing the correct English. Sometimes when the students are stuck at a certain question or face with a difficult situation, a teacher will then act as a prompter; encourage the students to think deeper and work their way out to the right answers. When a teacher manages his/her role well, they will give time and space for the students to participate/discuss/enjoy the lesson, and they will know when is the right time to step out, and when is the right time to come in and interact with the students. A teacher controls and builds the dynamics in the class. Hence, it will help to build rapport with them and eventually, win their hearts over and their interests in learning the subject.
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High Level of Responsibility
A good teacher is also a responsible teacher that takes time to understand his/her students’ learning and try to craft the lessons in such a way that would be compatible to the needs of the students. By doing so, the teacher is actually encouraging and fostering their interests in learning. A teacher needs to understand his/her students – are they willing to listen to the language? Do they have a desire to experiment with the language? Are they bold to ask questions and clarify their doubts? Do they have a desire to learn? What is the language level of the students? What’s the age group? A teacher needs to take into consideration the intrinsic motivations of the students and thereafter, craft the lesson in a way that would meet the needs of the students. Some things that a teacher should take into consideration are the language level of the students, their culture, motivation, language experience and also foresee behavior problems. For example, if a teacher is teaching a group of young learners who are at the beginner level in learning English. A good and responsible teacher would incorporate fun games, singing or drawing in the lesson plan. Young learners, generally, have shorter attention spans. Hence, a good teacher would take time to plan out exciting games that would draw the students to participate in the lesson, at the same time, imbue a curiosity and interest in the learning. However, if the students are a bunch of motivated adult learners, then the approach would have to be different.
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Attention to Details
Knowing the students also helps in lesson planning. A teacher will be able to decide what kind of lessons, what tools to use and the duration of a specific task/activity. It would help in deciding what framework to use, for instance, is it patchwork, boomerang or a simple straight-arrow lesson. The type of students will also determine what kind of tools will be used; For example, if they are a bunch of young learners, a teacher would use more visual aids, videos and DVDs and interactive whiteboard. If they are a group of young adults, preferably course books or resource books would be a better option. A good teacher will also know what method of tests and evaluations is suitable for the students. When it comes to evaluating the students’ level, a good teacher would gauge and know his/her students’ level and at the same time, not to dampen their spirit in learning.
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All in all, a good teacher is not solely based on having an outgoing and charismatic personality. It should be an endpoint that all aspiring teachers seek to reach. A good teacher is a teacher who cares more about their students’ learning. A teacher’s teaching style is something that could be worked on and improve progressively. There are always opportunities around and the more a teacher is exposed to teaching, the better a teacher would become in imparting knowledge and in their classroom management. The learning to be a good teacher never ends.
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