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What Personal Qualities are Important for an English Teacher

What Personal Qualities are Important for an English Teacher | ITTT | TEFL Blog

A teacher’s personal qualities play a huge role in the success of their students! One of the best things I learned from this course was what makes a good teacher, and what a good teacher needs to be aware of when teaching EFL. Depending on whom you ask or what website you look at, you will get different thoughts and opinions on the qualities an English teacher needs to have. In this essay I am going to talk about the personal traits I believe are the most important and why.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Sarah R. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.


The central quality of an English teacher is that they care about their teaching and their students. If a teacher cares, they will constantly be trying to be the best teacher possible. They will also motivate their students to care about learning.


A good teacher should be encouraging and able to motivate their students. In unit 10 I watched two videos of two EFL lessons. As I watched the first video, I was aware of the negativity and lack of care expressed by the teacher. I got the idea there was somewhere else the teacher would rather be. Because of this, the students were unmotivated and eventually gave up trying. It is the job of the teacher to create a friendly environment where the students feel comfortable experimenting with the language. A teacher must be positive and show a desire to be there!

Students are motivated by lessons that are fun and creative. EFL lessons can easily become very boring if there is no variety. English teachers should be fun and creative, changing things up whenever possible.

Also Read: How My Passion For The Spanish Language Made Me Become An English Teacher Abroad


A good teacher needs to also be a good manager, and a good manager needs to be flexible. Often classes will not go as planned or some activities will not seem to work very well. This is where some of that creativity can be used. Being flexible and able to cope with different situations is very important for any teacher!


Teachers should be knowledgeable about the topic they are teaching. They also need to be organized. This makes all the difference in first impressions and getting the students to interact. In the first video example in unit 10, the teacher acted incompetent and disorganized. This left the students confused and unsure about what they were learning, and even hesitant about what they already knew. In the second video in unit 10, the teacher was much more confident and organized. This increased the student’s confidence and helped them receive the most out of the lesson.

Also Read: Do TEFL certificates expire?


An English teacher needs to be relational and ask a lot of questions. This will also encourage the students and prompt them to speak English. An English teacher should be able to relate to each student and get to know their likes, dislikes, needs, and strengths. This helps the teacher make the lessons more effective and enjoyable, as well as student-centered. Getting to know your students on a personal level communicates that you care about them. In the first lesson, the instructor should start the class by learning each student’s name and a little information about them. This can be done in the form of a “warmer” activity.

Treat and Encourage

A teacher needs to be kind and patient when teaching. By treating students with respect, teachers build up self-confidence and a desire to learn. They also create a better classroom environment with their attitude and set an example of how their students should act.

Do you want to teach English abroad? Take a TEFL course!

Going through this course has helped me become more knowledgeable about the English language, and has helped me feel equipped to teach it. I have learned what I need to keep in mind when teaching and become more aware of areas I need to improve in. I am excited to use everything I have learned – from grammar to teaching techniques – as I start teaching EFL in the upcoming year!

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