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Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Who is a good teacher?
Knowing is one thing and teaching is another. Even if you major in English and you are quite a fluent English speaker, that doesn’t mean you can teach it well. When I graduated from Education College with four full years’ curriculum, and went to the boys’ middle school, I was not a good teacher in the sense of teaching well. In the classroom at school, there were 35 students mixed together with different abilities of English and even different personality traits and needs. To be a good teacher, I struggled to find the ways to teach them "well”. Through a lot of trials and errors, I think I learned many valuable things as a teacher and I’d like to share with you my three pieces of advice here.
First of all, empathy and love for students are the essential component of being a good teacher. When you really love someone, you get to pay all of your attention and listen to them. Thus, a good teacher becomes a good listener and observer. While opening ears with warm heart, the teacher can figure out the needs of a student and appropriate methods to teach the person effectively. This also goes the same way to the psychological and mental conditions of a student. Recently we face a lot of tragic news about juvenile delinquencies such as bulling, depression, and suicide. If we can prevent such tragedies, how it will be nice! Don’t forget. Teaching is not a one-way path but interactive and cooperative work.
Second, be yourself. Find your genuine teaching style. If you look back on your school days, you might remember many teachers who taught you “well”. Did they teach you with all the same way? They might not do. Try as many different methodologies as you can apply to your class and be aware which one is effective and which one has which strong and weak points. Practice good teaching methods of your colleagues you admire to follow until you make them on your own style. Eventually, you’ll find yourself distinguished among other teachers.
Third, be a life-long learner. Let’s say you’re already a good teacher. Then you don’t need to learn any more? I don’t think so. A teacher is the best role model to the students. If the teacher shows his continuous effort at studying not only the subject matter but many different areas, students get to respect him naturally and be inspired to have some motivation of studying harder. Students are changing year by year and accordingly their conditions, their needs, and their problems are changing as well. Don’t stop learning whatever you want and try to adapt something related to your class. A teacher is not just a messenger of knowledge, but a person who can give a valuable life lesson.
Therefore, a good teacher is not the present perfect,but the present progressive. In the process of many trials and errors, endless efforts of self-improvement, and consistent caring and considering of students, a good teacher is born and evolved for a better future.
What makes a good teacher?
What makes a good teacher? Many teachers make their best efforts to answer this question by experiencing lots of trials and errors during their whole career. Some of them succeed to set their own image of a good teacher. But quite a few of them are still on their journey to answer it. Needless to say, many qualities for teaching and personal traits are needed to be a good teacher such as teaching skills, leadership, devotion, etc.
Here are what I think makes a great teacher: passion, understanding and patience.
The first thing is passion for your subject you teach. Without this, it is impossible to become a good teacher. If you don’t love your subject, how can you expect your students to? This passion makes you find many ways to develop your subject knowledge. In addition, it also makes you develop teaching skills to deliver your knowledge more creatively and efficiently. This passion also makes you develop class management skills and fun techniques to help your students to concentrate on the class.
The next thing to have as a good teacher is understanding of your students. This is about knowing your students; what they know, what they don’t know and what they want to know. With a lot of subject knowledge and teaching skills, if your teaching is too difficult or does not meet the students’ demands at all, your class will never be satisfied with you and your students. This understanding also should be expanded to the emotional part of your students. Good teachers always try to observe their students’ interests and changes in their daily lives and try to communicate with their students. It is important to show teachers’ warm interests in each student because a good education can start only with good relationships between teachers and students.
The last thing is patience. Teaching is not easy simple job because it is working with or against the young at the age of puberty. Students have complex lives as you do. They are very changeable and sensitive, sometimes they are almost cross. Good teachers wait for the students to understand and accept things they should know. Sometimes, instant corrections or spontaneous anger from teachers don’t help students. Moreover, good teachers have great expectations of success for all students. When you have a negative expectation of your students, you can’t expect good feedback from your students, either. Also good teachers don't forget to give their students positive reinforcement with applause and cheers even if they didn’t do good job yet.
Getting a job as a teacher is very difficult. But the more difficult thing is to be a good teacher. There are many teachers, including me who lose their confidence and passion when in difficult times. Teachers get the strength to go on by their own students' approval, respect and love. To be a good teacher, you have to be a happy and lively person in your life first and try to keep developing your passion, understanding and patience by enjoying your work and life.
Have you ever imagined that you can die because of a difficult delivery? I nearly died when I gave birth to my first child, but she changed my life entirely. Before I had my daughter, I was a little selfish, and I had little consideration for my family and others. I had grown up to be the youngest in my family, so I was accustomed to being loved. As a result, I had a sort of self-centered mind. I gave birth to my first child when I was 25 years old. It was a difficult and serious delivery. I had never had such a painful experience before. I complained to my husband and family during labor. When I woke from the anesthetic and met my daughter for the first time, the pain left me. Slowly I began to think of my mother and others around me and what I had taken from them. Consequently, I thanked my mother and family from the bottom of my heart after realizing my ingratitude. Since recovering my health, I have tried to repay my mother and family for their love. I have known that the pleasure of giving love. My daughter came to me with difficulty, but she taught me how to live more happily.