Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who is a good teacher?


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.

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