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What makes a good teacher. A question that sounds familiar in the education department the recent years. In this essay, I am going to analyze and explain with examples what makes a good teacher and what the qualities are. There is a wide range of excellent teachers around the world, but no one can say for sure what qualities a good teacher has. All students in school life have about 30 teachers from kindergarten to college. During these years, students can see and meet different kinds of teachers, good or bad, strict or lenient. As children grow up, they understand better what a good teacher is or what makes a good teacher.
Every teacher has her own style or strategy to teach. They spend many hours thinking of how they are going to teach for example: grammar, they have to think of the level of the students, the genre, how long it will take the exercises that will follow and many other things. They can spend a whole day to think of the next lesson or the next quiz. Every time teachers try to do their best in order to make students satisfied. They want to create a cheerful environment and they prefer to be close to their students, as their friends, rather than as their teacher. If teachers manage to create a good rapport between them and students then it will be easy for students to take part in the lesson. If the students know that the teacher care about them as humans and not as students then they will also want to learn.
A good teacher always has a purpose. She/He does not just find what she/he is going to do, but she/he adjusts the lesson to the needs of her/his students. Teachers share their ideas and experiences with other teachers and they can find out new styles of teaching and generally learn new things. As I said above the teacher is not only the controller of the classroom, but she/he needs to be the communicator as well. She/He must not just stand in the front of the class, but she/he has to move among her/his students and talk to them about their life and their hobbies in order to make them feel that she is close to them and she cares about them. Lastly, she/he must involve in the lesson all of her/his students and make them talk to each other about their interests.
Another factor that makes a good teacher is the "classroom discipline". A good teacher knows how to keep a silent class. First of all, he/she needs to get silence before she start talking to the class. Furthermore, she needs to know and use the students' names and to speak clearly. Secondly, a teacher should use humor and she must be warm and friendly with the students. If she wants to activate students it will be a nice idea to choose topics and tasks that are of their interest. When a teacher realizes that the problem of discipline arises, she/he must deal with it quietly and do not take things personally and most important not to uses threats to students, as Ur (1991, p. 265) says.
A characteristic of a good teacher is her patience. Teachers usually get really upset with students because they forget some things or they do not do the exercises. Instead of shouting at them she can speak gently to them and find other ways to make them do their exercises and to encourage them. They should know that the teacher will always be by their side encouraging and helping them. If the teacher does not guide or care about them then they will give up both on themselves and studies. The teacher is the one who needs to have patience in order to make the students care about the lesson and their own studies.
Another quality of a good teacher is to be well organized. Every time they enter a classroom they need to have prepared the lesson. They have to think of the level of the students and the age. They need to think of how long an exercise will take and how long she will talk. Good teachers always leave her students talk. Finally, the lesson should be presented in a clear and structured way in order to be understandable by everyone.
Good teachers always try to make the lesson interesting. It is very important for the teacher to give her students a chance to write what they like or dislike from the lesson or the teacher and to write suggestions about how the students want it to be and give examples. For example, after finishing a circle of lessons, she can ask them to write their opinions and discuss on a piece of paper how the lesson was. In addition, the teacher can find other ways to present the lesson instead of sticking to the book. According to Harmer (2007, p.24), unexpected events happen in lessons and part of a teacher's skill is to decide what the response should be when they do. Such kind of moments called 'magic moments'. She can play some videos or put on some music. In that way the lesson will be more interesting and the students will be pleasant to participate.
Another element of a good teacher is the one who gives feedback. Feedback is information which informs the learner about his performance of a task or a test. According to Ur (1991, p. 242), feedback has two main distinguishable factors: assessment and correction. In assessment, the learner is clearly informed how well or badly he has performed. In correction, some specific information is provided on aspects of the learner's performance: through explanation or through elicitation of these from the learner. Pointed out that in principle correction can and should include information on what the learner did right and wrong and why.
A good teacher knows how to teach in adults. According to McIntire (1988, p. 48), there are many adults in education department and the reason is because they have dropped out of school when they were younger. Also, as Celce - Murcia says (2001, p. 386) there might be students who did not have the opportunity to attend school due to the fact that, they did not have money to pay for it. A good teacher does not care about the age of the learner or from which country the learner is. The difference between adult and child learners is so important that Knowles and Klevins (1975) maintain that the term pedagogy should not apply to adults because the word "taken literally from its roots means the leading of children". The basic problem with pedagogy is that teachers only know how to teach to children and not to adults.
Good teachers expect from all of their students success. Usually teachers base their self-evaluation on the success of their students. At almost every level, but especially in adults it is very difficult for the teacher to guarantee success because there are many factors in adults' life that affect their progress. When something like that happens many teachers blame their students telling them that they have not studied or they were not prepared. Every time a student not do it well at the exams most of the teachers blame them and they do not care about them. A good teacher always takes the blame of the failure.
In conclusion, there are good teachers everywhere, but sometimes it is difficult to find one. A good teacher is not being born, but becomes one, after a lot of practice and studying. A good teacher has many advantages and disadvantages and every person has different criteria to judge what makes her good or even bad. The main characteristics of a good teacher are to be friendly to her students, not to be very strict, but only in some cases and to have lots of patience. Teachers are the main characters in students' life, because they are the ones who have to make the students believe in themselves and they play the most important role.