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"What are the qualities that make a good teacher?"

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I taught ESL and accent modification for 10 years as a consultant to businesses. Now, I am in my second year teaching ESL at a college, here in Boston,MA (USA)I have to say that respecting my students is very important. This means respecting their needs, their culture, their knowledge, interests, opinions etc. Also, I always feel that I am learning as much from them as they are from me. This makes it a positive experience for all of us, which, I think, shows in my teaching style. We're doing important work and I know our students appreciate it!
Cathy

I think what makes a good teacher is to be alert to the necessities of your students and be able to give proper solutions. It is also an effort to understand them in a personal level but without losing your place. I think a good teacher must be understanding but must correct the error whatever they are. He or she must be able to inspire confidence, someone you can rely on and be willing to learn new thing to make her or his teaching better.
Ana

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I've been teaching for nearly twelve years, both teenagers and grown-ups.I must say it's very different the way in which you can teach them, mainly because adults are highly motivated and mainly they learn because they need it for their jobs,but they don't normally study as they are too tired to do so. While teenagers are not normally so, and they require a lot of imagination, patience and discipline,as they are all they time pushing you.
luisa

Happy Holidays Everyone!I believe that a good teacher has to be able to teach students how to become independent learners. If students feel responsible for their own learning, then learning and improvement won't end when students leave the classroom. It's a nice feeling if students like to come to class because they like their teacher, but it's even better if they like to come for the sake of learning. Easier said than done, I know ..... (Justin, your name sounds so familiar to me.)
Zsuzsa Tolgyesi, Tudomany Language School, Hungary

I strongly agree with Maria but she neglected to mention the most important element which is consistency. What you say you will do is what you must do and any promise you give must be kept. For many teachers it's a struggle from class to class, for the students it's a once a day thing. Often their memories are better than ours and if you neglect a commitment once they'll remember it forever. This doesn't just apply to the day-to-day running of the class but to the whole teaching environment wherever students are involved. For myself, teaching in Hungary amongst other places, consistency with students has provided greater rewards than I would have dreamed possible.
Justin Morgan

Hello, and Christmas greetings.......the quality that is of the most importance to a teacher is good manners.........i have seen lots of classes fall through because the teacher had poor manners, especially in the area of intercultural relationships. Sometimes it is necessary to spend the first class just getting to know what is appropriate for the classes one is teaching. For instance, i would not seat Moslem men and women together, i would have very private classes for the women. Like wise one would be culturally polite to do the same for Jewish women, or Irish women learning a foreign language better as well to have no night time classes for those women only afternoons. lots of cultural outings are required on esl training courses.The language training is basically a cultural experience, but the culture of the learner is paramount, and the culture of the teacher is one that is being presented, and can be accepted or rejected by the student. The height of diplomacy and discretion needs to be practised, with all the beliefs of the student to be taken into account. On no occasion should teaching of English be used to /show them our ways/' This is a sort of cultural power trip which ruins many social interactions among students and teachers. best wishes, and keep up the good work.
Mary Rose Doyle

Hi Everyone! I believe that a good ESL teacher is one that is enthusiastic and patient. Like others who have expressed their opinions, I too think flexibility is very important. Sometimes a lesson may progress in a particular direction and it is important to give immediate feedback in response to learners' questions. Some of my best lessons have been those that have evolved from other beginnings! "Kia Ora" from our beautiful country!
Jill Dalby, Feilding, New Zealand

A sense of humour is almost indispensable! Above all be honest with the class. They will see through you immediately if you try to string them along in any way. Not being a genius will only damage your image if you try to pretend that you are one. In the same vein, be fair. Praise and sanctions can both be appropriate. Is this all I have to say after 32 years of teaching? No, but it's enough!
Bill George, Ratsgymnasium, Germany

The two most important qualities of a good ESL teacher are respect for the students and patience.
Maureen Gleeson

A 'core' feature of a good teacher is the ability to start and maintain "interaction" ( = inter + action) in his classroom. Interaction between teacher-student, student-teacher and student-student, in the target language. Any other feature (or features) someone can think is just a corollary of this basic one.
Eurides Rossetto

Telling others what make a good teacher is difficult but I believe that a good teacher evolves as time passes. Personally, I looked for years for good books to teach and eventually ended up writing my own. If anyone is interested, contact me by email. The book is FREE because my aim is not to make money but to share my experience with anyone who's interested. The book is for teaching English in a creative way for children age 7 to 10. I suppose writing a book to teach myself may qualify me to be a good teacher? :-)
Gunnar Halldorsson

In my opinion the most important qualities are : Patience, competence, enthusiasm, respect, flexibility. See you!!
Maria Elisa

As I Palestinian English teacher, I would like to send my faithful greetings to those who have made this site for the others interest and use. One of the things that makes us good teachers is the love and faith in the great aim of our job as teachers. As the time we have the patience to understand our students' academical and psychological needs; we are good teachers.

An Arabic poet once said : " A teacher was about to be a prophet ". This indicates how lovely and truly our job is.
Akram Jawabreh, Palestine

I believe that good teachers make themselves. A good teacher is someone who tries to develop, who never expects others (trainers) to 'spoonfeed' him with techniques or ready-made lesson plans. It's someone who tries, adapts his teaching to suit the needs of his learners.
Rachid NAJAR

A good teacher must be well versed in the content knowledge of the subject she is teaching. She must have a sense of humour, be friendly and respectful towards the students. She must understand the problems of her students. She must make learning easier and interesting for her students. Variety and flexibility in her lesson plans is a definite criteria. She must be punctual and regular. She should make her class tension free. These are a few of the qualities that make a good teacher. She must have a motivating attitude and a Professional approach.
Mrs Anjum Wasim Dar, English Department, Foundation College of Education, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

I think to be patient is most important things. Our students are in difficult situation and we must empathise with them totally. I learned a foreign language for a week on my ESL course and saw how strange it was. I learned Hindu!! And this is different totally from Chinese!! So I understood then that we must be soft with our learners and this is the most important aspect of the question for me. After that, all others follow. I love this site! It is intelligent and makes me think!
Jun Li, Shanghai.

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