What makes a good teacher?
One of my last lessons of the year was with two boys who are about 12, and I asked them that same question. It was actually part of a reading task but I thought I should start with a bit of a chit chat about teachers and hear their views. So, I posed the million dollar question.” What makes a good teacher?’ They told me their opinion which is what I am going to share with you. Interestingly enough, I had asked a similar question to a group of Chinese students, my EAP group, during the summer and I will share their views as well. Do you think that my learners agree or not?

My Young learners:
A good teacher:

  • makes you laugh
  • answers your questions
  • doesn’t shout
  • makes the lesson interesting
  • helps us relax when we are tired (didn’t see this one coming!)
  • gives good grades (this one is kinda saddening cause it shows me that from such a young age, my learners focus and chase grades)
Now, according to my EAP (adult) learners:
Boring is a teacher:
  • who is not funny and does not have a sense of humor.
  • who only does things from the book/ reads everything from a book.
  • who is strict (?!) not flexible.
  • who does not show any facial expressions, stands still.
  • who doesn’t have a lot of knowledge.
  • who doesn’t tell us stories about her/his life.

So, looking at their answers, a few conclusions can be drawn. Humor is always important. So, find ways to make your learners laugh and have fun during your lessons. Lessons should be interesting, which is why it is important to connect with your learners and find out their likes and dislikes. It is important to be informed and well prepared. When you go into class, you need to know what you are talking about and be able to answer questions. Not being flexible, and shouting are no, nos.

So, as 2014 is towards its end, time to reflect and think about how you teach and how your learners would like to teach. I know I am.

See you in 2015!!


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