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December 06, 2011

More Traits Of A Master Teacher

In my previous blog, I explored a few aspects of a good teacher. There are several more that I have observed, in fact here are...

...a few more.

A. Confidence

Good teachers are confident in their content knowledge and their ability to sense where students are in the learning process. Every student is different and every day has its own context and energy. Some days students may have low energy or a personal problem. It is our job as teachers to step up, whether we are in the mood or not, and energize and motivate our students.

No matter how I feel before class, once I step to the front of the room, I feel that I am "on". And I am "on" as long as I need to be and then I need a short break before I can do it again.

An important aspect of confidence is to be willing to admit that you don't know everything - and that you, like your students - are still learning.

B. Compassion

Many of my students are in some stages of dislocation or even crisis. Many are living far from home, and several are from a country and culture many thousands of miles away. And many, of course, are learning in a language that is new to them. Good teachers are able to work with students with varying levels of motivation, maturity and knowledge.

C. Achievement

Good teachers have clear expectations regarding what their students should know at the end of the term, and they understand what they must do along the way in order to reach those goals. Clear benchmarks of progress are essential.

D. Planning

Teachers must have plans and a clear schedule - and stick to them. I give my students a syllabus with a weekly schedule so they know which chapters, topics and assignments they can prepare for. And if they miss a session, they can have a general sense of what the class wlil be covering.

I'll have more thoughts on what makes a good teacher in my next post, but feel free to send in your observations. We are all always learning.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle).

Posted by mmorf at December 6, 2011 10:35 PM


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