What Makes a Good Foreign Language Teacher?
Most of us have had at least one really great teacher and one really bad one. We know what we like in a teacher and judge them based on that. I have had teachers over the years whom others did not like. There were also other teachers I thought did a horrible job but other students thought were the best they ever had. Opinions differ. Most of what people perceive as a good or bad teacher is usually based on things like personalities and preferred learning styles. So what makes a good foreign language teacher? Like all good recipes, the ingredients for the teacher's success in the classroom are simple, easy to follow, and allow for personal interpretation to enhance the result. First of all the teacher helps the child realize his or her strengths, encourages and challenges the student to learn through those strengths. The teacher is someone who uses both his head and heart in equal measure throughout the day. Compassion is an understanding that a student may be frustrated, angry or just unable to focus on the academics at hand. A little extra attention, a hug, a query as to how he is feeling is all it takes to make a potentially negative situation into a positive. Bad days happen to everyone. The next thing is the knowledge of the subject at hand. You can not teach things you do not know. Also the most important thing is how the teacher goes about imparting that knowledge – in other words, methodology. The good teacher should be honest enough to admit being incorrect. If he or she makes a mistake or imparts false information he or she should be able to admit that the mistake or error was made. Everyone makes mistakes at some point but what makes others trust his or her words is the ability to admit he or she was wrong and corrected the mistake. The teacher should respect each student as an individual. Each person is unique. The classroom is not a place to squash the individual....
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