Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Are you a good teacher?

Today I exercised twice :P here`s my new essay. Again, timing was not really good. It took me around 40 minutes to really finish it. I was interrupted in the end, though...


What are the characteristics of a good teacher? Use reasons and examples to support your response.

Judging whether a teacher is good or not is not something on which students would agree easily. Some of them would say wonderful things about one teacher, while some others would say horrible things about the very same teacher. We can therefore say that a teacher can be considered as good or bad depending on the student and on the student’s parameters to define a good teacher. In the following paragraphs I will describe three characteristics that, in my opinion, should be fundamental in every good teacher.

First of all, a good teacher should show a very deep interest – if not a true passion – for the subject he/she teaches. When the teacher is interested in and really enjoys what he is explaining, students are more likely to take interest in the subject as well. I know that since I’ve started studying English I’ve always been lucky enough to have teachers that loved English themselves. This made me want to study English more and more and eventually become an English teacher myself. On the other hand, when the teacher does not seem to be interested in his own subject, students will probably not pay attention to the class. This is what happened to me when I was 15 and I had a Math teacher that did not seem interested in teaching Math at all. The whole class would not pay attention to a single minute of the lesson, and would score really badly at every test.

Second, a good teacher should be responsible and attentive with her job as well as with her students. In fact, it is important that teachers take their profession seriously, prepare their classes and correct the students’ exams as promptly as possible. When teachers come to class without a clear idea of what to do with the students, we have the idea that the teacher does not take his duties seriously. When the time comes for students to study hard and do the homework for that subject, they will probably follow the example of the teacher and come to class unprepared. Also, it is important that a teacher show to her students that she cares about them. There are several ways to do that: teachers can praise the students that put a lot of effort into a task, call all the students by their name, encourage the more bashful to talk, let students give ideas and suggestions (and actually take them into account later), etc.

Finally, I believe a teacher should be patient and open minded with his/her students, but he/she should also be firm at the same time. It is important to understand and forgive students for some of their faults; nobody is perfect, after all. However, a good teacher should not be too forgiving. It is important to set some limits, otherwise students can take advantage of the situation. Last semester I was taking an English class and my teacher was always very nice and smiley. Since the beginning, students started not doing the homework, and he would never really scold them, but he would just ask the students to join in with a classmate. By the end of the semester, practically nobody was doing the homework any more. This is why it is important for a teacher to show a certain strictness.

In my opinion, then, these are the main characteristics that help constitute a good teacher. Talking to many other students, though, I found out not so many share the same ideas as me, which made me realize that rating a teacher is a rather personal judgment. Luckily, teachers are different, therefore any students can have their favorite.

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