A reluctant report on my idea of an ideal teacher

I hope some people would understand if I say that today is not a good day to do an essay. Pre-finals are coming up, and the last thing I want to do is give 15% of my effort to something then horribly regret it later.

I was given this task to impart of what I think would embody an ideal English teacher. And I’m not saying this because of what I’m feeling in my first paragraph, but honestly, there are almost no words! I wish I could just be blunt and give my exact thoughts on this, but even I, who have experienced being both a teacher and a student, could not really pull off the perfect explanation. Well here goes.

After a few hours of randomly searching for something wise to write, I decided to build a chart. A quasi-imaginary chart of what I think should be essential in being an effective teacher in English. I said quasi-imaginary because if you’d be picking my brains for raw fact, it would probably take a lot more than a lousy chart. This chart merely represents my general view of what a teacher should at least possess on a natural, day-to-day basis, especially when he or she deals with EFL learners.

  1. Great Command of English – I don’t know how I could really word this but basically, it boils down to:
    1. Knowledge of the language
    2. Fluency on the language.
    3. Attitude towards the language.
    4. Knowledge and wisdom over factors that affect the students who learn the language.

I really don’t mind if my English teacher would correct my grammar or my pronunciation as long as it’s in a tasteful manner. I remember this one teacher who suddenly shouted “My Gosh, THAT’S WRONG!” The student she shouted at was so embarrassed that she signed up in another academy. Yeah, grammar Nazi fail….So yes, extensive knowledge comes hand in hand with humility.

  1. Creative – probably the best way to size up a teacher’s skill is how he could take command of the students’ attention and interest without spending a single peso. I love teachers who come up with great ideas, stories and activities then ending the class with everyone talking about him and his activity with so much gusto that they even continue talking about it to their families during dinnertime. It’s probably in line with this quote: “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.” This comes in very handy, especially to teachers who teach EFL.
  2. Friendly – As in approachable. As in helpful. As in trustworthy. As in “I’m not an indifferent SOB.”
  3. Always a student – No pun intended. I personally abide by this. For me, an ideal teacher is someone who sets an example to students that one never stops learning. Supplementary studies, trainings, and other degrees. Even at 30. Even at 40, Even at 50. And yes, even if one is older than the Duquesa De Alba. English, like everything else, keeps changing and evolving. So teachers mustn’t assume that just because they finished their degrees, everything stops there.
  4. Passionate in Teaching. I saved the best for last. And this comes from personal experience. There was a time in my life when I woke up one day and decided to stop teaching English to Koreans. I just got so sick and I didn’t know why I felt like that. But eventually I moved on and tried other stuff, like enrolling in Cosmetology, involving myself back to theater, and giving more time to personal desires. The first few months were wonderful, but soon, I began feeling weak and melancholic. It’s a long story but basically it boils down to this: I realized that teaching was part of my soul. It can burn me dry for some time, but I will always find myself hungry for it again. And here in school, I have seen a decent amount of teachers who, despite being near retirement, still have that blaze in their eyes. And I have very deep respect for them.

Now this is embarrassing. I said I almost have nothing to say about this particular assignment, and yet I have written almost two pages here.

But come to think of it, isn’t it a good thing now? J


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