Teach English in Zhengcun Zhen - Jincheng Shi

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When teachers create enjoyable and meaningful experiences in the classroom, it enhances opportunity for exponential growth. In order for this to be a reality, a teacher must embody the following: positive character traits, proper classroom management skills, appropriate utilization of teaching methods and techniques, flexibility in lesson plans, and creativity while meeting the needs of students. Nevertheless, learning to balance these various responsibilities takes much time and practice. Although there are numerous areas that teachers must focus on in order to see that her students are successful in the target language, there is only one quality of a teacher that must stand out: A good teacher cares about her students, but cares even more about their learning and development. There are a plethora of qualities that make teachers successful with their students. Some qualities of a good teacher include being patient, caring, proactive, enjoyable, confident, and entertaining. A teacher should have good rapport with her students and have knowledge of the subject matter. She also must be organized and able to motivate her students. A good teacher is aware of the student’s weaknesses, and can give feedback and correction appropriately, seeking to help each individual student when necessary. These personal qualities should be accompanied by proper lesson preparation for a teacher to be more valuable. Recently there has been more of an emphasis on “student-centered” lessons as opposed to “teacher-centered” lessons. Student-centered lessons are lessons that are shaped and guided by a specific group of students, whereas, teacher-centered lessons are dictated by the teacher, leading activities and guiding the classroom entirely. Some lessons will be more centered on the teacher and others will be focused on the students. The activities a teacher utilizes will govern whether a lesson is teacher-centered or student-centered. Regardless of whether the lesson is more focused on the teacher or more focused on the students, the teacher should always consider which activity best enhances the student’s classroom and learning experience. Whether a teacher follows a lesson plan or not, it is very important for a teacher to master what she is herself teaching. There are many opinions as to whether lesson planning is beneficial or not. Some educators believe that lesson planning creates a rigid and teacher-centered lesson. It may be true that lesson planning can hinder a teacher from being flexible and able to meet the needs of her students. In contrast, others think that for new teachers, lesson planning can be an extremely beneficial asset. Generally, new teachers are inexperienced and have not yet acquired the same flexibility in the classroom as many experienced teachers have. New teachers could find much value in using a lesson plan as it may help them find direction in teaching a new language while meeting the needs of their students. Most educators find themselves balancing between these two extremes. Each individual teacher will make her lesson plans, whether by writing a few notes or making a more detailed plan with the option of building flexibility into the plan later. The goal that the teacher must always keep in mind is her care for the students’ overall learning and development. Most likely the hardest area for a “good” teacher to give and receive information is in the area of feedback. Feedback is one of the more difficult skills that a teacher can acquire. It takes time and practice to learn how to appropriately evaluate and correct one’s students in a way that benefits them and does not negatively affect their motivation. A few points that a teacher should consider when providing feedback are the following: be patient, give feedback on a one on one basis, and correct a student’s behavior rather than the student. In conclusion, it is important to strive for and thrive as a good teacher. A teacher has the saleable opportunity to impact each individual student. As stated before, students need to be motivated as means to achieve success in learning their target language. There are various approaches that a teacher may take within each lesson as ways to cultivate an atmosphere of learning, but one important thing a teacher must possess in order to inspire her students is creativity in meeting the needs of her students. Through being creative and aware, a teacher can develop many techniques, methods, and strategies to ensure her students have success in their target language. With so many different techniques and methods out there, it can be difficult to know what the best options are. With this in mind, it is imperative for teachers to consider what works best with their own personality, what the culture of the students is like, and how their needs will be best met. “Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students”. Throughout their career teachers develop innumerable skills that will benefit both them and their students. Good teachers work hard as means to help with each student’s needs and to ensure that each student benefits in his or her learning and development.