Teach English in JiAoyuan Zhen - Enshi Tujiazu Miaozu Zizhizhou

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There are many qualities that are important for English teachers to possess. Some teachers possess great scholarly knowledge and others possess great people skills. The truly gifted ones possess both. It’s important to note that there are great teachers with limited education, and at the same time there are ineffective teachers with multiple degrees and an abundance of education. To classify teachers with a degree more qualified than those without a degree would bypass many important qualities of great teachers. I believe there are men and women who were born to teach. They can be identified simply by taking note that as children they played ‘School’ with the other kids and played the role of the teacher. As teenagers they often found themselves in the role of tutoring classmates. Onward into adulthood, they experienced a great knowing that their next step was the classroom to share their knowledge with others. The quality of knowing that teaching is your soul’s calling creates an inner confidence that students feel, and an openness to continue learning for the purpose of teaching others. Teaching English goes beyond a textbook and is more than teaching proper grammar and spelling. It has been said that knowledge is power. I disagree. I believe knowledge applied is power. The qualities of great English teachers will create the space not only for students to learn, but for students to apply what they learn to what is meaningful to them. In order to create the space for students to learn and apply their knowledge, I believe the most important qualities for English teachers to have include: Committed to lifelong learning – always working toward enhancing self-growth and the growth of others. Being Coach-able – remaining open to new discoveries, suggestions and feedback from peers. Compassionate – a loving understanding of and the willingness to work through the stages of growth and development that each student will experience during their school years. Practices daily gratitude and celebration – celebrates all students with heartfelt gratitude. Trustworthy – builds trustful relationships with students by following through on all commitments, being reliable, dependable and accountable. Integrity – choosing to do what is right, instead of what is easy. Open communication – providing a space for all students to share openly without judgement. Being mindful and respectful – choosing to be mindful of all students’ uniqueness and respecting each for who and where they are. Being supportive and empowering others – accepting and empowering all students by providing the support and encouragement each needs to excel. Teamwork – a willingness to work together with parents and others to create a strong, collaborative community. As a student in high school, I was blessed to have experienced all these qualities in my favourite teacher, Mr. Andrew Nesbit. Thirty-three years later I still remember him because he possessed these qualities. I remember his kindness, his patience, his passion and his knowledge. I remember his lessons and his ability to work with all students in class. Together we were a family working toward the common goal of graduating his class with honors. His teachings and his approach to teaching us had a massive, positive impact on my life, and it is him that I chose to emulate when I began my teaching career twenty-five years ago. I strive to be for all my students all that Mr. Nesbit was to me.