Teach English in HuanghuAshAn Zhen - Tongliao Shi

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Choosing a career for life could be one of the most difficult decisions. It is not common for every person to realize what he or she was born to do. However, this is not the case with teachers. I strongly believe that a teacher is born a teacher, which under no circumstances means that they do not need preparation. On the contrary, there are several qualities that a teacher, especially an English teacher, must develop and always continue to improve in order to be successful. These qualities could be called the three Ps: Passion, Patience and Presence. Firstly, an English teacher needs passion, not only for teaching, but also for learning. A successful teacher should never stop learning. The language itself as well as the methods, techniques and technology used are in constant change. The methods and techniques originally used for teaching English as a second or foreign language, namely Grammar-translation, Audio-lingual or The Silent Way, among other, have gradually come out of use and been replaced by more appropriate, meaningful and communicative ones, such as the Communicative Language Teaching approach and the widely used ESA technique (Engage, Study, Activate), considered the most effective one. However, methods and techniques are not the only ones which are constantly developing. In this technological era, it is more and more necessary to include different equipments in a lesson, which requires teachers to become familiar and knowledgeable about, for example, how to use an interactive whiteboard or search the web for videos, activities or games which can be interesting and motivating for students, especially the younger ones. As a result, English teachers who have a passion for learning and adapting to all these changes are highly likely to become excellent teachers. Secondly, one of the most important personal qualities for a teacher is patience. Regardless of any situations which can be external to the class itself, a teacher needs to be really patient during a lesson. Being able to cope with behavioural problems in an appropriate way is a must. Patience then becomes necessary for the teacher to realize about what the problem is, what has caused it and how to solve it. However, more patience is still needed if that solution does not work. This applies not only to behavioural problems, but also to the teaching process itself. A lesson that has been neatly prepared, following the steps and techniques of successful methods and with all the materials needed ready to be used, may not develop as expected. It is in situations like this in which a teacher needs to be patient enough to be able to analyze the situation and make all the necessary changes on the spot so that the lesson can be successful and not a failure. This is why being patient is a quality that all competent teachers should have. Finally, presence in the class is one of the main factors when establishing rapport with students, and thus determining the flow of a lesson. It would first be necessary to describe what is meant by presence. The focus here is not placed on wearing smart clothes or having a professional or intimidating look. Presence in a classroom refers to a positive one, to being lively, entertaining and friendly. Even though expected attitudes may vary from culture to culture throughout the world, I strongly believe that a competent teacher will establish positive rapport with students and will motivate them to learn and use the language, ensuring a successful lesson. It is necessary for teachers to maintain a positive presence throughout a course, showing eagerness to help students and have them see that a teacher is not merely a powerful presence standing in front, but a helper. In conclusion, it could be stated that the three Ps, Passion, Patience and Presence, represent the most important personal qualities that an English teacher should have in order to be successful. Passion for teaching and learning constantly, patience to cope with any problematic situation in class, and a positive presence to engage and motivate students, are characteristics that can make a significant difference in the teaching and learning process.