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Can anyone be a teacher? Does possessing a knowledge of the English language and teaching methods qualify one to teach English? Does everyone have the characteristics and personal qualities to teach English? There is an old saying: Those who can’t, teach. I would like to argue that that is not true. It takes a person with special personal qualities to be a teacher. One of the most important qualities for a teacher to possess is respect. This is especially important if the teacher is an ESL teacher. One should not teach ESL without having an innate quality of respect for all other languages and cultures, not just the culture and languages to which they are teaching. A teacher must also show respect for each teacher and student in their class, in their school, and in the community at large. This can not be faked, and people have a good sense if respect is genuine. The teacher must also have respect for themselves and their work. The teacher can show this respect in themselves and others by showing up to class on time, always being prepared, speaking to others with the right words and tone of voice (never yelling) to convey respect, and seeking to understand students’ needs and interests. The love of teaching and the love of learning are two other personal qualities I can’t imagine a teaching being without. I think most teachers become teachers because of their personal love of learning. I see no other way to inspire and motivate one’s students to love to learn except loving to learn oneself. A natural curiosity, the desire to better oneself, and the joy of expanding one’s horizons are the backbone of the motivation to learn. The teacher must also enjoy the science and art of teaching. If a teacher does not enjoy their work, the students are sure to notice and will struggle to learn. Organization is another personal quality that is important for a teacher to possess. There are many forms of organization that are important for a teacher to employ. The organization of the classroom furniture, where student supplies are placed, how the supplies are dispersed, the seating arrangements of the students and teacher effect the classroom environment and lesson flow. Understanding how to prepare your units, lessons, and the written lesson plans are fundamental to covering all course goals. Organizing students into pairs and different sized groups for different games and activities effects student learning. Even organization of materials such as props, teacher books, worksheets, and game supplies helps the lesson run smoothly. The teacher also needs to possess organized thinking; this helps them think on their feet and stay focused on the lesson plan. Furthermore, who can teach an English lesson without having a good sense of humor? Despite planning lessons to include topics that interest the students, student to student rapport, teacher to student rapport, student personal motivation to learn a grammar lesson can still be dry. Learning English as a second language can be challenging and stressful for students. A little humor can go a long way to build rapport with students, de-stress a situation, and renew interest in a topic. A teacher must be willing to laugh at themselves and let their students laugh at them also. So, you can see that it actually requires many personal qualities to be a good English teacher. This is especially true since I have only discussed a few of the many qualities necessary for a teacher to possess. We could also add self-control, responsibility, patience, the ability to multi-task, open-mindedness, kindness, compassion, etc. In fact, it takes a very special person to be a teacher. Those that CAN, TEACH!