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Have you ever been put on the spot by a teacher, demanding an answer to a question when you have no idea? Ever feel like the teacher could care less about you? Ever been yelled at by a teacher? Or have you ever been so bored in class that you do not even know what was covered in the lesson? I think it is safe to say that at one point in life everyone has had a “bad teacher.” What is it that makes a “good teacher?” What is the role of the teacher in the classroom? After completing the online course from International TEFL and TESOL Training Limited (ITTT), these questions can be answered. What makes a good teacher? Personality traits are some of the first things that come to mind when answering this question. A good teacher is caring, enthusiastic, passionate, and sensitive. Being kind and patient towards the students is incredibly important in order to build a good rapport. Not only does this build a strong relationship between the teacher and the student, but this helps to motivate the student. The teacher must have knowledge of the subject being taught. Enthusiastic, lively and entertaining teachers engage the students in the learning process. A good teacher is fair, meaning that all students are treated equally and all tests or evaluations are graded the same. Respect is important within the classroom, the teacher must respect the students in order to receive respect in return. Correcting mistakes is a delicate process in which the student can lose motivation and confidence. Therefore, the good teacher corrects the student’s errors and mistakes in a way that still encourages the student to continue to learn. It is normal to have stronger and weaker students within a classroom, but a good teacher will be aware of this and can tailor the class lesson to include all students and give attention to those students who may need a little extra help. Think about your favorite teacher… did that teacher have these qualities? Besides the qualities that make a good teacher, there are certain roles the teacher may take on in the classroom that play into the effectiveness of the teacher. There are many roles the teacher may play while in the classroom. The teacher can be the manager, or controller. This happens when the teacher is in control of the class. For example, the teacher may be using the board to explain grammar or vocabulary point. The teacher can take the role of the organizer when arranging the class into pairs or groups to complete an activity. While acting as an assessor it is important that the teacher is fair and consistent, as well as sensitive to the students reactions when feedback is given. When the teacher is the assessor the goal is to evaluate the students and provide correction, grading, or evaluation. The teacher can act as the prompter, where the goal is to help the students come to an answer on their own without giving too much help. This will build the student’s confidence and allow the teacher to give praise, all of which will increase the student’s motivation and build a good rapport. The prompter might also have to remind the students to speak in English. The teacher can become a participant in the class. This can be useful when there is an uneven amount of students in the class for a group project or pair work. When the teacher joins an activity as an equal to the students, this liven up an activity and build rapport with the students. Students, especially children, love to see adults acting silly or making fun of themselves. This can greatly help with the atmosphere and classroom dynamic. The teacher can take on the role of a tutor offering individual students guidance and support, or give encouragement to groups or pairs of students. The tutor is active and available for all students during this time. The teacher can also act as a resource or facilitator. As a resource, the teacher withdraws completely, no interruption or interference, from the activity and allows the students to experiment and learn English. However, the teacher is still available for guidance and support. The teacher is a model for the students. In some cases the teacher is the only source of English. The students are attentive to how the teacher pronounces words, vocabulary, accent, grammar, and punctuation. The teacher can also play the role of the observer or monitor. In this circumstance the teacher watches over an activity and determines the success of the activity and estimates the amount of time needed for completion. The observer may also take notes of student progress, errors, mistakes and success to be used at a later time for praise and feedback. A good teacher will take on all of these roles at some point during a lesson and has the ability to balance the role taken in order to give the students what they need. A good teacher has the personality qualities and knows when it is appropriate to take on the different roles of the teacher to have the most effective, fun and educational lesson. Time and experience will allow the teacher to become the best possible teacher they can be. If the teacher keeps these qualities and roles in mind when in the classroom, the students and teachers should be set for success.