Role and Qualities of the English Teacher

The concept of teacher as a provider of knowledge has become out- dated. The teacher is no longer one who hands out knowledge. Similarly, the learner is not merely a passive receiver of knowledge. Both the teacher and the learner are considered as equal and active partners in the teaching- learning process.

Also, the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 gives emphasis on learners creating their own knowledge, through active participation in the classroom as well as outside it. This has changed the role of teacher to a large extent. This is also true for the English teacher, who holds a more responsible position.
The role of the English teacher, The qualities of the English teacher, ENGLISH PEDAGOGY Notes, CTET 2015 Exam Notes, TEACHING OF ENGLISH Study MaterialThus the topic has been handled under these headings:

1.        The role of the English teacher
2.       The qualities of the English teacher

The Role of the English Teacher

English has always been considered as ‘difficult’ by most people.  It is believed that any subject by itself is not difficult; it is the teacher who makes it difficult for the learner. Therefore the role of the English teacher is very important. In the changing classroom, where knowledge is not ‘imparted’, it is ‘created’, the English teacher plays an active role as friend, guide and facilitator.

The teacher’s role in the English class is threefold:

1. In the presentation stage of a lesson, the teacher serves as a model. All his activities, reading, recitation, writing are accurate. The learners are able to imitate correctly, only if the teacher himself is correct.

2.At the practice stage, the teacher becomes more like a facilitator,
giving each a chance to participate. The teacher becomes less and less active, while making the class more and more active.

3.During the production stage, the teacher takes on the role of guide and advisor. He does not scold or punish. He never makes fun of any
child. He focuses on the strong points but takes note of the weak points. He corrects mistakes, if any, in such a way that the learner does not feel ashamed, and contributes to group learning.

The Qualities of the English Teacher

It is commonly believed that good teachers are rare, good English teachers are rarer. Yet the qualities of good teachers are identifiable. Some of them are:

1.           Achievement – Experienced teachers have clear thoughts on what their students should know at the end of the term, and they understand what they must do along the way in order to reach those goals.

2.          Awareness – Teachers in elementary schools must have eyes in the backs of their heads. They need to be aware of everything that happens in their classrooms and in adjacent corridors. Teachers who are awake are able to stop nonsense before it starts and keep students on track.

3.          Community involvement – Maintaining good community relations is part of being  a  teacher, and teachers’ contact  with parents, administrators, and community leaders enhances their effectiveness in the classroom.

4.          Compassion – Talented teachers are able to work with students with kindness, care and sympathy.

5.          Confidence – Good teachers are confident in their abilities to sense where students are in the learning process. They know their students’ abilities to learn and can confidently teach them the most difficult topics.

6.          Context – Every subject has a context, and teachers are responsible for providing it to their students. Since no one learns in a vacuum, teachers must show their students how the information they are learning might be used or might lead to the development of some other useful skill.

7.          Enthusiasm – Excellent teachers never lose enthusiasm for their profession. They might become temporarily burdened by administrative problems, but their sincerity in their work is firm. Students feel this energy, and teachers who project it are much more successful than those who do not.

8.          Intellectual curiosity – All good teachers are  curious. They keep informed of changes in their fields.

9.          Knowledge of the subject matter – You can’t teach what you don’t
know. All teachers need not be experts in their fields, but possessing knowledge is important. Teachers must continue building their understandings of their subjects throughout their careers.

10.       Maturity – In no profession is maturity more important than in teaching. Students experience emotional ups and downs, and good teachers are able to sense the changes and respond to them suitably. Teachers must be pillars, encouraging students to grow as human beings and to develop academically.

11.        Mentorship – Teachers often serve as mentors to their students. The desire to influence students positively is a core motivation of good

12.       Organization – One-on-one tutoring is easy compared to leading a
classroom of students in a single direction. Teachers must be able to manage students’ multiple personalities and organize their subject matters so that a maximum number of students may benefit.

13.       Patience – Patience with students who are trying to learn is part and parcel of the teaching profession. Impatience with sincere students is an indication of the teacher’s own shortcomings.

14.       Planning – Teachers must have plans and stick to them. This goes deeper than rigidly following a course syllabus. Effective teachers sense when students need more time to absorb the material and are willing to give it to them.

15.       Vision – Teaching includes far more than passing information from teachers to students. Teachers should be the leaders who provide their students not only with interesting and useful material, but also with visions of bright future.

‘What the teacher is is more important than what he teaches,’ says Karl Menninger. The teacher is the best influence on the child. Thus he must always be aware of the role he plays.

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