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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
At the beginning of the course I remember struggling with a particular task that dealt with me choosing what I believed to be the five most important roles of the teacher in the classroom. There are so many different roles of equal importance that I really did find it dificult to settle on just five. In this last task I would simply like to deal with what I feel makes someone a good and complete teacher rather than cutting it down to five important traits. To speak the obvious would be to say that a teachers primary role is to teach. Their own personal accomplishment and sense of satisfaction will depend of course on how well they do just that. The teacher must feel committed to helping his/her students succeed and help them acheive their aims. A teacher must show his/her students how to learn. A teacher should be someone that the students can confide in, someone they can turn to and in a sense look up to as a role-model. It is of utmost importance that the students, regardless of their age, gender or culture, know that their teacher can be approached to provide them with help, ideas and advice. Nevertheless the role of the teacher doesn't merely begin upon entering the classroom. It is absolutely necessary that the teacher has an indepth knowledge of the subject to be taught. Each lesson you teach requires strict, methodical preparation in order for your students to take you seriously. Lesson planning to define your and your students aims and to establish possible problems and their outcome, is essential, essential in order for the teacher to anticipate his place and level of particpation during the lesson. Being a teacher also means that you will have to combat your fair share of not so positive aspects where support is unfortunately very often non existant regardless of the time and effort you put into trying to better the situation. Students who are lacking in personal motivation, parents who are unwilling to cooperate, lack of support for correct classroom management and schools that are not equipped with essential classroom materials are but a few of the frustrationg problems that teachers come up against, problems that unnecesssarily often test a teachers level of commitment. Undoubtedly, the experience gained as the years and classes go by, helps the teacher gain a prespective on things, allowing them to analyse, interpret and respond appropriately to different situations. Through patience, understanding and appreciation the teacher will gain a strong rapport with his/her students. There is no doubt about it that the teacher is responsible for creating a positive and disciplined classroom environment. The teacher sets the ground rules. In order for a teacher to feel accomplished and satisfied in his/her role it is essential for them to want to teach for the right reasons. It is extremely fulfilling to be able to share knowledge and see how someone learns, develops and succeeds as a result of this sharing process. The sense of self gratification is overwhelming. All in all, a teacher that has taken the time to get to know his/her students, who takes into account his/her students interests in order to offer a way of teaching which is beneficial to the students needs, is a teacher that will reap the benefits of his/her efforts.