Good ESL teachers are patient at explaining things. Being comfortable with explaining content and context to students is an essential skill for teachers. Do you like to explain how things work, or how events occurred?
Good teachers have a sense of humor and use humor as part of their teaching methods. Humor, used properly, can be a powerful addition to any lesson. Can you integrate humour into lessons, explanations and stories to help your students learn?
Good teachers like people. ESL student's age ranges from elementary, special education, secondary education, higher education to adults and retirees. Good ESL teachers have a temperament for students in all age ranges.
Good teachers are inherently fair-minded. They assess students on the basis of performance, not on the students' personal qualities, background or culture. Can you measure students performance based on an evaluation criteria equally applied?
Good teachers have common sense. They can size up a situation quickly and make an appropriate decision. There is no substitute for common sense. Can you be fair and communicate your decisions clearly?
Good teachers have a complete understanding of the ESL content they teach in sufficient depth to convey the information in meaningful ways to the students. Are you able to re-present information from several perspectives to help students grasp concepts?
Good teachers set high expectations for their students and hold the students to those expectations. If you are thinking about becoming a teacher, can you set high expectations for yourself, and demand excellence not only of yourself, but your students as well?
Good teachers are detail oriented. Teachers must be organized in their professional and teaching duties. ESL teachers can not take things for granted. This applies to all organizational and instructional duties.
Good teachers are good managers of time. Time is one of the most precious resources a teacher has. Good teachers have learned to use this resource wisely. Can you monitor your time and allocate to priorities and deadlines?
Good teachers can lead or follow. ESL teachers have to shift from "sage on the stage to guide by the side". Sometimes, teachers must be members of teaching teams, committees, groups, councils, and task forces. It is important to have the temperament to function in these capacities. Are you comfortable being a leader or a follower as circumstances require? Can you be constructive with co-workers, team teachers, administrators, and parents?
Good teachers learn to improve their teaching by teaching, by making mistakes, learning from them and improving. Can you be a fair critic of yourself?
Good teachers know that they teach as much from their own actions and behavior as with the content they teach. Do a personal inventory of your own values, personality, preferences and goals. How has your past experience/education prepared you for teaching?
How can a teacher training program help you? The purpose of a teacher education program is to get you as ready as possible to teach ESL by introducing you to a variety of methods, techniques and experiences.