Teaching is among the world’s most arduous and demanding professions that often do not get the appreciation it deserves. Teachers are an essential presence in every child’s life, both personal and professional. They affect the way a student thinks and also determine a role in the making of the person the student grows to become. Teachers are the unsung and under appreciated heroes of our society today. They shape generations of doctors, engineers, scientists and mathematicians and also sit by, appreciating their hard work receiving applauds from the general population.
There are challenges when it comes to learning or teaching every subject. The prospect of studying languages is perhaps the second most daunting because teaching it surpasses the level of intimidation of studying it. But wait; there is a task even more challenging than teaching languages! It is teaching them efficiently and effectively. Now you must be wondering what makes an expert language teacher, or an expert Arabic teacher following the topic at hand. Well then continue reading to discover the traits of a skilled one below!
Fluency and Expertise
To teach a language, you must know a language. Or rather, know the alpha, beta and omega of the language like the back of your hand. You must know all the rules of grammar, the correct pronunciation of each letter and display thoroughgoing expertise in whatever language you are teaching. Having a background of the famous and engaging literary works in that language is also advisable as it will help in recommending books to study for interested students. When teaching Arabic the teacher must be well-versed in the language, be able to guide the students regarding the differences between standard and spoken Arabic and also know words to draw comparisons between the language being taught and the language already known to the student body.
Practicing Patience at all Times
The start of learning a new language may be a daunting prospect for some beginners. It is par for the course that they make mistakes along the way. But as their teacher and their guide, you must remember that mistakes mean effort and effort means learning. It might be hard at the start for both the teacher and the student, thus it is advisable to take one small step at a time. The student will stumble countless times on the road of learning a new language and then perfecting it but you must be there through thick and thin to help him/her. Sometimes it will also feel like the student is not giving the response you would expect, but you have to summon your inner patience and try your best to be an optimistic lead for your young (and old!) learners.
Developing a Bond with Your Students
A good teacher knows the importance of a strong bond with his/her students. It is advisable to put an effort to get to know your students and gain their trust. Organizing a class solely to learn about your students and telling them that you are always there to listen to everything, personal or professional, is a good approach. You can also ask them to write a paragraph about themselves in the language they are learning if you are far enough in the course for them to be able to do so. Why is it important? Because a student is more likely to learn from and obey an adult they feel comfortable around with and trust, rather than a formidable pedagogue. Asking your students how they are, giving them time off five minutes before the class is over and taking them outside once in a while are unfailing ways to win them over.
Being Lively, Passionate and Energetic
Being monotonous and arranging bland lessons are sure-fire ways to lose their attention, which I believe a good teacher does not want. What can you do? Well, start by putting effort into planning your entire lesson out. You can use projectors, if possible, or small but interesting charts and signs to assist you in the lesson to make it interesting. Talking in a lively and bright tone is also a reliable formula to prevent students from snoring during lessons. Telling them interesting stories about how a particular word came into existence if you have time is a fun way to make lessons lively. Another interesting (if dangerous!) activity is telling them a frightfully engaging story in the language they are being taught and leaving it on a cliff-hanger, after which you can tell them to read it themselves if they wish to know the end. Ensuring they read literature in that language and also making the lesson entertaining.
Being Firm Where It Matters
No one likes a teacher who is no fun but you have to determine the line between being no fun and tolerating disrespect, which are two entirely different things. Do not tolerate misbehavior of your students to win their hearts. It is, in fact, preferable to be quite firm lest such a situation arrives. DO NOT let your students get away with rudeness, crude behavior, disobedience and, most importantly, disrespect. If anyone is responsible for the aforementioned activities, deal sternly. Make it clear that after all, YOU ARE the teacher and therefore demand respect. If the behavior persists, talk to the concerned authorities for the removal of the student from your class.
While bad behavior deserves punishment, good behavior deserves a reward. Be free with praise for your students when they earn it. If a student has worked hard on something, appreciate them. If you see a student perform better than you expected, tell them. If a student who is dealing with something else but still coping with study pressure, acknowledge their efforts. These little compliments go a long way to cheer up a student and brighten their day. Knowing someone out there notices you trying and working hard is a warm feeling. It helps them feel motivated to work even harder and show their absolute best to the person who notices their efforts.