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Thread: What are your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher?

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    AKA Mister Mr. Array Mr Mister's Avatar
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    What are your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher?

    I really wanted this thread to be minus the 'as a teacher' but it had no home, but feel free to comment about life in general.

    It is often said that you biggest weakness is not admitting you have any and your biggest strength is admitting you do.

    I've looked and I haven't seen a similar thread, but if there is, I apologise.

    I shouldn't really need to say this, but this is a genuine thread and the legitimate answers will make good reading for me(but to be frank every other derailed thread was genuine too)

    I just ask for the usual suspects to do one of two things, posts something genuine related to the thread and not to me or, and this would be my hope, just stay away.

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    I tend to speak too fast when I think a class is advanced, I have slowed down a lot but I still do it. As far as strengths go, I don't want to toot my own horn.
    Daniel Bedingfield claimed that his new album is what it would sound like if Sting, Stevie Wonder and Micheal Jackson were in a basement together - I haven't got the album so I'll have to imagine the sound of a blind bloke and a Geordie kicking the shit out of a pedophile.

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    Senior Member Array Bird71's Avatar
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    My weaknesses: I can be a little too strict sometimes, and I'm not always at my best. On the other hand, I love teaching (and seeing some of my students making good progress is my biggest reward) and therein lies my strength.

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    AKA Mister Mr. Array Mr Mister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cream View Post
    I tend to speak too fast when I think a class is advanced

    Do you use your hands when you speak? I ask this because often people 'speed up' there body language and in turn speak too fast. Being a little bit more deliberate with the hand movements tends to slow you down a bit. I think this also ties in well with introducing 'hand movement' to an advanced class, killing the proverbial two birds.

    As for your strength/s telling people what it/they are and why you believe this may help others who have it/them as a weakness.

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    trash the scene Array po3try's Avatar
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    I'm a bit of a pushover in class,
    I talk fast when I get excited (that sounds dirty but I didn't mean it like that :D )
    I use 'dude' and 'cool' far too often.

    Strengths - umm. I'm approachable? The kids don't seem scared to ask for help or to tell me to slow down etc.

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    Senior Member Array Bird71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by po3try View Post
    The kids don't seem scared to ask for help or to tell me to slow down
    That's a strength alright.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Mister View Post
    Do you use your hands when you speak? I ask this because often people 'speed up' there body language and in turn speak too fast. Being a little bit more deliberate with the hand movements tends to slow you down a bit. I think this also ties in well with introducing 'hand movement' to an advanced class, killing the proverbial two birds. As for your strength/s telling people what it/they are and why you believe this may help others who have it/them as a weakness.
    I use a lot of body language and use my hands like an angry Italian lol. My main strength is that I am a very relaxed person and rarely get mad.

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    AKA Mister Mr. Array Mr Mister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bird71 View Post
    My weaknesses: I can be a little too strict sometimes, and I'm not always at my best. On the other hand, I love teaching (and seeing some of my students making good progress is my biggest reward) and therein lies my strength.
    Instead of making it your biggest reward, make it theirs. Rewards are great, in any form, and teachers that tend, at times, to be too strict can often soften that perception with a reward. I've used little certificates in the past, with meaningful bit sometimes light-hearted awards, like managed to complete a lesson without speaking Thai or listened to the teacher not his friend throughout the lesson. Those as well as the more serious ones.

    ---Update---

    Quote Originally Posted by po3try View Post
    I'm a bit of a pushover in class
    Is that a strength or a weakness? With the right balance, I could see that being a strength.

    ---Update---

    Quote Originally Posted by Cream View Post
    I use a lot of body language and use my hands like an angry Italian lol. My main strength is that I am a very relaxed person and rarely get mad.
    Me too, but as things were flowing(well in my mind anyway) the hands got faster and so did the words. Being aware of this I started being more deliberate with my hands and in turn slower with my words.

    For a lot of new teachers, the hand movements can be nerves and they can easily use those hands to solve the problem. Slowly gesturing a three syllable word for example helps speed and encourages better pronunciation.

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    Senior Member Array crew's Avatar
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    As a teacher:
    I'd like to think my strength is knowing what the students need to learn and what will be useful for them. I often ditch course books and make my own lessons geared towards the weaknesses of my sts. I don't have to follow a curriculum and that allows me the freedom I need to skip the passive voice lesson for upper-ints and go back to quantifiers and/or the zero article, etc..

    I think my weakness is my seriousness. I'm no comedian and I'm more than willing to let the sts who aren't self-motivated slip through the cracks. I'm not a motivator. Mind you, the vast majority of my sts have been adults and I treat them as such. I'd like to improve on this but until then, it's a big weakness.

    As a trainer:
    I get anonymous feedback from every trainee at the end of a course. From their reviews, my feedback to their lessons seems to be valued. They say I take it more seriously than the other trainers and apparently my tough love approach is appreciated by more than I would have thought. Also, as the months go by my phonology lessons are getting better and more people seem to be grasping the importance of pronunciation practice.

    As for a weakness, apparently I can be to impatient and condescending. I have no time for trainees who refuse to do work for themselves. I get frustrated with their flippant attitudes towards teaching and I will not tolerate laziness. I'm a bit of a task master and I know that rubs some the wrong way. The harder trainees work for themselves, the harder I'm willing to work for their benefit. Again, I am not a motivator and that's an issue for an educator.

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    Still got the Blues Array
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    Good topic idea.

    Guitar (hand coordination in general)
    Photography
    Mechanical
    Explaining things
    Foreign languages
    Driving
    Lying

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    Falling From Grace... Array Hollow's Avatar
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    My mood can be a little volatile at times depending on the class or students. Consistency is what I strive for... well.. maybe not strive. ButI'd like it.
    Jesus is coming, open your mouth!

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    Senior Member Array crew's Avatar
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    ^^ yes jonny but what of your strengths?

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    AKA Mister Mr. Array Mr Mister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crew View Post
    I'm no comedian
    Quote Originally Posted by crew View Post
    ^^ yes jonny but what of your strengths?
    Modesty forbids? Okay you may not have reached top spot on 'ajarn's got talent' but, there is something there.

    Refreshing thread so far.

    Brings to one of my strengths, if I know it's right, no matter how rocky the road gets, I will stick with it.

    Strangely one weakness I have in life is completely different when teaching. In life, I judge people too quickly, but it is the complete opposite when teaching.

    A weakness when teaching is 'my favourites' I think we all have them, but I often feel some of mine are based too much on personality and not enough on performance.

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    Still got the Blues Array
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    ^^ I can lift heavy things

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    AKA Mister Mr. Array Mr Mister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonny danger View Post
    ^^ I can lift heavy things
    What about, using arrows because you are too lazy to quote :o)

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