IELTS Cue Card Sample 426 - Describe someone who is a good teacher

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe someone you know who is a good teacher.

You should say:

  • who this person is
  • how you know him/her
  • what kind of subjects he /she teaches.

and explain why you think this person is a good teacher.

Sample Answer:
I can think of a great teacher. Her name is Dawn, I know her because I go to her weekly community fitness class, and I’m going to tell you just exactly why I think she is not just a good teacher, but a really great one!

Dawn is essentially a fitness instructor. There are lots of fitness instructors in the world, but she is unusual in her approach and enthusiasm. She works in the community, so I know her because once a week I attend a class she runs in a cold community hall in a relatively deprived part of the city where I live. Her post is funded as some sort of a health initiative, so the class is subsidised, that means it only costs me £1 (one pound) to attend, which is very cheap. Most exercise classes near me are between six to fifteen pounds an hour, depending on what you do.

I’m not a natural at exercise, I know it’s good for me to keep me healthy, but I’ve never before looked forward to going to an exercise class. Dawn’s sessions are different. On one level, it is a very ordinary session. There are a few movements to music based on dance steps; some stretching; and then typically a bit of floor work on mats that’s a little like yoga and supposedly helps you to develop your abdominal muscles (core). The one-hour session concludes with some stretching to cool down. The music plays on a tinny old cassette tape machine with terrible sound quality. The hall is light but freezing cold, and the venue a bit tucked away. It oughtn’t to be as much fun as it is.  

This fitness instructor is in my view a wonderful teacher because she is funny, enthusiastic, motivational and knowledgeable. It is a very rare combination indeed. The class is very diverse, with a wide age range from probably women in their mid-twenties perhaps on maternity leave, through to self-employed people in their middle age, right through to pensioners who are quite definitely in their late seventies and possibly in their eighties. They may be game and feisty, but they aren’t in their first flush of youth! Despite the broad age range, backgrounds and ability, Dawn includes everyone. She is a gifted facilitator to cater for such a broad range of people within one group session. She knows us all by name, she watches our technique to make sure everyone is safe and getting the most out of the session, but she is positive and encouraging. The class is full of laughter and support. She tells funny stories to distract us, and keeps the exercises moving quickly from one to another so there is never any chance to get bored. She is also ridiculously encouraging. The way she praises us for our efforts you would imagine we could all be professional dances or gymnasts if we wanted to, our talent is limitless! As a teacher, she creates an environment where we are all confident to try new things, and test our fitness. If we make mistakes, she just laughs, and breaks down the sequence into smaller sections, until everyone is confident with what we are supposed to be doing. She gently advises on technique so that over the short period of time I’ve been attending her classes I feel my knowledge of fitness theory has developed alongside my actual stamina. I wish she did a class every day – there would be no stopping me then!

A good teacher is a rare thing indeed. Knowing your subject may be a necessary pre-requisite for teaching but it is not enough in itself. Having a teacher who can engage, inspire and motivate is what really matters. All of us in the class want to do our best for Dawn, and in doing so, we achieve the best for ourselves as well.

[ Written by - Lucy Marris: Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]

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