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Recipe for A Good Teacher


These four months I’ve been reading many wonderful blogs and thinking a lot about what makes a good teacher. The thing is that all teachers who really love teaching English spend a lot of time reflecting on their teaching and pondering the new methods that will be more useful and motivating for their students.

You may find this post a little ridiculous or silly, but I enjoyed a lot writing this recipe for a good teacher. Actually, I was inspired by a great activity from an amazing book Teaching Grammar Creatively by Gunter Gerngross, Herbert Puchta and Scott Thornbury. It was about the teacher’s favourite cocktail – Cosmic Cocktail for which he got the recipe from a magician many years ago. Students should guess the ingredients (e.g. milky way, comet, stars, galaxies, planets, honey).

You write the following model text on the board (it’s not the same as in the book, I slightly changed it), and afterwards they create their own texts based on that model.

I have blended everything nicely,
a bit of the milky way,
a comet
several stars
three planets
and four galaxies.
I have added honey
(I like it sweet you know)
I have boiled it for half an hour
and stirred it carefully.
Maybe you would like to taste it:
my wonderful cosmic cocktail.

The ingredients of my recipe for a good teacher are: understanding, patience, imagination and creativity, kindness, ordered mind and consistency


I have blended everything nicely,
1 Head full of understanding
2 Heaped cups of patience
1 Heart full of love.
I have added ordered mind and consistency
Sprinkled generously with kindness
And plenty of imagination and creativity.
I have boiled it for half an hour
and stirred it carefully.
Maybe you would like to taste it:
my wonderful teacher cocktail.


8 responses »

  1. I have this book. It is really a nice one. Among the words you use to describe a good teacher ( hopefully we can practice that every day of our teaching lives) “consistency” may be an ingredient missing in my daily cocktail. Thanks for the lovely reminder. 🙂

    • Thanks a lot for your like! There are so many great ideas in the book. I think I’m missing consistency and sometimes patience in my daily coctail (I should wait and give my students a few more seconds to answer my questions). I’m looking forward to your new comments!:)

  2. What a nifty idea – can’t wait to try it out with my mad colleagues. I second Rose’s words about Teaching Grammar Creatively – that’s a book I just can’t do without.

    • I’m very glad you liked the idea, and very curious to know what ingredients you and your mad colleagues would put into your teacher coctail (maybe ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘sense of humour’ and many others are missing from this list…). Thanks for commenting and have a lovely day!

  3. Good stuff, Ljilana! There’s some really great stuff on this website.

  4. Wonderful list. I would add “listening” and “sense of humor.” I’m rolling into my 43rd year of teaching, and without a sense of humor to share with my students, I’d be an unhappy camper.

  5. Yes, I fully agree with you, “a good listener” and “sense of humor” are, maybe, the most desirable qualities of a good teacher. Congratulations on your 43rd year of teaching! Thanks so much for the comment. Best wishes 🙂


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