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Describe a teacher from the past you remember

IELTS Cue Card Question 03 With Model Answer:

Describe a teacher from the past whom you remember.

You should say:
  • who the teacher was
  • what class the teacher taught you and how old you were then
  • what the teacher’s special qualities and characteristics were
and explain why you still remember this teacher. 

    Model Answer 1:
    When I was in my teenage years, I had met one of the best personalities and great teachers in my life, and this teacher influenced me in my life to a great extent. For this topic, I would like to talk about this teacher whose name was Mr George.

    I was in 8th grade in high school back then when I first met this excellent teacher. I was around fifteen years old at that time. One day, Mr George entered our classroom as a substitute teacher, and we greeted him with much anticipation as we heard many impressive stories about him. He taught us geography afterwards as a full-time teacher. We soon discovered that he was not only a great teacher but also a good human being. He had great leadership qualities to encourage his pupils.

    I consider him one of the best teachers in my life because of his excellent teaching skills and good qualities. Firstly, he was highly punctual. I have never seen him being late for classes. Secondly, he was very friendly to the students he taught, and as a result, we could easily share our problems with him. Thirdly and finally, the teaching method Mr George followed was outstanding. He rarely used books to teach us any topic. He frequently used graphical images, presentations, charts and his custom-made notes to explain different topics to us. Attending his classes was never boring.

    I still remember Mr George with great respect because of his outstanding teaching quality and comprehensive support in my high school. He motivated me to study harder, and he was one of the rare persons in high school with whom I could share my problems. He advised me on different academic and personal issues which helped me a lot. Moreover, I learned to be punctual from him.

    Cue Card Answer 2:
    I must have been very fortunate to have been taught and guided by some exemplary and influential teachers at my school and college. Deciding whom I should describe for this topic was a tough choice for me as I recall many of them who helped me a lot throughout my academic years. And I've decided that I would like to talk about Mr Stephen who was one of the greatest teachers I have ever met and had been taught by.

    Mr Stephen was our history teacher when we were in our 9th grade. I was around 14 years old back then. He taught us history as an academic subject in our school and he was quite a brilliant teacher who inspired us a lot - both personally and to learn more about history.

    He was tall - around 6 feet 2 inches and was quite amiable. The most important characteristic he had was his exceptionally brilliant way of grabbing students’ attention in his classes. We had some teachers who had higher degrees from very prestigious universities but had been less successful to grab our attention or make the lesson interesting. While Mr Stephen was one of the teachers who made the time fly. He was quite affable to us but he never allowed stubbornness of students. He was a living example of discipline and good behaviours.

     I particularly remember him because of his way of teaching and attention-grabbing quality. He taught us history as if he was telling us some interesting stories. I was not that much interested in history subject until I met this teacher. He taught us the important lessons we should learn from history and how these lessons should be utilised in our life. He made me curious to read history books outside the academic syllabus and do online research to learn more about significant historical events and figures. The knowledge I have about history and our past is due to Mr Stephen's encouragement. This is why I will always be grateful to him. Though I'm not planning to start my career in the teaching profession, if I ever pick this profession, I would like to be a teacher like Mr Stephen.

    Rounding off questions:
    Q. Do you want to be a teacher someday?
    A. Umm! not really. I have not given it that much thought. But among my many career plans, entering the teaching profession is not the one that ever attracted me.

    Q. Why do we remember some people differently than others?
    A. Well, in our life we come in contact with many people who affect us in many ways. I guess we remember people whom we either like or dislike more than others. For instance, unexpected help from an unknown person might make us think about that person or event, and as a result, we remember him. The amount of time we spend with certain people, the things we do with them and how they behave are in my opinion the determining facts for remembering them.

    Idea Generation for this Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card Topic:

    For this cue card topic, you can talk about any teacher that you can remember from your school, college or university. You can also describe a home tutor who used to teach you.

    Some alternative ways to talk about this cue card topic:   
    • A mathematics teacher from your school/ college/ university. 
    • A home tutor who was a great mentor. 
    • A relative who used to teach you. 
    • A teacher who taught you a second language or sports. 
    • Your uncle, aunt, brother or sister, who was a great teacher for you. 
    • A teacher who inspired you to do better in your education. 

    Useful Vocabulary for describing this Cue Card: 

    Synonyms of 'Teacher': Instructor, master, tutor, mentor, educator, mistress (female), lecturer, professor, coach, faculty member.

    Synonyms of 'Remember': Recall, recollect, think of, recognise, commemorate, remind.

    Some special qualities and characteristics of a good teacher:
    1) Punctuality, commitment, friendliness.
    2) Understands each and every student in the class.
    3) Has an engaging personality 
    4) Supportive and encouraging.
    5) A great mentor, loud and clear while lecturing, promote positive behaviours among students.
    6) Has a sense of respect for others, opens communication with parents and students.
    7) Helpful, attention grabber, encourages students, 
    8) Motivator, has a great sense of humour, sound knowledge of the school’s curriculum, subject matter knowledge. 
    9) Invites questions and feedback from students, 
    10) Reliable.
    11) Adaptability, creativity, patience.
    12) Supportive and empathetic.
    13) Talented.
    14) Excellent teaching ability.

    Part 3 – Two-way discussion:

    Q. What kind of person makes a good teacher?
    A. Teaching is considered one of the best and noblest professions in the world as it involves creating good human beings and building the nation through it. Good teachers help students learn, grow as a person and explore the possibility around them. So, to be a good teacher, one needs to be creative, passionate, sincere, and punctual. Moreover, good subject knowledge is also required to teach students. Finally and most importantly, a person who constantly learns new things and read books can also inspire students to learn. Such persons, in my opinion, can be good at teaching.

    Q. Why do people choose to become teachers?
    A. For some people, this is just a profession, and they are in the teaching job because they were offered a job in this sector. For some others, teaching as a profession is something they have always dreamt about. They are passionate about teaching and they know how noble and grand this profession is. They love to lead and motivate people and choose to become a teacher even if they could have done any other job with a better pay scale.

    Q. Do you think education will change in the future? How?
    A. The world will change around us, and so will the education system with it. And these changes could possibly mean that we most probably won’t see teachers standing in front of the students in a classroom and delivering lectures or lessons. Instead, teachers and students will interact with each other and get the job done virtually online from anywhere with the help of technology. Besides, it is also possible that the educational curriculum will also change to a great extent as the essential and in-demand skills will be very different from what we have today.

    Q. How does technology affect education?
    A. In today’s world, virtually every aspect of our lives has been affected by technology in one way or another, especially our education system. For example, with the help of internet technology, students and teachers can interact with each other and exchange their views/ideas on any kind of subject seamlessly without actually being present in a classroom. Besides, children, especially the early learners, can use new technology to explore new worlds, make believe and engage actively with their peers in challenging yet fun activities. Of course, technology can affect education negatively too since over-reliance on it can limit the natural talent and abilities of the students.

    Q. Will technology ever replace teachers in the classroom?
    A. Although there is no doubt that technology does a wonderful job of creating/fostering a better learning environment relatively easily, the truth is, it will never be able to replace teachers, primarily because technology, in most cases, can’t act by itself without any expert human intervention. And that “expert human intervention” is none other than those expert and skilled teachers. After all, technology can’t inspire students and help them through their struggles by offering all-important human touch!

    Q. What is the difference between the way children learn and the way adults learn?
    A. We all learn something every day in our lives from our childhood to adulthood. However, when it comes to the way we learn, absorb and retain information, children and adults differ in some significant ways. For example, adults have some kind of preconceived notions about education and learning styles, meaning they prefer to learn in a certain way while, on the other hand, children usually don’t mind trying new things or tasks. Besides, adults aren’t exactly used to “taking instructions or directions” unlike children since they (adults) don’t only like to be told explicitly as to what they are doing but also why they are doing it.

    If you can talk about the cue card topic "Describe a teacher from the past whom you remember", you should be able to talk about the following IELTS cue cards as well:
    • Describe someone you like.
    • Describe a teacher you admire.
    • Describe a teacher who inspired you in your education.
    • Describe a person who is a good teacher.
    • Describe a teacher from your school or college.
    • Describe someone whom you have met after a long time.
    • Describe a person who has a good quality.
    • Describe a nice person you have met.
    • Describe a person from your hometown. 

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