Would you like to be a teacher? Do you think you could be a teacher? Did you have a favourite teacher? How did this teacher help you? Do you remember your teachers from primary school?
  • Evidently (adverb) - in a way that is easy to see.
  • To plague (verb) - to cause worry, pain, or difficulty to someone or something over a period of time.
  • Self-doubt (noun) - a feeling of having no confidence in your abilities and decisions.
  • Lateral thinking (noun) - a way of solving a problem by thinking about it in a different and original way and not using traditional or expected methods.
  • Tearaway (noun) - a young person, usually male, who behaves in an uncontrolled way and is often causing trouble.
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Questions and answers
M: Would you like to be a teacher?

R: Well, I already am. And I wanted to be one for my whole life I think. I can't imagine doing anything else, to be honest with you.

M: Do you think you could be a teacher?

R: Well, evidently since it's my job now. I didn't always think so though. I used to be plagued with sort of self-doubt and the lack of confidence that could very well have prevented that from happening.

M: Did you have a favourite teacher?

R: Yeah. 100%. It was Mrs Jones in primary 4. She was the best teacher ever. She was always willing to listen and support ideas, even with lateral thinkers like me. I was still a pain to work with, though, I'll quite happily admit that. But I always remembered loving her classes. And I was really upset when I had to change teachers at the end of that school year that I had her the first time around.

M: How did this teacher help you?

R: Oh, she was brilliant. She was interesting to speak to and had this... Oh, well, she had a kind manner and also had a kind word to say about everyone, and demonstrated great patience. I think it's not just me. She was loved by the whole school to be honest.

M: Do you remember your teachers from primary school?

R: Yeah, I remember... I remember thinking they were quite miserable people. But that's probably because they had to teach me and I was a bit of a young tearaway.
M: Hey! Rory, thank you for your answers! So dear listener, teachers. Rory happens to be a teacher. Okay?

R: Yes.

M: You can say that I've always wanted to be a teacher, for example, or I've never wanted to be a teacher. Right? Or Rory used I can't imagine doing anything else. I can't imagine doing something. Or for example, I can't imagine becoming a teacher.

R: So you could say it's never been something that you've thought about. But if you're like me, and you always have, then I would go with my answers. However, I thought about this, because obviously not everybody's a teacher and I asked ChatGPT to help me out with some answers. So I run them through ChatGPT. And I got some ideas for people who don't necessarily have this experience. And one of the answers I got for the first question was, yes, I would enjoy being a teacher, as it would give me an opportunity to share my knowledge and passion for learning with others. So there you go. It would give me for a hypothetical future. Give me an opportunity. And traits like passion for learning is quite good. So it's not a total disaster.

M: Oh, by the way, ChatGPT, we have an episode about ChatGPT and how you can use it for your IELTS preparation. So here it is. Click and watch it. What did you mean when you said I used to be plagued with self-doubt?

R: It just means that, oh, how best to describe it? If you're plagued by something, it means that there's always or there was always something negative in the background. And in this case, it was constant doubt like, oh, you can't do this. You can't be a teacher. Like constant thoughts in my head. And because that was happening all the time. It was like a disease almost. So you could say that you... Or I said I was plagued by it.

M: So can you say I was plagued with or by something? Right?

R: I think played by is the most often one. Passive voice, yes.

M: So I was plagued by doubt. I was plagued by what? Well, something negative?

R: Oh, plagued by... Well, just plagued by negative thoughts to be honest with you, or plagued by nightmares, but it's always something negative.

M: At school, I was plagued by nightmares. I had nightmares all the time, or I was plagued by negative thoughts. So I was like, full of negative thoughts. When you talk about school use "used to" because you went to school, not anymore. Right? So I used to be plagued by different thoughts or self-doubt. You can say, for example, I'd love to be a teacher, because I'm a natural-born educator. I'd love to be an educator and work at school. Or you can say I'm an amusing person, and it's gonna be fun working with students.

R: Can I tell you what charge GPT said?

M: Oh, what?
R: ChatGPT says absolutely. I believe I have the necessary skills and dedication to be a teacher. I enjoy helping others understand complex concepts and I believe I could create an engaging learning environment. That's quite nice. Create an environment, helping people understand something.

M: Dedication.

R: Dedication to something. That's good. You were gonna say a phrase though. What was it?

M: Whoa, warm and welcoming.

R: Whoa, warm and welcoming is good.

M: Rory makes his classroom and makes his classes warm and welcoming. Right? Or, for example, we can feel a warm and welcoming vibe from Rory.

R: I'm definitely feeling a warm vibe now, but that's from the temperature. It is 30 degrees in Istanbul. Why is it so hot?

M: Rory is now in Turkey. Studying, slaving away for his Delta module.

R: Rory is now melting.

M: Rory is melting away. Oh. poor you...

R: And I'm trapped indoors during the national holiday of Byram. Which apparently is like an amazing festival. And I've got to miss it all because I'm in here. Have you seen this?

M: No.

R: Oh, I've not either. But people were telling me like it's a fun time of year, but I'm not gonna see it. So I'll just have to believe them.

M: Okay, if you're from Turkey, could you write what the holiday is about and what Rory should do?

R: Or what I should have done. By the time this comes out the holiday is going to be over.

M: Maybe at school, you did have the best teacher ever. My favourite teacher, my favourite primary school teacher or a secondary school teacher. Well, maybe you didn't. Well... And Rory told us that Mrs Jones was always willing to listen. So Mrs. Jones wanted to listen, she was willing to listen to me.

R: She was great. And she was very good with... I used this expression, lateral thinker. It's just another way to describe somebody who thinks in a very unusual way as opposed to normal people. But I think that was just like a phrase that she used to describe very difficult children.
M: So Rory is not normal. When he was at school, he thought in a different way. And this was referred to as Rory is a lateral thinker? What did they call you?

R: I guess so. Yeah, lateral thinkers. That's why I sometimes stare off into the distance when I'm talking because I'm thinking about things. Most people make eye contact, I imagine.

M: I was really upset when I had to change teachers. Sometimes you have to change teachers. So you can say, oh, I changed teachers all the time at school, because teachers like changed. I was really upset about it. I was really sad. Or maybe you were super happy.

R: Can I tell you what ChatGPT said?

M: Oh, yeah, okay.

R: ChatGPT was not very helpful. So it's not useful in every situation. For the "did you have a favourite teacher" question it said, yes, I had a favourite teacher during my academic journey, not very helpful, could have done with a bit more detail. And then when it said, how did this teacher help? It said this teacher played a crucial role in my education. It's not a very personal answer. So just be careful if you use ChatGPT.

M: Could you please remember one teacher that you remember, okay? Now, from your school years, maybe University years. And you can say something like, this teacher was passionate, enthusiastic about teaching, like, oh, I remember Mrs Jones. She was such a passionate teacher, like, you know, passionate, like, we are passionate about giving you stuff about IELTS. Maybe she was memorable. So you remember this person very well. Or she was so memorable. She used to wear, I don't know, high heels all the time.

R: Are you thinking of yourself?

M: Or she was very competent. Shush, shush. Competent, okay? So she was professional. She knew a lot of things. She was competent. A very good idea is to use some adjectives to describe teachers, your favourite teachers, not your favourite teachers. So passionate, competent, memorable. And also I enjoyed the adjective thorough. She was very thorough. So if Mrs Jones was thorough, what is it?

R: Well, it just means she went into great detail with what it was she was doing. There was no ground left uncovered, educationally speaking. Hi, Mrs. Jones. And she's still alive, apparently. Rory also said that she was brilliant. Like brilliant, she knew a lot and she was just amazing. Yeah, fantastic, a fantastic woman Mrs Jones had to deal with naughty Rory. Naughty, naughty.

R: Nothing has changed. Nothing.

M: She demonstrated great patience with everyone. Okay? So teachers usually, like good teachers demonstrate great patience with their students. She was loved by the whole school. She was loved by everybody, an angel.

R: Or if you had a bad teacher, you could say she was hated by everybody. That's quite sad.

M: You can talk about the most horrible teacher, dear listener. So go ahead, like she was hated by everybody and we disliked her. And you can use some negative adjectives to describe this particular teacher. For example, unprepared, lazy, indifferent. Some teachers are caring, they care about you, and others just like I don't care what you do. They're indifferent. Obnoxious is a nice one. Rory, if the teacher is obnoxious?
R: Why? Why are you looking at me like that? If they're obnoxious, they're just in your face and full of themselves. Like they think they're the best thing ever. But that's not necessarily the case. And I should say, we got a little bit of help from ChatGPT as well, saying lot's of positive things like fostering a love for learning and providing guidance. So even though the answer is a bit impersonal, there's still some nice collocations there that you can use to describe a good learning environment.

M: And obnoxious teachers are rude and unpleasant. Okay?

R: So if you choose to talk about bad teachers, so use the word obnoxious. Ooh, some teachers were really obnoxious. Primary school is usually what? Kind of the first grade, the first years at school that happened to you. Yeah, when you were a kid. And Rory told us that he was a bit of a tearaway.

R: Oh, yes. Which is another nice way of saying I was not very good at following the rules. And I'm still not good at following the rules. So again, nothing has changed.

M: So tearaway. One word. Is UK. So it's used in the United Kingdom. Of Great Britain, Northern Ireland. And it's informal. Okay? So British English, informal, tearaway, a young person. I'm reading from Cambridge online dictionary. A young person, usually male who behaves in an uncontrolled way. Okay? And is often causing trouble. So can you imagine? Our little Rory. No, maybe this little.

R: Well, it was big Rory back then.

M: Running around school uncontrollably causing trouble. Maybe he broke windows. Rory, what did you do? What did you do Rory?

R: I just didn't really follow instructions and rules very well, is putting it mildly.

M: I was a real tearaway at school. But if our student is a lady, what can girls say? I was really naughty at school? I was a disaster.

R: I guess you could call yourself a tearaway as well, to be honest, I didn't realize it was limited to gender I thought it could be for boys and girls.

M: Cambridge online dictionary says usually male.

R: Well, that means that sometimes girls can be tearaways too. Probably because like most of the time compared to boys girls are quite well-behaved. Or at least present this appearance of being quite well-behaved. I'm sure lots of little girls are quite rough and ready as well.

M: We are just like, we are more sneaky.

R: Oh, for sure. Absolutely.

M: We know our secret ways, right? Could you give us a synonym? So if I want like more like not British English, but something more neutral. So I was what at school? If I was like naughty, or they couldn't control me. I was a pain in the neck.

R: Probably a brat, a pain in the neck. Yeah.

M: A brat. Brat, I think it sounds British.

R: No, you use it to describe children in America too.

M: Really? Brat. Okay, British English.

R: Yes.

M: Oh, informal. Okay, okay. A brat. Informal, disapproving. So it's negative. Brat. A child, especially one who behaves badly. So I was a real brat at school. So, dear listener, teachers. Okay? And we're gonna wrap it off with a joke to make Rory happy and also, I'm sure you've been waiting for this the whole episode. So, what did the ghost teacher say to the class? Look at the board and I'll go through it again.

R: Oh... My mom used to have a teacher like that who said watch the board while I run through it. Yeah.

M: Bye!

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