The perfect teacher

The aims of this activity are for students to revise and practise open question forms.

This activity is designed to be used with Pre-Intermediate / Intermediate level learners. It could be used as part of an introduction lesson and / or to negotiate classroom behaviour contracts between teacher and student.


  • Make copies of handout 2
  • Make copies of handout 3 (cut up the adjectives for each student)
  • Make a copy of handout 1 (cut up the adjectives)


Before the class arrives

  • Stick the adjectives from handout 1 on the walls of the classroom.
  • Write up the following list of ten adjectives that describe the perfect student. You can change these to suit your level of students:  diligent, hard working, punctual, talkative, friendly, sharing, intelligent, motivated, creative, inquisitive.
  • Cover each adjective so the students cannot see them.

When the class arrives

  • Put students into groups. Set a time limit and have students work together to guess the words on the board.
  • When the time is up, students swap lists and check their answers. You could award points for any correct answers.
  • Using the list for a perfect student ask students to discuss their ideas for a perfect teacher. Bring it to a class brainstorm to elicit adjectives. Write these on the board.
  • Give out the definition sheet (handout 2) and ask students to walk around and write the adjectives next to the correct definition. To make this more challenging you could add more adjectives than gaps available.
  • Students check in pairs and then with the teacher. Establish what the two negative adjectives are.
  • Give out cut-up adjectives (handout 3) to each individual student and have them rank them in order of what is most important to them. Remember to leave out the negative adjectives.
  • After ranking students can compare and discuss their lists with each other.

Follow up


  • Students work alone and use the template to make short notes about their favourite teacher.
  • Students then work in pairs or small groups depending on class size and talk about their favourite teacher.
  • After a period of time students can change groups and repeat the activity.



  • Students write about their perfect teacher. They can use the adjectives given in the vocabulary activity and the adjectives elicited in the brainstorming stage.
  • Encourage learners to include the negative adjectives to describe what the ideal teacher shouldn't be. This writing could take the form of a perfect teacher or a ‘real' teacher that students have had in the past.

Classroom Contracts

  • Students work in groups to discuss what should be included in a classroom contract between teacher and students. Use the adjectives generated in the main lesson to provide inspiration.
  • You may need to elicit more negative adjectives. Write these on the board.
  • Then brainstorm the things a student and teacher should do to maintain a positive classroom environment. This brainstorm could be in the form of a discussion or classroom brainstorm.
  • Finally give out the contracts and have students fill them in. Students sign and teacher signs. Put up on the classroom wall.


Written by Derek Spafford, British Council Thailand

Contracts0 bytes
Handout 10 bytes
Handout 20 bytes
Handout 30 bytes
My favourite teacher notes0 bytes
Average: 3.6 (72 votes)


qenra e gjuheve te huaja's picture
qenra e gjuheve...

this activity is very helpful for the students.First because it is something from real life and the students do like this type of activities.Second there is full participation from the students because they find themselves confident being something they have come across in their personal experience.As for the teachers it is very helpful because it is very well organized.I will use it with my students for sure.

Thank you very much 

Shqipe from Albania

Derek Spafford's picture
Derek Spafford
TE Team

Thanks very much for your comments Shqipe. I’m glad you find the materials useful.

anisamuca's picture

This is a very interesting activity . Why ? Well , since both students and teachers promise to express what they think , it gives the possibility to be free , without having that fear that they would be judged .Hej , nobody is perfect ! So why not doing that , and profit and grab the best of what the students think , would love most .Why not being their favourite teacher ? I shall try that .Thank you .All the best !Anisa

Derek Spafford's picture
Derek Spafford
TE Team

Hi Anisa

Thanks for the comments. I'm glad you found the activity useful.