ADMIT IT. Most of you (especially girls) have secretly dreamed of having someone like Takashi Sorimachi of GTO fame as your teacher. In the popular Japanese film and drama series, the teen screen idol plays a young and charismatic high school teacher who has to deal with a class of delinquents - but he is no angel himself. Unfortunately, while his character lives happily ever after in the Japanese soap opera, in reality, such a teacher is practically non-existent. The general view is that a good teacher must be easy-going, conscientious and noble. But from an expert's point of view, what does it take to be a charismatic teacher? 'Charisma is a very abstract quality,' said Dorcas Wong Sau-ha, lecturer at the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd). 'A charismatic teacher is always a great speaker who can make students listen. He or she must also be an inspiration to their students and always act as a source of motivation.' Ms Wong believes that professionalism is not the same as charisma. Even though you may be very good at teaching, you might still be a step short of being charismatic. Charm is more of a gift than something you can actually learn. 'It is character and personality that makes one a charming teacher,' she said. 'While competent teachers can give you a good understanding of the subject, charismatic ones can have a positive influence on your life. They can make you a better person and help you set your own goals in life.' Although charisma is a quality that cannot be learned, HKIEd does provide courses that aim to train future teachers to be more approachable and charming. Other than lectures on academic subjects, HKIEd students have to attend at least two hours a week of supplementary seminars and workshops on topics such as children's developmental psychology, life skills and personal and social education. The additional classes deal with building communication channels and mutual trust with children and enhancing their self-awareness. Sixth former Han Ka-ming, 17, said: 'I guess the difference between a good teacher and a charismatic teacher is that while a good teacher can help you get a good grade, a charismatic teacher can help you live a better life. 'I remember last year when I was stressed out with the public exams, my class teacher realised this and told me to relax. He said that as long as I did my best, I would have no regrets. 'In my view, he was a charismatic teacher because, without his support, I would have had a harder time,' she said.