The roles and responsibilities of a teacher are far more complex than many would realise. You are never simply just someone standing at the front of a classroom delivering information about a particular subject. The role is varied and ranges from therapist, to coach, to tutor to assessor. Through the course of this assignment I will endeavour to explore the different roles and responsibilities that combine to form ‘a teacher’ I currently work as an IT Application trainer for Wiltshire Council. My role involves me writing and delivering training which is all IT based. I work in a team of 8 and we all train the Microsoft office suite of applications, off the shelf authority wide specific applications and in house bespoke systems. I work out of 6 different locations across the county and can expect to train people at all levels – job and ability. Roles
We currently live in a multicultural society, and this demands that we as trainers have to approach the role very carefully. Everyone no matter what their gender, race, religion or culture should have an equal opportunity to learn. The learning environment needs to be creative, effective and stimulate opportunities for learning that will in turn enable development and progression. We as trainers have to remember this in every aspect of our work, from initial planning through to delivery to assessment and evaluation. Tutors’ responsibility is ‘to create a good learning environment for the students and not to try to do the students learning for them’1 Important as tutors are, it is good to remember that they are not responsible for the students learning, the students are responsible for that2 Everyone learn in a different way, to quote Reece and Walker, There are unique differences in the way people learn and we must recognise this and not regard individuals as one group or body of students.
My current role is fairly limiting in the methods I can apply to delivering the training. Most of my work is done at the computer, so a lot of methods are not really open to me. However, there are many ways that can be used to suit all learning styles. The use of Maps, pictures, on-screen computer demonstrations and diagrams are essential when it comes to visual learners. They understand and learn far easier when presented with a visual aid rather than a passage of text. However audio learners need to listen and to hear the information before it ‘clicks’ Discussion with other group members, memorising text, listening to recordings of lectures will help the audio listener organise their information.
You then have the ‘doers’ or the kinaesthetic learners. This group need to be hands on – perform experiments, test theories out and get hands on to learn effectively. It is important to remember though that most learners do not fall completely into one category. They may have a leaning towards one but most will benefit from a mixture of all three methods. The chances of you having a group all with the same learning style are very remote so it is best when creating your learning environment to use a mixture of approaches. Para 2
Plan lessons, find and prepare materials, do research,
Para 3 ROLE
Keep records: lesson plans, attendance, assessment etc
It is essential that a trainer uses the assessment process. Assessments are a tool and should be used as such, not as an instrument to bash learners with. They are there to check knowledge is understood and to chart the progress of a learner at any point. An assessment will establish that learning has (hopefully!) taken place, and knowledge, skills and attitudes have been impacted on. Assessments will also be used by the trainer themselves to assess their progress, to evaluate how well they are doing, can they improve, as the saying goes, ‘you do not have to be bad at something to do it better!’ Assessments can be carried out at various points in the learning life cycle. Initial assessments are used to assess the starting point of the learner, maybe as a benchmarking tool in order to evaluate progress. It may well be that learners need to be at a certain level before attending the training. Assessments can be carried out at other stages.
For example, Formative Assessments are where the learner is assessed continually throughout the course via exercises, tests and Q&A sessions. Summative assessments are carried out at the end of the course in the form of a test or an exam. At the end of the course the tutor should be asking for feedback from the group and also reflecting on how well s/he felt the session went. This can be used to build on for the next session. When teaching I always try to get as much feedback as possible from my students, this includes how the session went, what they thought of the learning materials and what they considered they had learned most from.
Hand in hand with assessments is record keeping. Records need to be kept on several different reasons. These can be attendance, evaluations, results of exams, evaluations – trainee and trainer. When keeping records it is important to be mindful of the data protection Act 1998. Information recorded should be used for valid reasons, and shared with other with a valid reason. I currently teach ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence). This has 2 levels, with three parts at each stage, followed by a final unit. All students must complete the 6 units prior to the final unit. It is vital here that accurate records are kept to ensure no learner skips a stage.
Keeping yourself up to date in both teaching and your field
Maintaining high standards in your work and conduct
Whilst their os emphasis on the learner to be fair and considerate to their learning colleagues, it is just as important for the trainer to be aware of how his/her behaviour can affect the group. A trainer needs to lead by example.
Complying with the rules of the organisation you are part of as well as legislation and codes of practice (this is the main focus of the next essay) Boundaries
The role of the tutor is to ensure that training takes place in a safe non-judgemental environment. All learners need to feel free to participate, express opinions and give feedback. This being said there do need to be boundaries and/or rules set for each session. Group discussion can be great, but it sometimes will need to be contained. If groups are passionate about a subject they may be inclined to run off at a tangent and the thread or purpose of the learning will be lost. Every learner in the group has the right to express an opinion. This may differ to other members of the group.
Care needs to be taken that this does not develop into a full blown argument or debate. Discussions may involve examples being used about colleagues or learners may divulge personal information, in these circumstances it is vital that confidentiality ground rules are set and adhered to. In addition to this, the use of language and humour needs to be watched. Training colleagues – familiarity is assumed It is the role of the tutor to ensure that none of the above goes off track. Ultimately the trainer has to be in charge of the group and rein the learners in if things get heated.
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Identify the roles and responsibilities of a teacher
The roles and responsibilities of a teacher evolve with time and circumstance. It is impossible to give a rigid definition of either as they change constantly, though there are some roles and responsibilities that are common to all teachers throughout the education system. It is hard to know where the roles and responsibilities of a teacher should stop and I feel is each teachers responsibility to know the boundaries.
There exists a misconception that the only skill required to be a teacher is the ability to teach, but it goes far beyond this. A teacher must be multi faceted (WALKLIN 1990) adapting to ever changing circumstance. Qualities and characteristics desirable in a teacher run hand in hand with basic responsibilities and it is difficult to separate them.
Some of the roles of a teacher will be that of: -
SCHOLAR...Scholarliness, showing the knowledge and love of accuracy of a truly learned person (Chambres Dictionary)
A sound knowledge of subject matter is required, but also the ability to relate specifics to generalities, facts to theories and theories to facts. To be capable of creative thinking and reasoning and integrate new knowledge.
Able to pass on knowledge to another and convey it with clarity of speech. Question students thoroughly enough to know just how they see or are confused by an issue. To listen and empathise with students, respecting their views, feeling for them as an individual and getting to know their needs. The role of communicator is far reaching and encompasses all the qualities required to communicate effectively, patience, sense of humour, diplomacy and a respect for cultural diversity.
A teacher must act as a councillor and guide, and in order to do this must be non judgmental and objective, not letting their values affect how they treat students. They must offer help and support where they can, identifying the needs of the individual.
Teachers must be able to organise their learning environment, whilst establishing some ground rules. They should provide adequate resources for the lesson, plan the delivery of the subject matter and be aware of the need for flexibility, when as so often happens, things do not run according to plan.
A teacher is responsible for administrative matters, be it that of the initial enrolment or the administration that is required throughout the duration of the course. This writing from studentcentral.co.uk
The roles of a teacher appear never ending. In WALKLIN (1990) he established some of the roles of a teacher as, change agent and innovator; councillor and coach; helper and supporter; implimentor; monitor and evaluator; motivator and team leader; needs identifier and advisor; organiser and planner; staff developer; teaching and learning media expert and finally TUTOR. I would suggest that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are certain responsibilities placed on the tutor. Legally with regards to
HEALTH AND SAFETY (Health and Safety Act 1974)
An example of this would be fire regulations and the pointing out of fire exits, and assembly points. Teachers are individually and collectively responsible for the safety of everyone whilst at the place of learning.
Promoting equality of all, regardless of age, gender and culture. We need to examine our own behaviour to see if we are discriminatory and politically correct.
A teacher should also be aware of students with special needs and advocate conditions for their success.
A teacher is also responsible for designing, implementing and evaluating the educational program (planning, delivery and evaluation)
In conclusion a teacher should posses a number of qualities, though it would be impossible for one individual to display them all. Each teacher
is unique and their styles will differ greatly. To fully define the roles and responsibilities of a teacher would be an impossible task. I've but touched upon a few, tomorrow another role/responsibility will have been added. The role of a teacher is indeed multi faceted, adapting to the ever-changing needs of the learner and educator.
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