The Roles of the Teacher The roles of the teacher are numerous.


The roles of the teacher are numerous. If the teacher played only one role all of the time, what would happen to the students' I do not want to know the answer. Is there one role that is more important than another' I feel that only each situation determines the answer.

We start with the role of controller. Everyday at some point in time, a teacher will play the role of controller. Giving directions and bringing the class back in if it gets out of control are just a couple of examples. When teachers utilize outstanding leadership skills in the controlling role, the transfer of knowledge is awesome. It is true that some teachers just do not posses those qualities that brighten up a classroom, and in that situation it is hard for the student to learn.

Next, is the role of the organizer. To organize is a fundamental skill for teachers: organize the lesson plan, organize the class into groups, organize activities to be done, etc. It is like the teacher is an EVENT organizer'plan from the start to the finish and make sure that whatever the EVENT is, it is successful for everyone involved. Not only does the EVENT organizer plan the event, but also they ignite the fire that envelops the group and causes the excitement to lead to success.

The main reason to go to school is to learn. The main reason to teach is to provide the environment, resources, and motivation in which the student will learn. A critical step in the learning/teaching process is assessments. This is where the teacher gives feedback and makes corrections. The final step is assessing is marking a grade. A student should never be surprised of a final class grade, because of the feedback and corrections that they have received throughout the class. It is also important to remember at all times that how we communicate is just as important as to what we communicate. How we communicate affects people's feelings. What we communicate needs to be said, but how we say it will determine what the student hears.

Sometimes a teacher will play the role of the prompter, helping a student find the word that is on the 'tip of their tongue'. They just cannot seem to find the words to say what they want to, so the teacher just gives a little, not too much. If the teacher gives too much, they may take away from what the student was trying to convey.

Occasionally, a teacher can also be a participant in a group activity or discussion. This is where the teacher is actively involved in the discussion with the class. Obviously, there are good and bad consequences when this happens. The good is the teacher can add more sustenance to the discussion. The bad is that the teacher may take over the whole discussion and end up becoming a controller, which is the wrong role at this time.

Being a resource is a most valuable role that the teacher will play. Not only a verbal resource for when a student needs assistance (just giving the answer), but more importantly, providing the student with the guidance to where to find the answer so that the student will become self-sufficient. It is just as important that if the teacher does not know the answer, that they say they don't, and let the students know that they will tell them the next class.

Sometimes the teacher may take more a one-on-one approach as a tutor. Now a teacher cannot really work one-on-one in a classroom setting, but can certainly move about the room during activities and give individualized attention to the students one-by-one or as small groups.

Lastly, the teacher plays the role of observer. The teacher cannot give feedback if the teacher con not observe. It is important to remember the good along with the bad. Reinforcing the good things will go much further than only pointing out the incorrect things.

So, in summary, I feel a teacher is like a juggler with many 'balls'. All the 'balls' are in constant motion and come to the top when they need to. If one of the 'balls' fall, or are not caught on time, than the result is a lost student.

References:

'How to Teach English', by Jeremy Harmer, 2005.