Teach English in Shizong Zhen - Nantong Shi

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Gone are the days when a teacher’s role was only to deliver lessons from a book. With the advent of modern times, the role of a teacher has changed dramatically. The modern teacher dons many hats being a facilitator, knowledge provider, motivator, and at times even a participant. Following are some of the potential roles that a teacher may need to assume in the course of the class: Manager or Controller: This is perhaps how most people would describe their teachers. Traditionally, a teacher adopts the role of a controller in the class. The main job here is to dispense knowledge to the students by the means of a lecture. The teacher is in charge of everything and takes the center stage, giving instructions, explaining the concepts etc. This kind of monitoring is important to a certain extent. However, the teacher does most of the talking in such a scenario and the students do not get enough opportunity to speak, connect and work with each other. There is a high chance that the class can become dull and passive for the learners. Organizer: One of the many things that a teacher needs to do on an everyday basis is to plan and organize the class. It entails giving proper instructions to carry out the tasks, pairing the students appropriately and ensuring that the activity is carried out properly. This needs to be followed by a proper feedback. It is important that a teacher is methodical and well-organized. Failure to organize the class may result in complete pandemonium. Assessor: A teacher is required to assess the students regularly. It is important that the students are given regular corrective feedback as it helps them understand the areas that they need to work on. It is important that a teacher is fair while giving feedback to all the students. There should be no favoritism. It is also equally important to be sensitive as harsh feedback can be counterproductive to learning. Prompter: A teacher would often come across a scenario where some of the students refuse to open up and share their thoughts. This could be due to a variety of reasons such as: limited vocabulary, unfamiliar topic, etc. In this case, a teacher must nudge the student in the right direction by offering some support in the form of prompts. For instance, if a student gives a one-word answer to a question, the teacher can ask him a follow up question to keep the conversation going. The teacher must remember to resist saying too much and encourage the student to speak instead. Participant: This is a rather unconventional role for a teacher. A teacher is usually expected to instruct, organize and assess the students. But there may be some instances when a teacher needs to collaborate with the students and act as a participant. This can be very motivating for some students as they would feel encouraged to express their thoughts with their teacher by their side. However, there is a potential risk that some students may feel a little hesitant to talk for fear of being incorrect. Care should be taken to ensure that the teacher does not take over the activity in such situations. Tutor: The teacher should act as a tutor when the students are engaged in preparing for a task or an activity by going around the class, guiding and motivating the students and nudging them gently in the right direction. It is important that the teacher is attentive towards each and every student. The teacher should also resist the urge to interrupt the students when it is not required. Facilitator: A teacher must sometimes act as a facilitator and provide assistance to the students only when they request for it. By doing so, the teacher empowers the students and lets them take the center stage. This would in turn help the students become more confident in their learning abilities. Model: Students hold their teachers in high regard. For most of them, their teacher is their role model. Most learners wish to speak just like their teachers and thus they often try to emulate the way their teachers speak by following their words and pronunciation. However, as teaching comes with great responsibility, teachers should be mindful of their words and actions in the class. Observer: It is vital that a teacher observes the students during class activities as it helps in assessing and giving feedback to the learners. The teacher must make notes when the students are engaged in activities. It is important that the teacher observes all the learners fairly and equally. While doing so, it must be ensured that the observation is not causing any distraction. To conclude, the teacher has a dynamic role in the class. What role a teacher assumes at a particular point in time largely depends on what learning outcome is the teacher trying to achieve. What is important is that the teacher takes up each role with enthusiasm and is able to guide the learners effectively.