Role of the TeacherThere are many definitions of what a teacher is, including responsibilities, roles, attributes and presence in the classroom. This article aims to clearly definite these roles with justification as to why they are so essential. A teacher from my experience as a student is a parent of education, whose responsibility is not only to provide information from his/her own experience and knowledge, but also to educate. Educating is the act of providing intellectual, moral and social instruction to someone, much more than just the simple distribution of information.
I believe that a teacher’s main objective is to assist students in reaching their maximum potential and to aid the student in tackling any obstacle that potentially inhibits them from attaining that potential. As a result, one of the most important roles is that of ‘understanding’, where the teacher should be fully conscious of the learning requirements of the student, while adapting his/her self to accommodate those requirements. Since every student is individual, it is difficult to say how a teacher should attempt to deal with the various scenarios that can arise, and the actual correct way to deal with them. Therefore, the process of improving as a teacher for the benefit of your students is to examine, evaluate and reflect constantly, while learning from mistakes made and pursuing areas of success.
To reflect effectively, the teacher must know what he or she needs to reflect on and therefore we need to establish what issues affect the students learning process and the approaches that can be used to counter these. Some of the most common issues are as follows:
Lack of Motivation: Motivation is for me the most important attribute in any learner, because regardless of difficulty, struggle and pressure, the student will always persevere to the best of his or her ability in order to fulfil their ambitions. Factors that can affect motivation are as follows:
• Lack of interest in the subject
• Interest in the subject but discontent in the way it is being taught
• Personal issues outside of the classroom
• Peer pressure
These are some of the main contributions to lack of student motivation, and as a teacher it is necessary to identify these within each individual and adapt the approaches used to overcome these issues. Teachers can do this through a series of evaluation and testing methods, where techniques are implemented, tested and evaluated.
Difficulty Understanding: Having difficulty in understanding a particular topic or concept is something that can discourage and demotivate students. Every student will have his or own preferred learning style method, and the way in which a class is taught can either compliment this style, or inhibit it. Following the testing and evaluation methods that can be used, it is the teachers’ role to examine the methods he or she is using and assess how they affect the students learning.
Lack of Confidence: A students potential can be restricted massively if they have a lack of confidence, as this can affect the following:
• The amount of time the student will be willing to speak and practice english
• The amount that he or she will consider using english
• Participation in class
• Motivation and Ambition
It is therefore the role of the teacher to ensure that confidence is given to or obtained by the individual student in every way possible. This can be achieved through a number of methods, such as giving praise as often as possible, setting appropriate tasks and ensuring that the student understands the concepts and objectives of the lesson.
Personal Values: It has already been mentioned how every student is individual, and therefore every student will have his or own personal values which will either enhance or inhibit their learning in different situations. Although a teacher is there to teach a specific subject, he or she is also there as a moral compass where they should identify personal values that potentially obstruct student learning, and explore areas that can overcome these obstructions.
To conclude, there are many issues that can affect student learning and prevent them from reaching their full potential. To define the role of a teacher is to examine these issues and identify how the teacher can best help the student overcome them. Education is not just the teaching of a subject, but aiding and guiding the learners of that subject in the direction that will allow them to develop and improve to the best of their ability.