Teaching as a profession is often considered straightforward enough. However, there are many facets to one’s job as a teacher, and each facet manifests itself as a particular responsibility or role of a teacher. Thus, there are many roles and responsibilities of a teacher which they must fulfill in order to adequately do their job.
The first role of a teacher involves controlling the class. A classroom is the teacher’s domain, and complete control of this environment falls to the teacher. Control does not just involve keeping students in line, however. Control means responsibility, and part of this responsibility is ensuring that the material is being taught in a manner that is engaging to the students and allows them to take full advantage of their time in class.
Another role of a teacher is that they must fulfill involves prompting the students while they are performing their necessary educational activities and providing suggestions regarding what direction students should take. Maintaining this role is important, and performing it involves a subtle balance. It is important not to give students all of the conclusions that they would need to come to and to allow them to work out problems on their own, but at the same time it is important to help them when they hit a roadblock or when they are facing a particularly difficult problem.
Additionally, as a teacher it is very important that you make yourself available to your students as a support. There are many resources that a student is going to need in order to acquire a high quality education. Books are such a resource, as is the internet. However, perhaps the single most important resource for students is their teacher. Hence, you must ensure that you possess all of the knowledge and skills that your students are going to need in order to get the most significant educational experience possible from you.
One of the most important role of a teacher is that you will have to assess the abilities of your students. Doing this job correctly will involve no small amount of effort on your part. You will have to work hard to assess your students fairly, taking into account any special learning requirements they might have. It is also very important to assess your students in a manner that would allow them to undertake the next level of education adequately. Allowing students that are not ready for the next level to get through could result in a lot of problems, mostly involving the students’ inability to handle the difficulty level of the next stage in their education. Remember, there are different types of assessment which occur at different stages of a course e.g. Diagnostic / initial assessment can happen even before the students enter the classroom or at least before the teaching and learning begins. Formative assessment happens throughout the course where the teacher is observing, asking questions and providing feedback. Summative assessment happens at the end of the course or lesson and focuses on measuring the total knowledge gained at the appropriate level.
Often, it is important for a teacher to take on a more passive role in the class. This role involves becoming more of a participant and letting your students regulate themselves. Often, it is found that the best way to learn is to teach others, and by allowing yourself to become a participant in your own class and allowing your students to take control for a short period of time would allow your class to progress a great deal. These concepts are manifested in student-centred methods like peer assessment, peer observation and groupwork.
In essence, becoming a good teacher involves finding a balance between all of these roles. In any given situation, a particular role might be the role that you have to focus on, but in general a teacher needs to have as many of these roles being fulfilled during their day-to-day work as possible in order to be as effective as possible.
The role of a teacher or trainer is complex. If you are a teacher and you want your students to get the best experience possible from you, try to incorporate all of these varying roles and responsibilities into your teaching style and you will find that your job will become a lot easier.
The first of the assignments is Theory 1 (T1). You will likely get set this on your first session and it will be due back quickly, probably at the next session. Check out the full list of Ptlls assignments if you need a different one.
Level 3 – Describe your role, responsibilities and boundaries as a teacher/trainer/tutor in terms of the teaching/training cycle. Recommended word count 300-500 words.
Level 4 – Review your role, responsibilities and boundaries as a teacher/trainer/tutor in terms of the teaching/training cycle. Recommended word count 500-700 words.
So, to kick off, some good basics on the staples of the course. It’s part of section 1, specifically about understanding your own role, responsibilities and boundaries of your role so includes T2 on legislation, T3 on equality and diversity and T6 on records – giving you a clue right there about this introductory essay.
Role, responsibilities and boundaries
The key here is roles as distinct from responsibilities and how boundaries fit in to that. Literally look at the dictionary definitions.
role: the function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a particular situation
responsibilities: a thing which one is required to do as part of a job, role, or legal obligation
boundaries: a limit of something abstract, especially a subject or sphere of activity
So responsibilities fit within roles and it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out what the boundaries are.
A few things to tick off for role would be
- Creating / facilitating opportunities for learning
- Plan lessons, find and prepare materials, do research, assess learners and yourself
- Keep records: lesson plans, attendance, assessment etc
And similarly on responsibilities you’re looking at
- Keeping yourself up to date in both teaching and your field
- Maintaining high standards in your work and conduct
- 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)
The boundaries part would be
- Maintaining professional relationships
- Taking care with communication methods (and increasingly social media use)
The teaching / training cycle
The “teaching/training cycle” is the stuff you should have covered about identifying needs, planning and designing, delivering and facilitating, assessing and finally evaluating before it all starts again. If you can expand a little on each of those you’ll show your grasp of the concepts (remembering you’ve only got 700 words max!)
There’s also Kolb and Fry and their model of concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation and active experimentation. That’s some good stuff to get your teeth in to. You need to show that you understand this doesn’t apply just to your learners but to yourself as well.
Level 3 and 4
The level difference is subtle but important. Describing is very different from reviewing. Again, dictionary definitions…
describe: give a detailed account in words of
review: survey or evaluate (a subject or past events)
If you’re aiming at the level 4 that means not necessarily getting more in depth but maintaining perspective and asking a bit more of the “why” rather than the “what”.
Okay! Hope that helped. Drop a comment if you have anything to add. The rest of the essays are on the Ptlls assignments page if you need a different one.