The role of a teacher is ‘the action of’ being a teacher, being a person learners look to for guidance and knowledge. Responsibilities that go with that are the underlying motives and reasons teachers take action for learners – it is incorporated into their role. Primarily a teachers job is to impart knowledge, and monitor an ongoing assessment and feedback loop for the learners. Ideally they do this in an engaging way that allows the learners better access to the course content.
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Secondary roles include identifying where there are issues with the learners, such as welfare, safeguarding and encouraging acceptance of diversity and promoting equality amongst peers. This also includes arranging access to resources, be it student welfare, learning support, library services or other supporting roles, (Petty, 503).
Tertiary roles that are more informal include someone to trust, and someone to expect help from when the need arises. If teachers were not fulfilling this role, necessary support would otherwise be missed out on.
Modern teachers are not expected to be solely reliant on classroom delivery in order to fulfil their job requirements. Outside of the classroom, they are expected to keep up to date with subject knowledge, accommodate for students’ preferences and learning styles via lesson planning and to provide accurate and useful feedback to students. This ensures learners will gain the most from the learning environment. The professional code(s) of practice, of which there are currently twenty, are a solid set of guidelines that give teachers a clear and understandable rule set to adhere to.
Teachers also have a duty to allow learners from all ethnicities and social backgrounds access to education – teachers are expected to be open to all and allow all abilities the opportunity to learn. This in turn gives the learners a reason to trust their teachers, the courses, and the reason they want to learn (Petty, 529). The equality and diversity act stipulates that teachers have the right mindset for the job; to actively challenge those who show any sign of racism, gender based discrimination or otherwise unwanted sentiment in the classroom or elsewhere.
The integrity of the classroom is dependent on the teacher’s ability to control the student behavior; to start with and maintain an ordered and calm environment in which students have the best opportunity to create the ideal outcomes they need. It is also key teachers to follow the rule set provided by the school and the Department for Education that stipulates how praise – and sanctions – are dealt to learners. An ordered classroom is the bedrock of successful teaching practice.
Interaction and peer assessment is also important for staff to maintain, especially when new teachers are involved. This ensures they are delivering to the best of their ability, and with the optimum support available. There is also the other aspect of this in which fellow colleagues can support (or cover) teachers’ sessions in case of their absence.
To conclude, it is clear that being a teacher involves considerable behind the scenes effort and stamina (Naparstek, 2002), with a mixture of pastoral, emotional and personal development in order to enable learners to achieve their best.
I find that being mindful of the professional standards helps me to identify flaws and fortes in my own actions, plans and practice. In the classroom, the responsibilities outlined above assist my teaching-learning experience, the learners’ experience and the smooth progression of the scheme of work.
Petty, G 1993. Teaching Today. 5th ed. London: Oxford University Press.
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory 2008. The Professional Teaching and Learning Cycle: Introduction, 2nd Edition, Austin, Texas: SEDL Publishing.
Naparstek, N 2002, Successful Educators : A Practical Guide for Understanding Children’s Learning Problems and Mental Health Issues, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, USA. Available from: ProQuest ebrary. [6 October 2015].
Nichols, JD 2010, Teachers As Servant Leaders, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Blue Ridge Summit, PA, USA. Available from: ProQuest ebrary. [6 October 2015].
Berry, B, Byrd, A, & Wieder, A 2013, Teacherpreneurs : Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Don’t Leave, John Wiley & Sons, Somerset, NJ, USA. Available from: ProQuest ebrary. [6 October 2015].