6 Essential Roles of an EFL Teacher
Teachers play vital roles in the lives of the students in their classrooms. Teachers are best known for the role of educating the students that are placed in their care. Beyond that, teachers serve many other roles in the classroom. Teachers set the tone of their classrooms, build a warm environment, mentor and nurture students, become role models, and listen and look for signs of trouble.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Charles I.
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The most common role a teacher plays in the classroom is to teach knowledge to children. Teachers are given a curriculum they must follow that meets state guidelines. This curriculum is followed by the teacher so that throughout the year, all pertinent knowledge is dispensed to the students. Teachers teach in many ways including lectures, small group activities and hands-on learning activities.
Creating Classroom Environment
Teachers also play an important role in the classroom when it comes to the environment. Students often mimic a teacher’s actions. If the teacher prepares a warm, happy environment, students are more likely to be happy. An environment set by the teacher can be either positive or negative. If students sense the teacher is angry, students may react negatively to that and therefore learning can be impaired. Teachers are responsible for the social behavior in their classrooms. This behavior is primarily a reflection of the teacher’s actions and the environment she sets.
Teachers typically do not think of themselves as role models, however, inadvertently they are. Students spend a great deal of time with their teacher and therefore, the teacher becomes a role model to them. This can be a positive or negative effect depending on the teacher. Teachers are there not only to teach the children, but also to love and care for them. Teachers are typically highly respected by people in the community and therefore become a role model to students and parents.
Also read: Top 5 Icebreakers for New TEFL Teachers
Mentoring is a natural role taken on by teachers, whether it is intentional or not. This again can have positive or negative effects on children. Mentoring is a way a teacher encourages students to strive to be the best they can. This also includes encouraging students to enjoy learning. Part of mentoring consists of listening to students. By taking time to listen to what students say, teachers impart to students a sense of ownership in the classroom. This helps build their confidence and helps them want to be successful.
A teacher cannot just teach a lesson and then move on. Teachers must assess each student's growth and mastery of the lesson objectives. This assessment can happen informally through classroom observation or through formal methods like quizzes and tests. Expert teachers are able to recognize patterns in the test results of their students and then plan their lessons to meet their students' needs.
Signs of Trouble
Another role played by teachers is a protector role. Teachers are taught to look for signs of trouble in the students. When students’ behaviors change or physical signs of abuse are noticed, teachers are required to look into the problem. Teachers must follow faculty procedures when it comes to following up on all signs of trouble.
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