A Teacher’s Role in a Classroom's Daily Life
A teacher who teaches students in an environment using their native language will play various roles in the classroom. My interpretation of these roles includes their abilities to facilitate and manage learning through their personalities, have an understanding of their student’s needs while also being a genuine messenger. As a manager, it is the teacher’s responsibility to control the environment and organization of the classroom, the students’ behavior, and the class syllabus. As a messenger, it is the teacher’s responsibility to deliver the content on the syllabus to the students to improve their reading and writing abilities. We can, therefore, summarize the main role of a teacher teaching in an environment where both student and teacher are using their native tongue would be to ensure students receive and understand the content provided to them.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Cortney W. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Who is being taught?
There is, however, no one role that a teacher will play. The roles of a teacher should be adjusted based on who is being taught. A teacher, who teaches English as a foreign language, will play different roles than if they were teaching English to native English speakers. The roles in which I aspire to adapt within the classroom while teaching English as a foreign language are a motivator, manager, organizer, model, tutor, and facilitator. It is my belief that to foster a conducive learning environment, I must adopt these roles to assist with the success of the students with an understanding of the new language.
Teachers enter unpredictable situations each time they enter a classroom. Teachers teaching English as a foreign language have an additional layer of language barrier engulfed with unpredictability. It is therefore important for us to understand and remember not all students will be as eager to learn as others. Lessons and lesson plans should be geared toward the needs of the students to motivate them to learn while being fun and interesting.
As teachers, we should aim to build a rapport with our students. Good rapport aids us with the ability to motivate the students at an individual level. A good way to build rapport is by getting to know the students, this will not only help in knowing what motivates them but will also help when planning lessons geared toward their interests. While planning lessons geared towards the students’ interest, the role of management is still required. A fun lesson may get too loud and out of control, so it is important to be able to manage the class. Fun lessons are still in need of structure and for all students to be on task.
Modeling real-life situations
Often times the classroom is one of the few places the students will hear or practice the foreign language. As such, this is where the teacher will play the role of a model for the English language. As a model, the teacher must speak clearly while using simple English combined with gestures when communicating and teaching students. This allows real-life situations to practice speaking the language.
Once the lesson is completed, the students will need to practice what was just learned. This is done through activities in the study phase. During this time, the teacher will act as a tutor and a facilitator. Being a tutor allows the teacher to assist individual students in the content they may not understand. Being a facilitator often encompasses creating activities that allow the students to practice on their own with the content they have just learned or simply explaining a word or phrase more than once to ensure they understand.
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A good teacher will play various roles in the classroom. Each role is unique and has to be used in the appropriate moment. Roles are often based on the needs of the students, the mood of the classroom, or the lesson plan. No matter the role the teacher is playing, it is important to always have the characteristics of being patient, fun, and kind-hearted. A teacher who can play all of these roles will have a fun and safe classroom environment ensuring their students’ success and growth.
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