Classroom is a Stage and Teacher is an Actor
A teacher must assume many different roles as they perform the task of teaching both during the lesson and outside the lesson. By outside the lesson, I am referring to the Lesson Planning, materials to be used set up and classroom organization. During the lesson is, of course, the actual teaching of the students. As listed in Unit 2 there are 6 roles in total including Instructor, Facilitator, Mentor, Psychologist, Counsellor, and Policeman. These roles are true for all levels of teaching and are modified to suit the age and level of the students. In the case of teaching Younger Learners, it is very important to consider their age in terms of attention span, interests and sense of imagination and fun. Perhaps even more important is to consider the potential wide diversity in their language ability levels and how best to accommodate the entire class.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Peter O. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
General Roles Any Teacher Plays
A teacher will take on their roles often without realizing they have even done so, and at times may even be performing multiple roles at the same time. As an Instructor, the teacher will be modeling pronunciation, demonstrating an activity or explaining the meaning of a word. As a Facilitator, the teaching may be getting the classroom seating arranged in the desired manner, setting up the overhead projector or cleaning the whiteboard. The teacher’s role is to create a fantastic learning environment for the students to thrive. As a Mentor, the teacher may always arrive at the classroom early, not interrupt students when they are answering a question or always be polite and respectful. It is best to lead by example and a teacher must remember this in every interaction with their students. As a Psychologist, the teacher may comfort an upset student or discuss a personal issue outside the classroom with them in private. This is such an important role and one that a teacher must take seriously to ensure they are caring for the students. As a Counsellor, the teacher may talk through educational pathways and future career opportunities with a student. Lastly, as a Policeman, the teacher will manage classroom behavior ensuring the classroom is kept in an orderly manner and sound learning environment for all the students. At times it may be better to do more of the Psychologist role and less of the Policeman role, depending on the actual true issue that is leading to the discipline concerns in a class.
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It is clear to see that the teacher plays many vital roles both inside and outside the classroom. The skill and experience or the teacher will tell them when each role is appropriate to be played and over time this will come naturally. A good teacher will always discuss concerns and challenges with more experienced teachers, to gain a greater understanding of what role works best and when. It is important for all teachers to employ self-reflection regularly to drive their continuous improvement and development. This will benefit both the teacher and most importantly the students, as the teacher slowly perfects their many roles.
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