Main Teaching Responsibilities and Roles
I have never been a teacher in a formal school set up before and I have no experience or whatsoever, except that I have been involved with young people for almost about nineteen years, daily. In all that period, I have learned and realized the huge responsibility that this profession has and I would like to salute men and women who dedicated their lives to improve many lives throughout the generations.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Tumelo S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Going through this course has opened my eyes even wider. To me, the role of a teacher is twofold: Professionalism and parenting/guardianship.
Working with diverse students
Firstly, teachers have been trained and equipped to teach strangers with different backgrounds and different life experiences and that, on its own, qualifies them for this responsibility – they are professionals, hence their role is to give what they have and teach what they know. I believe teaching on its own gives teachers an inherent experience to know what to do, when to do, and how to do what is needed from them. However, to an inexperienced teacher like me, it may not be easy but it is possible.
My observation is; it is very important that they fully understand what needs to be done, become part of its formation and implementation. If not learn from their predecessors. They should teach the quality of the knowledge that they know by following the set guidelines, that is if it’s given, and trusting their inner voice.
When they are eliciting particular information by the activity in place, the students develop their thinking ability and can foresee answers amid problems, thereby enabling them to build self-confidence, capacity to challenge any problem and to always have a broader perspective in life, knowing very well that every problem should have a solution.
Secondly, teachers are placed in a position of parenthood/guardianship. Their role should not only end in teaching but also be able to develop a conducive learning environment that will enable the student freedom to make mistakes without being judged or condemned so that they remain challenged and happy while studying. It is very easy for anyone to learn something they don’t like and yet compelled to learn it if the surroundings are conducive enough or a free platform is given. This is important in particular to those who accidentally find themselves in English class.
These can be done if the teacher wears the shoes of his/her student, to say, ‘I was once in their position’ and willingness to observe each student to look for an opportunity to help. This does not mean a teacher should always be asking them personal questions, unless there is a need for that, because by knowing them, just makes teaching easy. There are no favorites with any normal parent, all children are the same and thus deserve to be treated the same way. Yes, others will learn faster than others, but the fact remains, even the slow ones also deserve attention to build their morale.
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Finally, looking after other peoples’ children while teaching them will never be easy because of the accountability that a teacher and the school have to both the parents and the school itself. Hence, every teacher should be sober at all times.
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