Role of the Teacher: In-Class and During Activities
‘You can only give what you have’, so the adage by Leo Buscaglia says, likewise the holy lore brings it out as well to emphasize the truth in it. This is true when it comes to teaching. The teacher can rightly or wrongly offer what he/she has or has not. In a class setting, the teacher is often expected to be in the frontline at all times by the learners. The various activities that are geared towards helping the learners achieve their goals or dreams in an institution of learning all depend on the input of the teacher or properly called the role of the teacher.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate David K. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The teacher has to be aware of one’s personality and be in tune with the class as time goes. There are expectations by the teacher from the learners and the learners expect even much more from the teacher. The picture that the learners will pick up in the teacher will influence the outcome of the class or any particular activity undertaken. In this case, the rapport between the two is vital. Similarly, when the two are put in mind and probably strike some kind of a balance, the class or activity being carried out will most likely be successful.
A teacher does not carry out his/her profession because of the perks associated with it. Teaching must be a vocation, something one is called to and entrusted with the care of either young or adult learners. In this way, a teacher ought to love imparting knowledge (teaching). The learners under such a teacher will love learning as well and probably be on an equal footing together. Classes or activities of such nature would be pure joy or bliss. Nonetheless, there are certain responsibilities or roles a teacher must be able to carry out.
Roles During the Class
For a class or activity to be successful there has to be a leader who guides, cautions, directs, motivates and probably organizes. The teacher has to possess such qualities. A class must be focussed and the teacher has to be a controller in this case. However, this must not be overdone to avoid blocking the initiatives of the learners. The activities carried out in the class must have someone showing the way and this is one of the teacher’s roles. Inactivity the teacher organizes the learners in pairs or groups bearing in mind the particular needs of each learner.
What is a Teacher up to During an activity?
During an activity, the teacher has to be able to monitor or observe what the learners are carrying out. Through this then weaknesses in an individual or group could be spotted and corrected during feedback time. The teacher can also know whether the class understood the activity or not, or if the materials being used in the activity are working out well according to the needs of the students.
Over the years the classes have been made in such a way that they become student-centered as opposed to teacher-centered. This enables more student participation and hence achieves what such learners are aiming at. This may not be easy and a class or an activity may be stuck or even fail to take off. In this case, a teacher is called to be a prompter. Such a teacher will point out areas that the students would see, connect and activate what they have to bring out what they have understood in a particular class or activity. Activities require materials of different kinds. The teacher has to be resourceful in getting the best of such materials. The learners would then be motivated by such materials and the teacher as well.
Whenever there are activities carried out during a lesson, there are times that the teacher could be a participant as well. This is when for instance the students are paired or grouped and some of the learners do not have the required numbers. The teacher could fill in, in such a case. However, he/she must never dominate such an activity.
Also Read: How to Help Children Become a Strong Reader
Roles of a Teacher considering the group type
Classes are often composed of mixed groups: fast or slow learners, assertive or passive, interested or disinterested students. In such cases a teacher is called upon to be a tutor, attending to the particular, individual interests of the students. All the students ought to have equal treatment and the teacher has to avoid any preferential treatment to a particular student, group or pair. To reduce a lot of tutoring, the teacher has to introduce a topic or activity clearly through demonstrations. This makes the learners grasp the idea quicker.
Learners are given tests to assess their grasp of a lesson or activity. The teacher has to be an assessor during and after the lesson or activity. In this way, any loopholes on the side of the teacher or students could be corrected in time and necessary changes made to improve the lesson of activity. There are both internal and external ways of assessing students that ought to be borne in mind.
Everyone in life looks after someone with exemplary or outstanding behavior, character or skill. A teacher must be a model for his/her students. In this way, the students will be interested and motivated by what they are doing at all times. At the end of it, there will be less pressure on the teacher.
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Teaching is not an easy activity. It encompasses a lot of dimensions that have to be looked at. A teacher must be balanced in personality, must love what he/she is doing and must aim at uplifting human life in terms of ability, skill, and knowledge. One does not undertake a teaching profession because there is no other alternative or because it appears to be easy. One has to play the role of a good teacher bearing in mind all if not most of the areas outlined in the essay. A teacher must inspire and be reliable in terms of sharing materials and one’s life for the other.
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