The roles, responsibilities and boundaries of a teacher are constantly developing qualities which are embedded within the training cycle. Gravells (2008 p28) defines the training cycle as Identifying needs and Planning, Designing, Facilitating, Assessing and Evaluating. To think about myself as a teacher I will look at my role, responsibilities and potential barriers in each section.
Running through everything are boundaries. These are the limits of the teacher’s role and go a long way to determining the teacher/learner relationship. Professional behaviour is a priority and this responsibility is more important than being liked or popular. To this end, it is wise not to disclose personal information, swap telephone numbers or socialise with your learners. Remember the role is that of educator, not friend.
The first task is to identify the learner's needs. I could, for example, ask the learner to write a short passage about him/herself. By spending time with the learner and completing an initial assessment I can find out the learner’s skill level, previous qualifications, their motivation for taking the course and what their learning style is likely to be. This session would also be useful in identifying any additional support the learner may need. My planning would have to include not only a scheme of work, a syllabus and session plans, but would have to allow for differentiation of abilities, additional learning needs and diversity issues. Other barriers could be cultural or language differences or a physical disability and it is probable that learners will be educated to different levels and be of mixed abilities.
The design of the course is the preparation of the learning environment and resources. This includes basic information such as where the toilets are, timing of lessons, availability of resources, course details, ground rules and health and safety procedures. It is good practice to include this in the first session of a new course as an induction. I would use a checklist, which I would give my learners, to ensure that everything had been covered. Possible barriers could be time constraints, childcare arrangements and learners being unable to supply their own equipment.
Facilitating, or teaching, a session needs structure so always have a beginning, middle and an end. The start of the session is a good time to complete the attendance record, collect in any homework and re-cap the previous session (if relevant). The middle is where I would deliver the lesson content and I would use the end of the session to check learning, collect work, hand out assignments, etc. A barrier I might encounter is the organisations’ lack of resources and materials. Probably a result of a