The roles and responsibilities of a teacher are far more complex than many would realise. You are never simply just someone standing at the front of a classroom delivering information about a particular subject. The role is varied and ranges from therapist, to coach, to tutor to assessor. Through the course of this assignment I will endeavour to explore the different roles and responsibilities that combine to form ‘a teacher’ I currently work as an IT Application trainer for Wiltshire Council. My role involves me writing and delivering training which is all IT based. I work in a team of 8 and we all train the Microsoft office suite of applications, off the shelf authority wide specific applications and in house bespoke systems. I work out of 6 different locations across the county and can expect to train people at all levels – job and ability. Roles
We currently live in a multicultural society, and this demands that we as trainers have to approach the role very carefully. Everyone no matter what their gender, race, religion or culture should have an equal opportunity to learn. The learning environment needs to be creative, effective and stimulate opportunities for learning that will in turn enable development and progression. We as trainers have to remember this in every aspect of our work, from initial planning through to delivery to assessment and evaluation. Tutors’ responsibility is ‘to create a good learning environment for the students and not to try to do the students learning for them’1 Important as tutors are, it is good to remember that they are not responsible for the students learning, the students are responsible for that2 Everyone learn in a different way, to quote Reece and Walker, There are unique differences in the way people learn and we must recognise this and not regard individuals as one group or body of students.
My current role is fairly limiting in the methods I can apply to delivering the training. Most of my work is done at the computer, so a lot of methods are not really open to me. However, there are many ways that can be used to suit all learning styles. The use of Maps, pictures, on-screen computer demonstrations and diagrams are essential when it comes to visual learners. They understand and learn far easier when presented with a visual aid rather than a passage of text. However audio learners need to listen and to hear the information before it ‘clicks’ Discussion with other group members, memorising text, listening to recordings of lectures will help the audio listener organise their information.
You then have the ‘doers’ or the kinaesthetic learners. This group need to be hands on – perform experiments, test theories out and get hands on to learn effectively. It is important to remember though that most learners do not fall completely into one category. They may have a leaning towards one but most will benefit from a mixture of all three methods. The chances of you having a group all with the same learning style are very remote so it is best when creating your learning environment to use a mixture of approaches. Para 2
Plan lessons, find and prepare materials, do research,
Para 3 ROLE
Keep records: lesson plans, attendance, assessment etc
It is essential that a trainer uses the assessment process. Assessments are a tool and should be used as such, not as an instrument to bash learners with. They are there to check knowledge is understood and to chart the progress of a learner at any point. An assessment will establish that learning has (hopefully!) taken place, and knowledge, skills and attitudes have been impacted on. Assessments will also be used by the trainer themselves to assess their progress, to evaluate how well they are doing, can they improve, as the saying goes, ‘you do not have to be bad at something to do it better!’ Assessments can be carried out at various points in the learning life cycle. Initial assessments are used to assess the starting point of the learner, maybe as a benchmarking tool in order to evaluate progress. It may well be that learners need to be at a certain level before attending the training. Assessments can be carried out at other stages.
For example, Formative Assessments are where the learner is assessed continually throughout the course via exercises, tests and Q&A sessions. Summative assessments are carried out at the end of the course in the form of a test or an exam. At the end of the course the tutor should be asking for feedback from the group and also reflecting on how well s/he felt the session went. This can be used to build on for the next session. When teaching I always try to get as much feedback as possible from my students, this includes how the session went, what they thought of the learning materials and what they considered they had learned most from.
Hand in hand with assessments is record keeping. Records need to be kept on several different reasons. These can be attendance, evaluations, results of exams, evaluations – trainee and trainer. When keeping records it is important to be mindful of the data protection Act 1998. Information recorded should be used for valid reasons, and shared with other with a valid reason. I currently teach ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence). This has 2 levels, with three parts at each stage, followed by a final unit. All students must complete the 6 units prior to the final unit. It is vital here that accurate records are kept to ensure no learner skips a stage.
Keeping yourself up to date in both teaching and your field
Maintaining high standards in your work and conduct
Whilst their os emphasis on the learner to be fair and considerate to their learning colleagues, it is just as important for the trainer to be aware of how his/her behaviour can affect the group. A trainer needs to lead by example.
Complying with the rules of the organisation you are part of as well as legislation and codes of practice (this is the main focus of the next essay) Boundaries
The role of the tutor is to ensure that training takes place in a safe non-judgemental environment. All learners need to feel free to participate, express opinions and give feedback. This being said there do need to be boundaries and/or rules set for each session. Group discussion can be great, but it sometimes will need to be contained. If groups are passionate about a subject they may be inclined to run off at a tangent and the thread or purpose of the learning will be lost. Every learner in the group has the right to express an opinion. This may differ to other members of the group.
Care needs to be taken that this does not develop into a full blown argument or debate. Discussions may involve examples being used about colleagues or learners may divulge personal information, in these circumstances it is vital that confidentiality ground rules are set and adhered to. In addition to this, the use of language and humour needs to be watched. Training colleagues – familiarity is assumed It is the role of the tutor to ensure that none of the above goes off track. Ultimately the trainer has to be in charge of the group and rein the learners in if things get heated.