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Teaching Boundaries

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Explain the boundaries between the teaching role and other professional roles The role of a teacher is multi faceted. It not only requires the teacher to be able in terms of teaching their given subject, but they also have to be competent in many of the softer skills often taken for granted by outsiders ‘looking in’. The ability to share knowledge, conduct research on a subject and understand individual learning styles is coupled with the ability to be a good listener, be approachable, be able to constantly assess and be able to demonstrate new materials are just a few. In addition to knowing your subject and having a good ability to use the softer skills to get the best from learners, there must also be an ability to recognise boundaries that must not be crossed. Teaching can and should be about not taking shortcuts to ensure full understanding, not allowing cheating whilst setting realistic targets.

It is about being aware on learning abilities and importantly teaching good NOT bad practice. However, teachers should not be drawn into over familiarity for instance offering lifts to learners, or lending money. Teachers should also avoid becoming involved with social media or being over tactile with learners all of which can lead to a too familiar relationship perhaps resulting in a breakdown in the relationship you have with other learners. There may also be times when a teacher can spot problems that they themselves should not become involved in but should ‘hand off’ to other professional bodies who are more expert at dealing with such matters. Good teachers should demonstrate a duty of care without becoming overly involved if professional help is needed.

Explain ways to promote appropriate behaviour and respect for others

Summarise ways to establish ground rules with learners and why this is done in teaching and learning Whenever a classroom situation arises it is important to create a framework that encourages respectful dialogue and maximum participation. The setting of ground rules provides an opportunity at the outset of any teaching situation to meet these criteria. There are two main ways that ground rules can be set

1. If time is at a premium you can present a set of ground rules and ask that everyone respect them. The advantage is this can save time when there is limited teaching time available. The disadvantage is there may be rules there that everyone is unable to meet for a variety of reasons 2. You can agree a set of ground rules with the learners. It takes more time to do this as the learners are eventually agreeing to the rules by a series of votes to arrive at a majority consensus. The advantage is that the learners set their own rules and as the majority have voted, you are likely to achieve more ‘buy in’ from the group. The disadvantage is that the process will take considerably longer to arrive at a suitable and agreed list There is no right or wrong answer as to which is the best method to agree ground rules as each situation may require a different approach. What is however beyond dispute is that there must be a set of rules before a course begins. The types of things you would like to see on your list of ground rules would usually be based around respect for each other but, could also ensure that equality and diversity are protected. Some examples might be;

Raising your hand if you wish to speak instead of perhaps ‘cutting’ across someone already speaking. When giving examples of something, speak from personal experience instead of generalising. Be conscious of body language and the ‘hidden’ messages that poor body language can give. Listen actively to others even if you disagree with the view being discussed. Once the ground rules for that group are established they should be posted on the wall at the start of each new session. The learners should be reminded of the rules but without entering into a new discussion on the rules. It is also worth referring to the rules should any member of the group ‘break’ any one of the agreed rules. One final point is, be prepared to change or abandon a ground rule altogether if it becomes clear that the rule is being continually broken or having the rule is preventing participation or discussion.

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