Roles and Responsibilities of Teacher
Unit 008 :Roles ,Responsibility and relationship in lifelong learning. This assignment is about the role and responsibility of teachers in lifelong learning. In order to teach in lifelong learning, a teacher will need different tools, support, understanding and above all a good knowledge of teaching codes of practice. As with all professions, teaching has to be done within the boundaries of the law to achieve a safe learning environment for the student. The legislations are very important to safeguard the teacher, student and adult learners.
For example the Health and Safety at work act (1974) (Gravells, 2008, p. 19)is about the safety of the student and teacher. It is crucial for the teacher to ensure all learners are aware of their safety procedures at the beginning of any course. Furthermore, a risk assessment is carried out by the teacher, to reduce any risk on the premise. For example, when a teacher is carrying an experiment which includes heating, the teacher ensures students are wearing safety goggles. ’The Disability Discrimination Act(1995 and onwards), which has been enforce to ensure nobody is discriminated against irrespective of disability(physical or mental ), gender, religion ,age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or social (domestic circumstances)’’ (Wilson, 2008, p. 20) In order to implement the above legislation, a teacher needs to assess what the requirements of his/her learners’ are, and how they could be supported. A teacher has to make sure that every learner has equal opportunities to access the learning experience.
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For example someone who lip reads, the teacher needs to speaks very clearly and avoids standing in darker area which will make it difficult for that particular learner to lip read. For example a learner who uses wheelchair, prior to the course, the teacher ensures the learner has access to all facilities without any problem e. g. a ramp is installed outside the room. At this point the teacher would require internal support services to install the ramp. Data Protection Act (1988) (Wilson, 2008, p. 20), each learner has their own file which holds personal and confidential information (address, contact details and medical history).
These files are kept in a safe and secure place in a filing cabinet, which restricts sharing of data. The teacher should be a good team player to encourage and welcome people’s differences and use these qualities to broaden the learning experience. Teaching in a simple language helps the learners to understand the concept easily as for most learners’ English is not their first language. The teacher needs to ensure that learning tools like handouts are unbiased and exclude inappropriate comments from the classroom. It is important for a teacher to practise equality and diversity effectively so as to have a maximum impact on the learners.
A good teacher needs to tailor their lessons according to learners’ needs and requirements; this is known as inclusive learning. ’’By inclusive learning we mean the greatest degree of match or fit between how learn best, what they need and what is required from the sector, a college and teachers for successful learning to take place’’ (Tomlinson, 1996, p. 200) . These qualities should be within a teacher, which is gain by using the teaching training cycle. The training cycle has five stages which are identifying needs, planning and designing, delivering, assessing and evaluating.
A teacher must be certain of his/her role, responsibilities and boundaries within these stages. During the initial stage of identifying needs and planning, the teacher will identify the needs of his/her learners (Yvonne Hillier,, 2005, p. 61). Firstly, by assessing any physical needs like wheelchair users. A questionnaire can also be used, to find out learners aim, previous experience, learner background, preferred learning style. The teacher would keep the questionnaire in a safe place and ensure no details are left on desks. Also make sure this confidential information is not available to anybody.
Some learners’ needs may exceed what the teacher can offer; at this point the teacher will refer the student to another professional. For example, someone who has literacy needs, the teacher would refer the learner a literacy teacher to address his/her needs. During designing phase of the lessons, a teacher’s responsibility is to provide high quality materials example handouts, tutorial and games which will motivate and increase concentration in learners and facilitate learning. Thus, resources should be relevant and easy to access within the premises. The next stage is the delivery of the session.
The teacher will ensure that the learners’ are equally involved and engaged in all the activities in order to facilitate the learning by using different learning tools and style . The lessons should be well-structured, clear aims established to ensure that lessons run on time. It is a teacher’s responsibility to establish a good professional relationship with the learners, so that they are comfortable asking any help for learning. Stay within boundaries so that the teacher should not be over friendly, and should always maintain a professional relationship.
Avoid touching / leaning across learner during an explanation. In the assessing phases, the teacher ensures the lessons objectives are clear to the learners and check their progression. For example, quizzes can be organised to check the learner’s achievement and development feedback from learners will identify the development areas. However, the teacher should not set task which is not link directly to learning objectives. Among the duties of a teacher in the Lifelong Learning sector, the teacher also has to undertake responsibilities towards the other professionals in the organisation.
One of the principal responsibilities as a teacher is to remain within the teaching code of practice. The collaboration between teachers and other professionals is important to maintain smooth running of the organisation. Good communication between professionals ensures that learners are getting the most efficient and effective support. The teacher will need to consult other professionals when needs exceeds his/her boundaries. For example, if a learner has not been able to finish his assignment on time and the reason could be financial problem.
The role of the teacher should also include maintaining a safe and appropriate learning environment to facilitate the learners. For example, before the start of the lesson, the teacher needs to ensure that the classroom layout is safe and accessible to all learners. To implement a safe environment, ground rules are set. Ground rules within a class, is a mutual agreement by the tutor and learners who attend the class. There are three ways of setting ground rules: teacher imposes, learner imposes or through negotiation. The ground rules can be promoted by displaying on the wall of the classroom, video or even by using pictures.