Before moving on to talk in detail about the role of a teacher, let’s take a look at a small incident from Sir Abdul Kalam’s life.
He is a man who needs no introduction. A visionary, a one-of-a-kind leader, an exemplary teacher, and a man beyond words! He was addressing a gathering and answering a few questions from students.
When asked about his achievements, he said that he loved the role of a teacher and that’s what he holds close to his heart. A small kid came forward to ask a question and Kalam sir asked him to hold the mic closer, the kid, who hailed from a village, did not understand English and told that he was poor in English and that he could only understand Malayalam. Immediately, Kalam sir asked the kid to talk in Malayalam.
The role that he played in reaffirming the confidence of the kid is not small. This simple yet powerful incident shows how much a teacher can influence a generation.
While talking about the roles of a good teacher, it is important to remember such teachers who have shown the right path.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at 7 important roles that a teacher should play in a classroom.
7 Roles of A Teacher
1. Authoritative/ Controller
The authoritative role that a teacher plays can be in two ways, high authority, high involvement, and high authority low involvement. If a teacher is authoritative and controlling it does not mean that there’s no scope for growth for students.
These teachers would have their ways and norms but if they are highly involved, they would work for the betterment of the students, encourage hard work, and would be open to questions and queries.
Students usually see authoritative teachers as caring and reasonable. As mentioned, in an authoritative classroom, the students have the freedom to ask questions and clear their doubts. However, on the other hand, if a teacher is authoritative and has low involvement in the classroom, well, let’s just say that that is an example of how a classroom shouldn’t be.
A delegator, as the name suggests, is someone who delegates responsibilities and just overviews the overall functioning of the classroom. They are neither highly involved nor show less involvement. They give the students ownership and are mostly seen when learning occurs through group activities and classroom discussions. This is best suited for subjects that require group activities. Chemistry, physics, and in the sort of subjects that require lab activities, the teacher often assumes the role of a delegator. Delegator is one of the 7 roles of a teacher.
When the teacher assumes the role of a prompter, they are giving complete ownership to the students. Teachers give the students a push when they are stuck or have confusion and doubts. In this role, the teachers prompt what the students should be doing and kind of take them through the process. They act as a guide or a coach in the whole learning process.
As discussed, we will be looking at 7 roles of a good teacher with examples and the best example of a prompter role is:
Suppose a ground activity is in progress and the teacher is asking the students to measure the length of the shadow cast by the flagpole and assisting them when they are not able to, the teacher is a prompter there. When they ask who to do what, that’s when they are a delegator.
In case there’s an activity taking place in the class. Say a debate or a group discussion, when the teacher takes part in it, they are assuming the role of a participant. While this increases the interest in students and encourages them to participate more, there’s a chance of you outperforming them so, keep in mind to blend in with the students and give them the necessary nudge when required.
As discussed in one of our previous blogs, teaching is ¼ preparation and ¾ theatre. When a teacher demonstrates the concepts and ideas, the learning is more effective. A demonstrator is one who crosses boundaries and goes to the limit to ensure that the students have a meaningful experience. It is one of the basic functions of a teacher to explain and demonstrate the concepts.
6. Lecturer/ tutor
This is the most common role that a teacher takes on in a classroom. When they are reading from the textbook, explaining a topic, and just doing what most teachers do in the classroom, it is a lecturing or tutoring role. Again, it can be one with high involvement from the student’s side. When there’s high involvement from both the teacher and the students, there are better chances of the concept being conveyed in a better way and the lesson would stay with the students for longer.
This role is like that of a library. The teacher is just an assessor, they are always there and the students can turn to the teacher for help anytime but most of the work is done by the students. In this role, the teacher asks the students to take classes, seminars, etc. and when they are stuck, the teacher helps them with the subject knowledge that he/she has. As the name suggests, they act as a resource for the students.
It is important to understand that most teachers assume a mix of all the roles or one or more above-mentioned roles. No teacher falls into just one category. They might assume two different roles at the same time.
The way a classroom function is tricky, and it is the intelligence and wit of a teacher that makes a classroom exemplary. There are situations that demand the teachers be controlling and authoritative and certain others that need teachers to be a prompter.
A good teacher is one who understands what role they should play and when they should do it. We cannot say that the above mentioned are 7 roles of a good teacher. There are many more that a teacher should be. The role of a teacher in classroom management is huge. We have discussed the same in detail in one of our previous blogs, you can read it here.
If you think we have missed any roles, please do share them with us in the comments section.
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