The teacher today has to perform increasingly multi-faced roles. Till yesterday, the teacher’s major role was to assign, interrogate, review, reward and punish. Emphasis was placed on memorization of facts and bits of information through rote learning.
Today, the teacher’s role is far more complex. He has to plan his lessons in advance sometimes months before, sometimes as early as the night before. In the class room phase, decisions are made regarding curriculum content, teaching method, materials and media, and class room management, and some, based on intuitive judgment are made instantaneously as the teaching learning process is in progress. Outside the classroom, the teacher checks the pupils’ homework; grades papers; attends meetings; fills out records and reports; confers with parents; guides students; or supervises pupil’s out-of-class activities. All these tasks will be successfully completed when teacher has a command over the subject and assumes the role of scholar.
The teacher’s role most often associated with teaching is that of scholar. As a result of his daily work, professional study, and parental and community expectations of him, the teacher tends to stress the cognitive aspects of learning. This is the most important element in the teaching-learning process. He imparts knowledge, answers questions and participates discussions. This is possible only when he has mastery over the subject.
As a scholar the teacher is expected to perform a very compelling role. He is to judge pupil’s achievement. The teacher judges pupil’s work, and communicates his judgments to them daily. It is not necessary that he should make use of grades while conveying his judgments. He can use such expressions as comments as “very good” or “well done”, I see, u know your subjects.” These casual evaluations may be supplemented by more formal ones by checking homework, grading assignments, quarterly examination, and class tests and so on.
By evaluating performance, the teacher also establishes certain learning and behaviour goals in the classroom. In fact, the academic standards of a class room are set by the teacher.
Every teacher is a professional expert. He is trained for the profession. As a professionally competent person, the teacher decides what information and skill are important. Accordingly, he selects the desirable items to teach. The teacher acts as the source-head of knowledge. In this regard, the teacher’s own knowledge of the subject-matter is a vital factor for determining what to teach in the classroom.
Important role to be played by a teacher is that of a facilitator of learning. The ideal purpose of the teacher’s guidance is to enable his pupils to eventually learn on their Own with little or no help from the teacher. According to Allam Omstein and Harry Miller, “The best teaching, is one in which the teacher becomes eventually dispensable as soon as possible. This goal requires the teacher to place responsibility on learners and to develop the student’s capacities to work on their own.” In this context, the success of the teacher is measured in terms of what students do when the teacher is not present.”
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