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Roles of the Teacher

Classroom teachers are expected to carry out various functions or roles within the classroom. These roles change depending on the expectation you have of students.

Within this section of Teacher Matters you will find information on 5 important roles a teacher undertakes within the classroom, they are:

The following Teacher Roles are available for download as individual PDFs or as a bundled set. If you wish to download the whole set, please click on the button below.

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Whether it be the start of the school year, the commencement of a new term or the start of a new position within a school, effective teaching, learning and classroom management depend on effective planning. A great deal of this planning takes place outside the confines of the classroom prior to classroom interaction. However, the relationship between planning and implementation is a dynamic one and planning for immediate future activities may well take place in the classroom virtually as implementation occurs.

Planning decisions by teachers reflect their beliefs and perceptions. Planning is a value-based activity; thus, it is important for teachers to be aware how their own values may inform their decision making. A flow chart indicating planning tasks may be found on the next below.

The remainder of the Planning Role includes  an introduction to planning, the major aims of planning, and strategies for implementing a plan covering  6 distinct principles to assist in understanding this role.

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The organizing role involves teachers in making arrangements and developing an orderly structure, which will unify all elements in the classroom into a coherent and functioning whole. It is through the organizing tasks of developing and modifying structures and routines, orienting participants, assigning tasks, coordinating and sustaining contributions, that teachers arrange classroom space, time and resources and coordinate the efforts of individuals towards the achievement of the educational objective of the class, and the broader goals of the school.

Sound organizing is closely linked with systematic planning. Whereas planning is concerned with the identification of appropriate activities, organizing is concerned with making arrangements and structuring the classroom to implement planned activities. In fact, the organizing role of the teacher links planning with all the other roles of communicating, motivating and controlling.

The full version of the Organizing Role includes  an introduction to organizing, the major aims of organizing, and 6 distinct principles designed to assist in understanding this role.

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Motivation is a vital factor in the teacher’s management of learning and behavior in the classroom. Motivation signifies the causes or ‘why’ of behavior; it is concerned with questions of the energizing of behavior and the direction given to behavior. In the classroom, motivation is observed as students show interest and enthusiasm, and give attention and concentration to learning tasks. Conversely, low levels of motivation are observed in student apathy and misbehavior.

The motivating role of teachers encompasses attempts to create conditions within a classroom which will energize, direct and sustain students’ performance. This role is important for promoting morale and climate and involves the sustaining of enthusiasm and positive attitudes towards school goals and learning tasks, both those assigned and those self-generated by the students.

The full version of the Motivating Role includes an introduction to organizing, the major aims of organizing, and 6 distinct principles designed to assist in understanding this role.

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Learning and teaching in the classroom predominately take place through interpersonal communication between teachers and students. The context in which this communication occurs and the relationships between teachers and students are neither fixed nor predetermined. Rather they are constructed by the teacher and students and negotiated by them as they act and react through verbal and non-verbal behavior. The management of communication is one of the central tasks of the classroom teacher.

Effective student learning depends largely upon the strong and positive management of classroom communication in all its forms and situations. In turn, effective classroom management and the roles of planning, organizing, controlling and motivating depend upon the management of effective communication. Communication is at the heart of classroom processes.

The full version of the Communicating Role includes the major aims of communicating, types of communication  covering three important forms of communicating.

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Controlling is the process by which teachers ensure that the learning activities and behavior of children in the classroom are consistent with the objectives, expectations and plans of both teachers and school. Controlling is closely related to planning.

It must be emphasized that the controlling process is essentially a positive one, its basic purpose is to facilitate and ensure attainment of instructional objectives. In the past, however, the terms control and controlling have generally conveyed the negative connotations of discipline and punishment which constrict student freedom and introduce teacher dominance, order and inflexibility in classrooms. A section dealing with discipline as a separate issue is included in this program.

The full version of the Controlling Role includes an introduction, the major aims of controlling, and 6 important principles in the implementation of the controlling role.

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