Roles and Responsibilities of a Teacher

Teachers are responsible for keeping students in order and on task.

Teachers are responsible for keeping students in order and on task.

Teaching is becoming an increasingly diverse job with a wide range roles and responsibilities. You may find yourself taking on the demanding role of surrogate parent when students come to you for advice. Your principal might also want to give you challenging leadership responsibilities, such as mentoring new teachers. In the classroom, you'll often have to switch between fulfilling what you may consider a responsibility and taking on a role. A responsibility is usually a concrete task that teaching requires you to do, while a role goes beyond the boundaries of a single task.

Lessons and Instruction

As a teacher, you're responsible for planning and organizing your students’ lessons. Although there are guidelines to follow, you have to decide how you're going to deliver the information. So if you're an elementary school teacher, you may have to teach several core subjects. Writing, social studies and math might all be on your plate. You'll probably need to decide how to use your school's learning resources. An effective instruction plan could have you alternating between lectures and group or individual activities.

Assessments

You'll be responsible for making sure your students are learning what they need to. This means you'll prepare them for standardized tests, but you'll also keep track of how they're performing on assignments. An important part of this responsibility is intervening when necessary. Say a student is performing poorly on reading comprehension assignments, pop quizzes and classroom tests. You may refer him to a specialist, such as a literacy or reading coach. You might also spend some extra time explaining lessons and coming up with different ways to approach them.

Example

Your students will look up to you as an example of how they should be – maybe not as a child, but certainly as an adult. You could be a source of inspiration or a role model for many kids. This is one of the unspoken roles of a teacher, since you assume the position of classroom leader. Students may ask you for advice about things outside of the classroom, such as how to deal with siblings or bullies.

Caretaker

While you're teaching your students, you're also serving as their caretaker. It's a role you'll likely share with others at your school. In a sense, you take the place of your students' parent(s). If a kid gets sick or has an accident, you'll make sure he gets the medical care he needs. You may also need to be attentive to signs of possible abuse and report it if it's serious. Kids might also want to talk to you about their lives like you're a second parent or a good friend.

 

About the Author

Helen Akers specializes in business and technology topics. She has professional experience in business-to-business sales, technical support, and management. Akers holds a Master of Business Administration with a marketing concentration from Devry University's Keller Graduate School of Management and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.

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