The roles and responsibilities of a teacher evolve with time and circumstance. It is impossible to give a rigid definition of either as they change constantly, though there are some roles and responsibilities that are common to all teachers throughout the education system. It is hard to know where the roles and responsibilities of a teacher should stop and I feel is each teachers responsibility to know the boundaries.
There exists a misconception that the only skill required to be a teacher is the ability to teach, but it goes far beyond this. A teacher must be multi faceted (WALKLIN 1990) adapting to ever changing circumstance. Qualities and characteristics desirable in a teacher run hand in hand with basic responsibilities and it is difficult to separate them.
Some of the roles of a teacher will be that of: -
SCHOLAR...Scholarliness, showing the knowledge and love of accuracy of a truly learned person (Chambres Dictionary)
A sound knowledge of subject matter is required, but also the ability to relate specifics to generalities, facts to theories and theories to facts. To be capable of creative thinking and reasoning and integrate new knowledge.
Able to pass on knowledge to another and convey it with clarity of speech. Question students thoroughly enough to know just how they see or are confused by an issue. To listen and empathise with students, respecting their views, feeling for them as an individual and getting to know their needs. The role of communicator is far reaching and encompasses all the qualities required to communicate effectively, patience, sense of humour, diplomacy and a respect for cultural diversity.
A teacher must act as a councillor and guide, and in order to do this must be non judgmental and objective, not letting their values affect how they treat students. They must offer help and support where they can, identifying the needs of the individual.
Teachers must be able to organise their learning environment, whilst establishing some ground rules. They should provide adequate resources for the lesson, plan the delivery of the subject matter and be aware of the need for flexibility, when as so often happens, things do not run according to plan.
A teacher is responsible for administrative matters, be it that of the initial enrolment or the administration that is required throughout the duration of the course. This writing from studentcentral.co.uk
The roles of a teacher appear never ending. In WALKLIN (1990) he established some of the roles of a teacher as, change agent and innovator; councillor and coach; helper and supporter; implimentor; monitor and evaluator; motivator and team leader; needs identifier and advisor; organiser and planner; staff developer; teaching and learning media expert and finally TUTOR. I would suggest that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are certain responsibilities placed on the tutor. Legally with regards to
HEALTH AND SAFETY (Health and Safety Act 1974)
An example of this would be fire regulations and the pointing out of fire exits, and assembly points. Teachers are individually and collectively responsible for the safety of everyone whilst at the place of learning.
Promoting equality of all, regardless of age, gender and culture. We need to examine our own behaviour to see if we are discriminatory and politically correct.
A teacher should also be aware of students with special needs and advocate conditions for their success.
A teacher is also responsible for designing, implementing and evaluating the educational program (planning, delivery and evaluation)
In conclusion a teacher should posses a number of qualities, though it would be impossible for one individual to display them all. Each teacher
is unique and their styles will differ greatly. To fully define the roles and responsibilities of a teacher would be an impossible task. I've but touched upon a few, tomorrow another role/responsibility will have been added. The role of a teacher is indeed multi faceted, adapting to the ever-changing needs of the learner and educator.