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Indeed, teaching is a task requiring much skill and activity. In what follows, using Harden and Crosby's (2000) article as a framework, I will comment on what entails a ‘good' teacher as well as offer six different roles the teacher must play. These are: information provider, role model, facilitator, assessor, planner, and resource developer. The question we must first answer is: What constitutes a ‘good' teacher? Harden and Crosby (2000) argue that a good teacher is one who “helps the student to learn.” In addition, the good teacher is instrumental to this end in more ways than just providing information to the student. The teacher has a number of roles they must play, if they want to teach effectively. The first role is that of information provider. The teacher is often times, in the
case of tefl classes, the only original source of information that the students will be exposed to. Sometimes this will be in lecture format, which I have personally found, when overly relied upon, results in a learning session that is boring and uninteresting. teachers often act in the role of information transmitter. I believe this is a necessary and essential aspect of the teacher's job. However, care must be taken to ensure that information is conveyed in a manner suitable for learner levels. Another role of the teacher is that of a role model. It is certainly the case that teachers are setting an example in front of their students, especially in the case of younger learners, and more importantly when they are providing tefl education. The teacher may be the first person of another culture that students have met—and so must set a suitable example for students. The
teacher must also act as a model, through which students will observe and imitate, and hopefully gain the necessary skills, values, knowledge and attitude to succeed in all their endeavors Harden and Crosby (2000). The third role of the teacher is that of the facilitator. Much of the greatest learning occurs in learning environments that are student-driven. The teacher is no longer viewed as simply a ‘tape recorder' just repeating english phrases for students to repeat. Instead, the teacher is called upon to provide an environment and resources for students to manage their own learning. teachers are expected to “fall back” from the high position of “authority, expert, and prime talker” Harden and Crosby (2000). teachers should not simply provide information to students, instead they should “encourage and facilitate”
students as they use a given problem/activity to “learn for themselves” Harden and Crosby (2000). Fourth, the teacher plays the role of assessor. This means that, as a native speaker of english, the tefl teacher will ensure that students are gaining the necessary skills for proper and effective communication with other native speakers. The teacher should periodically give assessments (whether in homework, projects, or exams) to ensure that students are grasping the material and learning. This role is quite unlike the other roles a teacher usually has—he or she does not directly aid the student as they learn. Instead, in the role of assessor, the teacher will be passing direct judgment on students Harden and Crosby (2000). Fifth, the teacher will be designing lessons through
which students will learn. The teacher will often design and structure the lesson, as well as plan the pace at which the class progresses. The teacher must be especially sensitive to the learning level, needs, and goals of the students—to ensure a learning experience that is productive for all. Though many institutions may have a standard, boilerplate curriculum, the teacher must be aware of the nature of his/her students and must adapt or develop material so that it is appropriate. This is perhaps one of the most influential part of the teacher's job, as it determines exactly what students will be taught when and their exposure to different material. Lastly, the teacher plays the role of a resource developer. He or she will create material as necessary, to assign to students as individual or group work. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching lessons and using materials. Hence it will be necessary at some point for the teacher
to develop new and innovative teaching materials and other activities. This is the area where teachers can perhaps express their creativity best. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list—my goal in writing this article was to provide a brief overview, perhaps a framework through which we can understand the roles various teachers play. teachers are learning managers, assessors, resource creators, and sometimes disciplinarians. The important thing to highlight is the interrelated aspect of the teaching profession—all a teacher's goals are interrelated with one another. In student-centered learning, which is one which I plan on using in my own lessons—I hope to exemplify the framework I have outlined above, and I feel confident that by using that as a basis for m teaching I can provide amazing tefl instruction.
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