The many roles of the teacher
is something that I, having been homeschooled as a child, didn’t know very much about. Through this online course
and through teaching english
myself I have become familiar with the roles that we as teacher
s have to fill from time to time, such as organizer, monitor, observer, tutor
, language model, assessor, prompter, facilitator and even participant. One role I have added to this list is that of encourager. I think it is a vital role that teacher
s must be able to fill when teaching young and adult learners alike. Most people, myself included do well with a little encouraging word now and then. It makes students feel they are on the right track and helps to ward off the discouragement that often comes with the overwhelming task of language learning.
Mongolia has a strong academic school system, modeled after the Russians, and teacher
s are looked up to and well-respected by both students and their parents. It goes without saying that teacher
s are to be role models for their pupils. This gives us a unique opportunity to influence our learners in a positive way and to model morals and ethics. It’s an enormous responsibility and we do make mistakes but at the same time it helps us to grow and become better people.
s (and other professionals) here in Mongolia were schooled and trained under the Russian soviet system. They are extremely performance oriented and as a result they can be very hard on the students. From a very young age students are often faced with the difficult and sometimes impossible expectations of teacher
s. Those who can meet with those expectations are praised while those who fail are often looked down upon as bad students.
When I first began teaching english
in Mongolia, right away I knew that my role was to not only teach the english
language, but to encourage my learners (middle school children
at the time) and make them feel that they could accomplish their goal of being good english
speakers. Most of my students were eager to learn, as are many in this country. But they had come from a place of feeling they had to perform at a high level in order to be accepted by their teacher
. As a result, some of them had become discouraged and given up on learning english
all together. By teaching in a manner that was new and interesting to the children
, yet still acceptable by the school’s standards and by giving constant encouraging feedback, I was able awaken their desire to learn english
. Many of those students I have gone on to study or work abroad after their high school graduation. Some are now working in high position jobs in Ulaan Baatar where speaking english
is a daily requirement.
Of all the roles I, as a teacher
, must fill my main role continues to be that of an encourager. I am learning that it’s not just what we teach but how we teach that impacts our students for good or for bad. There are students out there who have never heard teacher
praise or say anything good about them. It is my hope that my words of encouragement, my smiles and warmth will not only positively influence my students in their journey of learning english
but in other areas of their lives as well.
Based on my own experiences and on the information from Unit 1 of this course.