In the education system, teachers have many and varying responsibilities to the students, the community in which they live and to the learning community. This means that a teacher’s roles must be felt within and outside the school. This essay looks at some of these responsibilities and some issues in the foundation of education that I recognize a need to develop a deeper understanding as I continue with the path of becoming a teacher.
Towards the students, the teacher acts as a facilitator who should incorporate and encourage intellectual and social development in the seminal years of a student. This is because education should ensure social, intellectual, emotional and personal growth all through the preschool, high school and college life. This is achieved through teacher’s roles such as preparing teaching programs that are in accordance with the school’s education system guidelines, enforcing student’s self discipline and using a combination of formal and informal teaching methods among other duties.
While in schools, teachers have the responsibility of acting in place of the parent in educating and disciplining the student. This means that the teacher can administer some form of education which can also be given by the parent. Generally, teachers are supposed to ensure the safety of the students in matters of educational instructions and emotional as well as physical safety (Connecticut State Department of Education, 2002).
Teachers also have a responsibility towards the general community and the large society. The teacher needs to encourage the community to take its responsibility of being involved in formulation of policies in the education system. Teachers should encourage community participation in the education process. These roles are important because since they are the people charged with the duty of educating the next generation of adults, the parents, the government and the members of the public hold them accountable for that particular generation. Therefore the teachers have the responsibility of ensuring that the people they release out to the society have the knowledge to guide them in coexisting with other people in the community (Kelly, 2011).
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It is also important for the teacher to ensure that the community offers a conducive environment for the development of the learning generation. This involves ensuring the there is adequate safety in the community so that students can have a safe place when out of the school. The teacher should also ensure that the community members are also involved in upholding discipline for the sake of the students. The morals and values of the members of the community should be in line with those taught in the schools. This can be done in collaboration with the local leaders and the leaders of religious organization (Toronto School Board, 2011).
Teachers also have a responsibility towards the learning community where they work. In the learning community, the teacher has the responsibility of working together with the colleagues in ensuring that the students get the best from everyone. Some of the duties include working on special projects for improving the learning system and also in the general curriculum improvement. To the school administrators, the teacher has a responsibility of communicating issues affecting him/her, the students and fellow teachers in the service delivery. The general welfare and performance of the school is also a responsibility of the teacher. This is important because Learning communities share a collective responsibility towards the learning of all
students in the school. Students benefit through the efforts of every educator when they work collectively.
Being a member of staff in the learning institution, teachers have the responsibility of observing and following the school policies and procedures as they are stated in the school manuals. The teacher is also expected to contribute to the overall management of the school and also in leadership. The teacher should also complete the required work in time for the benefit of the institution as well as upholding the code of conduct of the school (Gillborn & Youdell, 2000).
After meeting all these responsibilities, it is also the teacher’s duty to be a good educator. A good educator is one who has a sense of purpose, who has the ability to tolerate ambiguity, who is willing to adapt to adapt and change so as to meet the needs of the students, with expectations of success for all the students and also one who enjoys their work as well as working with the students. A good educator must also remain up-to-date with information. This is because students rely on the teacher for information and they must therefore be given the most current information. Basically these are some of the traits that will help the teacher to carry out all these responsibilities (Hasset, 2006).
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Some of the issues in the foundations of education that I need to continue understanding include the issues of assessment. The U.S department of Education in 2003 informed the parents of the need for standardized tests in assessment as means of providing both quality indicators to the consumer and objective assessment for the students. These are considered more reliable that the teacher generated assessment. It is important for me to understand this issue because administration of assessment teats is one of the duties of a teacher. It is therefore important for the teacher to be aware of assessment requirements in the education system (U.S. Department of Education, Office of the Press Secretary, 2006).
The other issue is about policy making in schools and the entire education system. With the continued reforms in the education sector, it is important to understand how policies are made at both the schools level and the national level (Hursh, 2007). The other critical issue in education that I need to understand is the how technology can be used to raise the learning standards. This is important especially considering the issue of globalization where students need to graduate and work anywhere in the world. It is therefore important to align them with the goals of globalization (Cooper & White, 2004).
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Another issue is about teacher’s assessment both at the institutional and the national level. Teachers are also assessed to ensure that their work is in line with the set policies and procedures. I however need a further understanding of some of the aspects that are assessed and the criteria for assessment. This is important since it can earn one a promotion or a better pay.
Teaching career is an all-round field where one needs to understand several issues even outside the education system. It therefore requires collaboration with various players in different sectors. However, a teacher should ensure that he/she fulfills the required responsibilities effectively.
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