Education is the most important element for the development of a society. A good education system usually leads to an empowered society that can face various challenges. An education system is not complete without teachers. Apart from students, teachers are the other important stakeholders in education the education system. Without teachers, it would be hard to execute the role of teaching. Education needs of the society have been changing with times as the social-economical elements of life changes; these needs have to be satisfied. Besides education systems, teachers play the role of dynamically changing the lives of students to satisfy their needs. Secondary school education is very important for the lives of students. It is during this duration that student decides on the kind of careers that they would take in their lives. It is also in this duration that most people realize their talent and interests in their lives. In teaching in a secondary school, a teacher acquires more than one role. Besides disseminating knowledge a teacher adopts other roles such as role models, class management and student guidance.
Changing role of teachers
The responsibilities of teacher have been changing with time. Significant changes on the roles of teacher have occurred, over time. Conventionally, the role of teachers was considered to be that of disseminating information. This role is very important to the society. The ability to disseminate information is viewed as the way to continuity of the society (Ryan & Cooper 31). This role is still very important to society today and is considered to be the primary role of every teacher. However, the process of disseminating knowledge has been observed to interfere with the ability of students to acquire knowledge. This has called for teachers to take up other roles other than the mere passage of knowledge. There have been significant changes in the society that calls for teachers to adopt roles other than the conventional roles (Wong 61). For example, social economical changes have made its impossible for parent to spend much time with their children (Ryan & Cooper 44). In consequence, students spend most of their time with their teacher and rely on them for major decision in their lives. For example, students are influenced much by their teachers on the kind of career that they would take in their lives.
Teacher as Co-learner with Students
In the earlier days, teachers were viewed as dispensers of knowledge; however, today teachers are being viewed as managers or facilitator of knowledge. Instead of being the principle holder of knowledge in a classroom, teachers are increasingly being viewed as co learners with their students. With advancement in technology, especially information technology, information is easily accessible from many other sources. Thus, teachers are no longer sources of information but their role in teaching continues to be important. It is not surprising to find some student having academic information that their teachers do not have. As facilitator of learning, teacher assist secondary school student acquires information and making good use of the information obtained. With many sources of knowledge, students need guidance on ways to utilize the many sources. For example, students need guidance on ways to use the various electronic sources of information available to them. In the classes, teachers have the responsibility of providing leadership in learning. For example, a teacher can facilitate on ways in which information can be shared by students and ensure that each student is actively involved in learning.
As it has always been, teachers have the responsibility of class management and discipline. It is agreed that learning is a process that requires close examination. The right order and environment are required for learning to be successful. Although students may have their self control, their age makes it imperative that external management by the teacher should be needed (Wong 77). Class management is not only useful to students; it is also important to teachers and helps them to manage themselves as they execute their role of teaching (Wong 78). Discipline is always advocated for in many areas of life. In education, discipline is very useful. Conducts of one student in the classroom have the ability of affecting, either positively or negatively, the learning process (Merrett 54). Teachers have the role of ensuring that the right conducts that promote learning prevail in the classroom. Class management requires not only skill but also creativity by a teacher. Ability to manage a class and guide students towards learning is, in fact, the first step toward being a successful teacher.
Various components are needed in class management. The most important element in class management is the attitude of a teacher toward teaching and students. To be successful, a teacher should view teaching as more than a way for making a livings but a call. However, various skills are necessary (Ryan & Cooper 61). Having a procedure is very important in class management. Many established methods can be used in teaching a lesson. The most used methods include the lecture, discussion and demonstration. The combination of the three methods is usually used instead of any single method. However, teachers have the freedom of choosing the most effective method to their students. There are established procedures that have been proved to work in teaching. The first step is to prepare the students for lesson before starting the teaching. This is necessary in making sure that students participate in the class, right from the beginning of the lesson (Wong 77). After preparation, materials are presented to students and presentation is done. Finally, the students are tested to find out how they have been able to learn in the lesson. A customized procedure is also very important to take care of differences in students and classes. Before stepping in to a class, a teacher must have a procedure that would be used during the lesson.
Teachers have roles in motivating their students (Ryan & Cooper 117). It is known that learning is very much affected by attitude of student even more than it is affected by a student’s ability. Reports have shown that poor performance in subjects such as mathematics is very much influenced by attitude secondary school students. These observations support need for teachers to motivate students to change their attitudes. One of the best way in motivating students is to have a positive expectation (Wong 112). The attitude of students is very much influenced by the attitude of the teacher; if a teacher has a positive attitude towards their students, then students also reciprocate by positive attitude towards the teacher and a subject. Thus, teachers should choose their words and actions in the classroom with care to make sure that they are motivating to students.
Teachers are role models to their students. Students look up at their teachers as role models in both their intellectual and social lives. As role model, certain qualities are needed by a teacher. A teacher should be able to have good listening skills (Merrett 65). This skill helps teacher to be able to connect with their students. Listening is a signs of care and when used a secondary school students, it encourages them to share their mind. Apart from encouraging the students, listening helps students to articulate and internalize what is learnt. It is also necessary for teachers to use their skills to empower their students. Empowering students does not mean that the teacher is weakened but lead to success by both parties.
Teachers are very important for success of any educational system. The roles of teachers have changed as educational needs of the society changes. Today, teacher have other added roles other than that of disseminating information. With increase in sources of information, teachers have become co learners with their student; facilitating learning other than lecturing. Class management is the most important role of teachers and enables teacher to create a good environment for learning. In addition, teachers act as role models of their students and should encourage their student to achieve their goals in education.
Wong, Harry. & Wong, Rosemary. The first days of school: how to be an effective teacher. New York: Harry K. Wong Publications, 2004.
Ryan, Kevin. & Cooper, James. Kaleidoscope: Contemporary and Classic Readings in Education. New York: Cengage Learning, 2009.
Merrett, Frank. Positive teaching in the secondary school. New York: Sage, 1999.