The teacher’s role is help create a fun, safe and loving environment that facilitates wonder, curiosity, learning and tenacity among the learners. Or better, collaborate with the learners to create this kind of environment. The teacher is not the sole dispenser of knowledge, solutions and answers for the learners. Instead, the teacher empowers his/her student to investigate and solve problems in the world. A teacher plays different roles in varied width and depth but one main role of the teacher for me is to listen and to learn from his/her students as much as they learn from him/her.
On a personal level, teaching for me is a venue to get to be in touch /know the people of the future (children today) which I consider a concrete mechanism for me to remain positive and hopeful about the future. Through experience and self-correction of a generation, the next ones hopefully could learn and become better. Teaching is an exchange/sharing, it is also a necessity in living to our full human potential. It does not mainly happen in school but happens naturally in all aspects of our lives. Teaching is also learning, and we don’t always need another person to learn –we could even be our own teacher. When teaching/learning stops, there will be no more challenge, possibilities and ‘life’.
The teacher must take responsibility in planning and preparing lessons (diagnostics, considering flow and development of topic, relevance to real life etc, making teaching tools, use of media etc.), delivering lessons (communicate, facilitate discussion, observe learner’s response etc) and creating/administering assessment tools for both teaching and learning. The teacher must work together with the learners in identifying the road map of learning.
A professional environment is an open and honest environment where teachers are safe to share about their concerns/suggestions also with a shared responsibility over issues that happen in the school. A good professional environment continues to challenge teachers to constantly improve and develop, learn from other professionals and be able to empathise with each other. It offers a working condition that is safe and has no threat to the teacher’s physical and mental health.
For most institutions, the curriculum is already formulated and finalised and teachers have the least of power to change these ready made products. Most of the time the school administration is resistant to change (esp if it mainly profit driven) and learning among their students would not be their priority. Teachers can share and voice out their concerns, but it doesn’t mean action will follow.
Main problems would be relation problems. Relations with school administrators, fellow, teachers, parents and most of all students. To be able to teach effectively and happily, a teacher must share the same ideals with the institution where he/she works. Or else, he/she would not find it meaningful and worthwhile as he/she might be in constant resistance/compromise. Next, fellow teachers should be professional, inspiring, collaborative than competitive and trustworthy. Or else, it could affect working relations, create division and unnecessary stress. Parents and students create big emotional impact to teachers, teachers could take it out on themselves when their students are not doing well, they could be deeply affected with students behavior etc. There’s a lot more issues teachers face and to end this, I’d like to point out how teachers are not sufficiently paid given that this profession requires a lot of physical, mental and emotional energy. teachers should be able to take care of themselves in order to continue taking care of their learners.