Becoming a Teacher: The Evolving Job Description
A recent job posting for a teacher described the position as requiring someone who must be "responsible for providing an educational atmosphere where students have the opportunity to fulfill their potential for intellectual, emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological growth." Those are big shoes for one person to fill!
Traditionally, the role of a teacher was clearly defined to instruct. Today, the role is much more encompassing, because learning has become a larger part of our everyday lives. All children in the United States must, by law, attend school. Because 90% of today's fastest growing jobs require training or education beyond high school, more and more high school graduates go on to attend vocational schools, community colleges, or four-year colleges. People of all ages and from all walks of life continue their education throughout adulthood. In fact, the average person will have five careers in the course of a lifetime. Each career change requires "retooling"—that is, learning new skills—and each formal learning experience requires a teacher.
In the traditional model, it was assumed that the teacher had the information and that the teacher's job was to pass the information to the students. But teachers no longer only impart information; their job is to facilitate learning. This includes using a variety of teaching techniques, maintaining a safe and orderly classroom, developing lesson plans, assessing student progress, and interacting with members of the administration and community. To successfully play this role, teachers need an ever-expanding set of skills and knowledge to keep up with the needs of their students.
Teachers now teach children how to learn. Teachers not only motivate students to learn, but they teach them how to learn in a manner that is relevant, meaningful, and memorable. However, most educators agree that before they can do this, teachers' first job is to make students believe they can accomplish the task. This is done by building the students' self-esteem, often in one of the following ways:
- setting realistic student expectations
- creating classroom situations where students cannot fail
- developing innovative activities
- finding ways to give criticism in a positive manner
- keeping a record of successful activities
Washington Virtual Academies
Tuition-free online school for Washington students.
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- The Homework Debate
- First Grade Sight Words List
- Social Cognitive Theory
- GED Math Practice Test 1