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Roles and responsibilities as a teacher

Review your own roles and responsibilities as a Teacher, in terms of the Teaching/Training Cycle, identifying boundaries that should be set.

INTRODUCTION

In every profession, there are roles and responsibilities and boundaries that are set in order to divide the line that indicates the farthest limit. Roles and Responsibilities are important because they would facilitate order in any given organisation and allow personal and organisational objectives to be met, as those with Roles will be accountable to their functions. Actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group are referred to as "Roles" while the obligations to carry forward an assigned task to a successful conclusion are referred to as "Responsibilities." All learning institutions are subject to legislation. It is of relevance that in this assignment I link these roles and responsibilities to current legislative requirements such as Disability Discrimination Act, (DDA), Special Education Needs (SEN), and Equal Opportunities. Under the Professional Code of Practice, I have responsibilities as a teacher to undertake 30 hours of Continued Professional Development per year and I must also update my subject knowledge. I must therefore, have clarity on my roles and responsibilities in order to prevent omission of duty.

In this assignment I will examine the teacher's Roles and Responsibilities in relation to the Teaching/Training Cycle. This will lead to focussing on professional activities within the learning cycle. I will also recognise the professional boundaries that govern a teacher's behaviour in order to comply with the Professional code of conduct. It is therefore, of significance that I discuss where the teacher's different roles stop. After analysing this topic, I will come up with a conclusion.

Holtrop (1997) suggests that "Obviously teachers wear many hats: friend, counsellor, judge, mentor, hundreds of roles and different roles for different classes, students and extracurricular duties." In relation to the Training cycle, I have a role of Assessor. A majority of learners will have different individual learning needs and for me to accommodate their needs, I need to have assessment skills that will promote equality, diversity and inclusion. I will link this to Domain A of the LLUK Standards which states one of the professional practices as "Apply principles to evaluate and develop own practice in promoting equality and inclusive learning and engaging with diversity." I can achieve this by carrying out thorough initial assessments that will help me to identify different learner needs such as poor writing skills, poor reading skills, disabilities etc. This

would be in line with Domain C "Ways to identify individual learning needs and potential barriers to learning in own specialist area." This will make it easier for both the learner and me to access learning and deliver learning respectively, because based on the assessment needs that I will identify, I must have knowledge understanding of how I will apply the different assessment methods like formative and summative assessments to meet these needs. This may increase the level of motivation to both the learner and teacher.

I will link this to Domain E which is about assessment for learning "Theories and principles of assessment and the application of different forms of assessment, including initial, formative and summative assessment in teaching and learning."

In my role as a teacher I am to conduct initial assessments which will help me to identify learner's needs, knowledge and skills and also help to identify referral points against levels within the National Standards. When I identify needs that need to be referred, I will have to give the learner information, advice and guidance to where they are being referred. This will be linked to Domain F which is about access and progression- "sources of information, advice, guidance and support to which learners might be referred." This also promotes the

Wayt (2008) explains that "Assessing varying learning styles within a group and considering learner's motivation and previous experiences helps identify various teaching methods that could be useful throughout the programme. Sessions incorporating visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles ensures students have equal rights to learning and provide the opportunity to re-evaluate what is already known while exploring aims and objectives from a different perspective."

The initial assessment will provide me with some important detail to inform the plan, which will be revised on an on-going basis to monitor the learner's progress and identify any subsequent support needs. Both learner and teacher will be aware of what the learner knows and is able to do and what he/she needs to learn. It is also important for me and the learner to know how the learner likes to learn; as this helps me to identify barriers to learning such as difficulties in reading, writing, numeric, language skills and any other disabilities and will make reasonable adjustments in order to use the appropriate assessment methods that will meet the individual learner's needs and promote equality and diversity. At this stage, should any learner require support which is beyond my competence, I will refer and ensure that I give the learner the right information on their referral, so as to meet the professional standards in Domain F of the LLUK "Sources of information, advice, guidance and support to which learners might be referred.

This is in line with the Equal Opportunities Act (2004) which states that all learners must have equal access to learning regardless of their learning barriers, disabilities, sex, religion, and race. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995(as amended by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001) disabled learners must not be treated less favourably and teachers must make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled learners are not at a substantial disadvantage compared to their peers.

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Following the initial assessment, I should do a diagnostic assessment in order to identify specific individual needs and support required and this will lead to the creation of a detailed personal profile, providing the basis for an Individual Learning Plan.

As an Assessor, I have limits to this role. By doing a thorough assessment, I may identify needs that are beyond my competence and may need to refer the learner appropriately. For example, if I identify that a Learner has financial needs, I may need to refer the said learner to the appropriate department. This in itself is helping meet the learner's need and adhering to the professional boundaries. It would be very unprofessional for a teacher to give money to a learner to fund his/her education or get money from a learner. This is to conform to the LLUK standard in Domain A which states that "Conform to statutory requirements and apply codes of practice and also Domain F which says "Boundaries of own role in supporting learners." And one of the professional code of practice introduced by the Institute for Learning (IFL) states that a teacher must protect the interest of the learners and the wider public and any member of the Institute for Learning who breaches the code will be subject to disciplinary investigation as described by the disciplinary procedure.

Let me look at another role of a teacher.

As a teacher, I am a Planner, in that I plan appropriate, effective, coherent and inclusive learning programmes that promote equality and engage with diversity. This means I should plan for the use of different teaching methods and activities which are in line with the curriculum requirements and meet the needs of the learners. These may be group discussions, questioning etc. This is in line with the LLUK Standard Domains B and D - BK2.1 "Principles of learning and ways to provide learning activities to meet curriculum requirements and the needs of all learners." DK 1.1 "How to plan appropriate, effective, coherent and inclusive learning programmes that promote equality and engage with diversity."

Planning is a very important role for me because it will direct or guide me in the delivery session. My planning will depend on the identified individual needs, which will prompt me to use the appropriate teaching methods. This is because I am required to ensure that the identified needs of my learners are properly taken care of in my planning process.

Without planning, I might not be able to meet the learner's needs and may not deliver in line with the curriculum. This may result in de-motivation and dissatisfaction to both the learner and I, as learners will feel they have not been catered for and I will feel I have not played my role as a planner.

In view of the on going assessments, I am responsible for preparing the assessments in such a way that they meet the needs of individual learners and promote equality, diversity and inclusion. In this case, it is important for me to use different assessment methods such as formative and summative assessments. These could be direct observation, oral questioning, professional discussion, witness testimony of case studies. When this is done, I will have met the LLUK Standard Domain E "Theories and principles of assessment and the application of different forms of assessment, including initial, formative and summative in teaching and learning." It is part of my responsibility to ensure that learners are involved in planning for assessments. Learners should not be subjected to a "surprise assessment." I should always involve them at the planning stage and be able to give them opportunities to make their own suggestions and choices without putting them in situations where they feel overwhelmed. This will give them a sense of ownership. This is in line with LLUK Standard Domain E "Ensure that learners understand, are involved and share in responsibility for assessment of their learning." The planning session should be able to meet the individual learner needs, by considering different resources that will promote fair and effective assessment. For example, a teacher who is going to assessor a learner at a place of work must have planned in advance with the learner, who might have suggested that it was better to do the assessment in the morning because that is when a lot of activities take place. If this happens, it is most likely that the learner will feel at ease and have a sense of fulfilment because he/she has been involved in the planning process and his/her need met. This is linked to Domain E "Apply appropriate methods of assessment fairly and effectively."

A teacher is also an Information Provider (Lecturer). In reference to the Teaching/Learning cycle, this role requires me to deliver/implement teaching as planned and designed, inclusively to promote equality and diversity.

Gay (2000) states that, "It is very important for teachers to appreciate the impact culture has on learning. Furthermore, they must make their teaching well suited to the social cultural contexts and frames of reference of ethnically diverse students."   I must therefore, take the differentiation approach, to be able to offer a range of approaches and resources to meet the needs of an individual or a group of learners. It is my responsibility to develop and produce teaching and learning materials appropriate for a range of contexts, purposes and target audiences. Different learners have different levels of understanding and knowledge, and if I am to cater for their needs, I will have to use different teaching tools, such as DVDs, handouts and practical demonstrations(which must be referenced to the curriculum) When applied these teaching tools will promote equality, diversity and inclusion and will have the potential for language, literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology for learners and will make it easier for those who understand visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning. For example, a learner who understands well when they see might need to watch the video to get understanding. This can be linked to Domain B of the LLUK Standards - "Ways to ensure that resources used are inclusive, promote equality and support." This can also be linked to Bloom (1997)'s taxonomy where he separates out learning into three Domains -

Cognitive domain concerns our thinking and memory and our capacity for understanding. The psychomotor domain deals with our abilities, the skills that we have, what we can physically do. Affective domain relates to our understanding, i.e. our approach, our attitude to what we do.

I am also responsible for making the learning environment a safe place to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974.) This calls for risk assessments, which help to identify any hazards that would hinder learning. According to Maslow's pyramid, everyone needs to feel protected against any life threatening cause. This is also in accordance with the LLUK Standard Domain B- which states that "Ways to maintain a learning environment in which learners feel safe and supported." It is therefore important for me to maintain safety in the learning environment and to make learners be aware of their responsibilities in maintaining safety, as health and safety is everyone's responsibility. 

As a teacher, I have the role of a Mentor/ Counsellor in delivering the course.

I should be able to apply appropriate teaching and learning strategies which take account of individual learner needs. When delivering the course, I must show understanding of the responsibilities and boundaries of my own role in providing support for individual learners for example, signposting and /or referring on specialist services. Learners should be given information on where they can find further information, advice, guidance or learning provision.

I also need to ensure that learners understand the context of the course, for example the NVQ standards, its application and contribution to the care sector, the economy and the community. It is therefore, important for me to attend standardisation meetings in order to keep abreast with current standards in my specialist area, as required by the LLUK Standards Domain C "Own specialist area including current developments" and Domain C "Ways in which own specialist relates to the wider social, economic and environmental context."

Gravells (2007) asserts that, "learners learn from each other as well as the tutor."

To promote diversity in my delivery, I must ensure that there is involvement of all students in relevant activities, rather than excluding them for any direct or indirect reasons (inclusively), as mentioned in the Tomlinson report. Teachers must facilitate learning environments which will promote culture and ethnic diversity. Therefore, learners from different ethnic groups will be able to voice their cultural expression in order to increase content and learning processes.

The assessment of learner's competence is an important role of a teacher. I will assess what the learner has learnt and will be responsible for finding out what methods of teaching and learning would be most appropriate for the learner and to motivate the learner to continue and to do better.

This can be achieved by using formative and summative assessments.

In relation to my area of teaching - NVQs in Health and Social Care, formativeassessment is aimed to helping the learner become competent and meet specific performance criteria. This should be an ongoing process, where regular tutorial sessions take place, teacher following workplace observation and completing of written tasks. I am responsible for giving learners constructive feedback on their performance, which will motivate them, especially those that are unsure of their own abilities. This can be linked to Domain E "The role of feedback and questioning in assessment for learning." I am also responsible for recording outcomes of formative assessment and keeping these records updated and stored safely for confidentiality to conform to the LLUK Standard Domain A "Keep accurate records which contribute to organisational procedures." This will in turn give learners a clear guidance as to what aspects of performance they shall still need to work on.

In view of the Data Protection Act (1998), I must keep all records within confidentiality agreements to comply with organisational policies and procedures and also to comply with the LLUK Standard Domain A "The need for confidentiality, respect and trust in communicating with others about learners."

Summative assessment will take place at the end of the learning, giving feedback on learning achievements, maybe a qualification, test or a completed Individual Learning Plan. In relation to NVQs, summative assessment will represent a formal summing up of the learner's achievement on completion of a particular piece of work; this may be at a completion of each unit. I will be responsible for making a final judgement on the whole of a unit after making a series of formative assessments. This also must be recorded as evidence to represent the learner's competence at the time of the summative assessment.

A teacher has a role of an evaluator as well. It is my responsibility to make an assessment of, or to judge what I have delivered. Evaluation will help me to look back at how I delivered the learning and find out what could be done differently.

I will need to evaluate my own practice on a regular basis, such as my opinions on the course and how it could be made better next time.

Learners must be given the opportunity to evaluate the course - whether they achieved something, were the teaching materials enough? Did the course meet individual learner needs? This will help to improve delivery in subsequent sessions.

In my role as NVQ Tutor/Assessor, I may need to follow the established structure in place, that means I need to be observed actually assessing and giving feedback and then I will be given feedback on how I perform and how I could improve. Some of the ways of getting feedback on my assessment and teaching skills could be, asking an experienced colleague to observe me, get feedback- formal and informal from learners on different types of assessments I use and how these can be improved. This can also be done by writing reflections to explore and evaluate the different ways I assess, using information from colleagues and learners, as well as the actual experiences and results related to the assessments I use with learners. Reflective practice will enhance good practice and further improve what I do in my subject area. All this is in line with the LLUK Standard Domain E "The role of feedback in effective evaluation and improvement of own assessment skills."

Revising is about making changes based on the evaluation information and will enable continuous improvements to be made. I am responsible for making any changes to the assessment or teaching methods that were not effective to the learners in order to meet their needs. This can be linked to Domain E "The role of feedback in effective evaluation and improvement of own assessment skills."

A teacher is a researcher.

I should take responsibility to engage in continuing professional development to inform my practice, as this is one of the Codes of Professional Practice. As a teacher, I need to do a lot of research by reading relevant books, using the internet, journals, attending training and other relevant sources to update my knowledge. I am responsible for attending Standardisation meetings to inform my practice and to work in line with the specified standards. I must take it upon myself to explore and keep my mind focused to get knowledge and understanding.

Collaborating with others would help to improve my own and team performance. This is in relation to the LLUK Standards in Domain A "Ways to reflect, evaluate and use research to develop own practice and to share good practice with others."

There are boundarieswithin professional disciplines. Teachers are not supposed to borrow money from learners, neither are they allowed to lend money to learners. It would be unprofessional for a teacher to be found in such a situation. Teachers are also reminded not to go beyond their role by going to learner's home for assessment or learner coming to teacher's home for assessment. All assessments must take place at the centre and /or workplace. As a teacher, I must always follow organisational procedures in dealing with issues such as complaints and appeals and make references appropriately, especially where the issue is not within my competence.

CONCLUSION

Roles and responsibilities are important because they will promote accountability among teachers and will help meet personal, organisational goals and individual learner needs. It would be frustrating if teachers lacked clarity on their roles and responsibilities because they would be stuck with who is doing what and who answers to whom? When these roles and responsibilities are applied, they benefit both the learner and teacher, by delivering learning which is inclusive, and promotes equality and diversity. Boundaries will help teachers to work within their limits and adhere to the professional code of practice. .

Wayt(2008) "The responsibility of a teacher will be to continually  reassess development and change during the course and create a seamless transition  to ensure smooth delivery."

This just confirms the teaching/learning cycle. I am responsible for ensuring that the cycle is on going, by seeing to it that action plans are put in place, constructive feedback is given to the learner where necessary and the cycle does not break. This will increase the level of motivation, satisfaction and will help to achieve the goals for both the learner and me.

The teacher will also be responsible for inducting the learners to the organisation and course so that learners understand what is expected of them and what the organisation can deliver. This will also help the learners to have a clear understanding of the organisational rules and regulations and also of the course contents.

This is likely to result in learners having a good foundation for their course and be able to prepare adequately.

REFERENCES

Bloom (1997) Maslin-Prosthero -page 185

Gay (2000) Available at http:/www.intime.uni.edu/multiculture/curriculum/culture/roles.htm

Accessed on 6th December, 2009

Gravell A (2007) FE champion January, 2007- Post compulsory education and training. Available at www.pcet.net/articles63.html

(Date accessed 6th December, 2009)

Holtrop (1997) Available at http:/www.huntington.edu/education/lessonplanningroles.html

Accessed on 6th December, 2009

Wayt S.(2008). Holistic Health and well-being. Available at http/:www.balance-therapy.co.uk Accessed 6th December, 2009

LLUK STANDARD DOMAINS LINKS

Domain A - AP 3.1

Domain C - CK3.2

Domain E - EK 1.1

Domain F  -FK 1.1

Domain A - AP 6.1

Domain F -FK 2.1

Domain B - BK 2.1

Domain D - DK 1.1

Domain E - EK1.1

Domain E - EP3.1

Domain E -EP2.1

Domain B - BK5.2

Domain B - BK1.1

Domain C - CK1.1

Domain C -CK1.2

Domain E - EK4.1

Domain E - EK5.1

Domain E - EK4.2

Domain A - AK4.

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