The purpose of this report is to show an analysis of the role and responsibilities of teachers, incorporating some research topics including codes of practice, and also the boundaries and relationship between the teaching role and other professional roles. The report will also show the roles of initial and diagnostic assessments.
My own role and responsibility in education and training
Blatchford (2013) identifies that regarding professional conduct, a teacher is expected to show high standards, uphold public trust, act within the statutory frameworks, and have a proper and professional regard for ethos, policies and practices within the establishment in which they teach. As an Employability Skills Tutor, my roles and responsibilities can vary from session to session, although the fundamental rules apply daily. These include carrying out initial diagnostics, planning lessons, and preparing resources. Machin, Hindmarsh, Murray and Richardson (2013) identify that learner should be motivated by the teacher or tutor to develop both their ability and their aspirations to learn. Personally, I believe that my role is not just about the teaching of the subject matter. It goes a lot deeper into promoting social inclusions, working together, guidance and supporting each others ideas, and identifying individual needs. These are shown in the Teacher training cycle identified by Ann Gravells (2012):
Identification of need
The need of the student is often gained through discussion, and through initial diagnostics relating to maths and English capabilities. The discussion between the learner and the teacher helps both parties to attain whether this is the right course, with the right materials and resource to succeed. Planning and Design
One the identification of needs has been identified, then the planning and design of the individuals learning can begin. It is often a beneficial exercise to complete a learning style questionnaire suck as VAK, in order to identify the strongest learning styles and plan lesson to match those styles, such as kinaesthetic which is translated into ‘touching and doing’.
Once a teacher is aware of the variation of learning styles with a class setting, then the delivery can be adapted to meet those styles to suit the lesson. If some learners prefer to be ‘hands on’, then a simple flipchart exercise can be agreed. This will also assist those who visual learners, as the flipchart can be presented back and also put on display, and these learners who are auditory learner’s can listen to the information presented back to them.
Throughout the course, the teacher should be continually assessing the learners to ensure full understanding of the subject and the course work involved. This can be done in a number of ways, including small written work, looking at grammar and punctuation skills.
The teacher should also be continually evaluating the standard of the lesson, to see whether they are being successful in their approach to the class style of learning. Again, this should be adapted to reach all of the students.
My learners have come onto the course as they have been unemployed for some time, and have often lost their confidence in their abilities and strengths. It is part of my role to instil those characteristics back into the learners, and guide them into the interview process. There are of course boundaries that are in place
As a teacher or tutor, you must always maintain your boundaries. If learner sees you as more of a friend, then they may feel that they can push those boundaries with regards to lateness, inappropriate language, or general inappropriate behaviour. The boundaries between the teaching role and other professional roles are close together. For instance within other professions such as youth worker, the role becomes that of a mentor, guide and possible counsellor, and often learners can express themselves in a more ‘open’ manner. Within the nursing profession, the role becomes more of an observer for vital signs, listener, and carer. However, within the teaching role, there must be a clear boundary regarding ‘the relationship’. You are the leader, the one with the knowledge of the subject matter. Therefore, you should be ready to teach all students, and become involved in their ‘study life’ whilst maintaining and appropriate distance from their ‘out of study life’.
The relationship between the teacher and the learner should always remain professional. In the world of technology such as Facebook, it would be unsuitable for the teacher and the learner to become involved in each other’s personal lives, as this can impact into the teaching or any potential disciplinary processes than may need to be addressed.
Before any actual classroom teaching can take place, initial and diagnostic assessments must be carried out. These are paramount in agreeing individual learning goals, and planning the progression of the learner with the teacher.
From the very beginning of the course, teachers should begin to analyse their learners through initial assessment methods. The assessments best suited to guide improvements in student learning are quizzes, tests, writing assignments, and other assessments such as a group activity. These can easily give the teacher/tutor an insight into the learning needs of the learners. Also self-assessments such as the VAK (Visual, Auditory, and Kinaesthetic) learning styles questionnaire can also highlight the learner’s preferences to learning, as well as highlighting their understanding of the course that they are undertaking.
bksb® is the UK’s most popular online Functional Skills Solution. Last year, over 1.2 million individual learners used bksb to improve their Functional Skills in English, maths and ICT. In the 19 year history, over 25 million learners have benefitted from our easy-to-use online assessments and learning resources. This type of diagnostic assessment is useful within the teaching arena, as it highlights areas where the learner would benefit from extra support, or further training. During some courses, the initial and diagnostics assessments can be varied. My own experience of both initial and diagnostic assessments has been mixed as a reviewing tool.
During spelling tests and grammatical sheets that needed writing on, my learning style as a visual learner was put to use, as I could read and re read the paper, and check the work that I had completed in both the English and the mathematical pieces. However, when it came to the bksb diagnostics, I felt more rigid and nervous, as I also had to concentrate on my hand eye coordination, moving the mouse to where the correct section should be, the classroom environment that I was in during the session, and a number of distractions from others. I feel that the bksb did not build my self-confidence and this can be detrimental in some cases. Each learner will have their own learning style and it is the role of the teacher to adjust these diagnostics to meet all learners’ requirements.
There are a number of legislation requirements for people within the education sector, and below lists some of those points:
Health and Safety
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, describes duties of employers and employees. The most important is to make safe a place of work. The main rules are: to take care and not to injure yourself and others.
to teach people to recognize symbols of danger
to make safe place of work/ safe accesses to and from place of work to supply free protective equipment
to have risk assessment
to have general safe policy
to ensure safe in areas of specific kind of risk like chemical, electrical, biological, physical area to ensure lit and ventilation
to report injuries and near misses
to follow special regulation like: COSHH factsheet, fire extinguishers factsheet, risk assessment factsheet, safety signs factsheet
Equality and Diversity
All organisations and teaching establishments now have an obligation to ensure equality and diversity is paramount to all learners. Acas (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), has a number of publications regarding the Equality Act 2010, and highlights the following protected characteristics: *Age
*Marriage and Civil Partnership
*Pregnancy and Maternity
*Religion or Belief
The characteristics are protected against any form of discrimination. The implications for the teacher
The data Protection Act 1974 covers a wide range of confidentiality issues.
However, within the teaching sector the points most relevant are: You must only collect information that you need for a specific reason The information must be kept secure
The information should be relevant and up to date
Dearne Valley College, quote the following within their policy (Ref S) :
‘Section 175 of the Education Act (2002) which requires FE colleges to make arrangements to ensure their functions are carried out in ways that ensure the safeguarding and welfare of children and young people, taking into account the guidance issued by the Secretary of State in considering what arrangements they need to make.
Children Act (2004) Section 11 places a duty on local authorities and any person providing services in pursuance of section 74 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 to make arrangements with relevant agencies to cooperate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children (ie people under the age of 18).
Every Child Matters: Change for Children (2004) set out the national framework for change programmes to build services around the needs of children and young people to maximise opportunity and minimise risk.
Working Together to Safeguard Children (Dept for Education March 2013) states that all agencies and individuals should proactively aim to safeguard and promote the welfare of children so that the need for action to protect children from harm is reduced.
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (HM Government 2006) provides legislative framework for the vetting and barring scheme for those working with children and vulnerable adults. It is the government’s response to Recommendation 19 of the Bichard enquiry 2004.
Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education (Dept for Education 15/10/12) this is the updated version which looks at the recruitment and selection process.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (HM Government website 15/11/13) sets out the guidelines of the scheme which aims to prevent unsuitable people from undertaking certain paid or volunteer work with children or vulnerable adults
‘No Secrets’ Guidance (HM Government 2000 reviewed 2009) and related South Yorkshire policy Safer practice, safer learning (NIACE December 2007)’
Citizens of the UK have certain fundamental human rights which government and public authorities are legally obliged to respect. These became law as part of the Human Rights Act 1998. Some of the most applicable human rights in a teaching environment are: the right to life (respect commitments of learners)
freedom from degrading treatment (disrespecting learners)
the right to liberty (freedom of expression within social limits) the right not to be discriminated against (promoting diversity and equal opportunity) the right to an education (the right to a fair education)
Codes of Practice
The institute for Learning, or IFL as it is better known, is the independent, member-led professional body for teachers, trainers, tutors, assessors and other professionals working across a variety of sectors, including sixth form colleges, further education colleges, and work based learning. It holds a multitude of information regarding teaching practice, and has a number of resources within the website. Teaching staff can learn about mew policies as they change, and can become members of the IFL. The IFL code of practice came into force in 2008. This covers the following points:
As with all the above legislative requirements, the consequences to both the tutor and the student could be catastrophic. For instance, should a learner be having personal issues such as abuse, and is not performing the tasks or work set in the classroom, then it is the tutors responsibility to ensure that they address the issue with the leaner in an empathetic and confidential way, thus getting to the core of the problem, and not assuming that the student does not have the capability to do the work. Misreading any signs of such behaviour could result in the student become more and more withdrawn and possibly losing their place at the teaching establishment, purely based on the lack of support he or she has received.
The initial training and on-going publications within the teaching establishment will enable the tutor to understand and comprehend the signs of any behavioural issues, whilst maintaining their knowledge of the legal requirements when teaching a class.
Acas – www.acas.org.uk
Blachford, R. (2013) The 2012 Teachers’ standards in the classroom. London. Sage Learning Matters.
Dearne Valley College – https://gateway.dearne-coll.ac.uk/qualityframework/,DanaInfo=dvc-intranet.dearne-coll.ac.uk+doclist.asp?id=S&title=Safeguarding Every Child Matters – http://www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/
Gov.uk – http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/DiscriminationAtWork/DG_10026449 Gov.uk – http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/DiscriminationAtWork/DG_10026667 Gov.uk – http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/DiscriminationAtWork/DG_10026429 Gov.uk – http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/SocialCare/Deliveringadultsocialcare/Vulnerableadults/DH_4118919 Gov.uk – http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/RightsAndObligations/DisabilityRights/DG_4001068 Gov.uk – http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/index.htm?cids=Google_PPC&cre=Government_Citizens_Rights Gov.uk – http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/Schoolslearninganddevelopment/YourChildsWelfareAtSchool/DG_4016097 Gov.uk -http://www.ico.gov.uk/Home/what_we_cover/data_protection.aspx Gravells, A. (2012). Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning Sector. 5th ed. London. Sage Learning Matters.
Machin, L, Hindmarsh. D, Murray, S. Richardson, T. (2013) A complete guide to the level 4 certificate in Education. 1st ed. At Albans. Critical Publishing Ltd.
Wilson,L.((2014)Practical Teaching, A Guide to teaching in the education and training sector. Andover, Hampshire. Cengage Learning.