Role and Responsibilities of a teacher

Analyse the role and Responsibilities of the teacher and the boundaries of that role. Gold and Barentsen (2014), illustrate that teaching, unlike many other professions, encompasses much more than the role suggests. They argue that when considering a role in the sense of ‘the activities’ associated by that given job or profession, a teacher’s is much more diverse. To suggest then that the role of a teacher is, quite simply, to teach, in the same way, for example, that a dancer’s role is to dance, would fail to fully explain the multi-faceted aspect of the profession, particularly considering that ‘teaching involves far more at its core than the name of the occupation initially suggests’ (Gold and Barentsen: 2014:pg3).

A teacher in the Lifelong Learning Sector, that is, in post compulsory education, is tasked with striking a perfect balance between teaching-related responsibilities and administrative ones as well as providing pastoral support to learners and meeting institutional requirements.

This essay will analyse the role and responsibilities of a teacher with a focused look at the lifelong learning sector and will examine the challenge of boundaries, particularly within a role where the responsibilities are ever expanding.

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When considering the role of a teacher in the Lifelong Learning Sector, it is clear to see the complexity of a teacher’s role here. Wilson (2008), argues that the sector is ‘broad’ and as such, teachers are expected more than ever to ‘offer value for money’ by considering the requirements of the awarding bodies as well as ensuring that learners achieve in a manner in which they are happy with, bearing in mind at the same time, the needs of their parents and employers who may all have a vested interest in the learner’s experience.

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(Wilson, 2008, pg4).

Wilson further illustrates that learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector often comprises of various motivations for learners, meaning that, while it may form part of the reason, not all learners enrol on courses to simply achieve a qualification. For example, the learning goals for a 14 year old wishing to gain vocational qualifications differ greatly from those of a mature student returning to education following a long career. When embarking on teaching therefore, a teacher must consider the variety of individuals in their classroom, from their previous experiences to their learning styles. Walkin (2002) argues that adult learners are much more likely to be independent and therefore less reliant on a teacher’s guidance in comparison to young people. Walkin also states that adults will expect to be treated differently and their life experiences recognised by their teachers to afford them respect, whereas young people will probably be less disappointed if their teacher fails to take their previous experience into consideration.

Despite their differing needs however, Walkin states that both adults and young people will respond better to methods that encourage active involvement and learning. Petty (1998) positively advocates ‘active learning’ as the best method for teaching. He strongly argues that people in general ‘learn best by doing’ (pg6). Petty also argues for teachers to encourage their students to engage and participate with their subject, quoting an ancient Chinese proverb: “I am told, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand”. Wilson also agrees with Petty on the importance of understanding how learners learn. She argues the point that a ‘good teacher’ must be able to show differentiation by considering the different needs of their learners. Wilson agrees that ultimately, a teacher’s responsibility is to ensure that, through sight, hearing and doing, learners engage with their subject, therefore facilitating the learning process.

Both Petty and Wilson (1998; 2002) agree that the teacher must structure their teaching by following the teaching and learning cycle. By identifying the needs of the learner, a teacher is then able to design effective lessons with individual learner needs in mind and is able to implement learning in a variety of ways that meet those differing needs. One of the ways to identify learning needs is through the use of initial assessments. In my role as an employability tutor, initial assessments are a vital part of identifying the levels that my learners are operating, therefore allowing me to be aware almost instantaneously, which learners will require further support. Once I have identified further support, I am then able to incorporate this through differentiation. By regularly assessing learning, I am able to evaluate my methods of delivery and initiate change where necessary. When teaching a group of learners, it is important for teachers not only to recognise difference but also to celebrate equality by allowing learners to participate fairly and freely.

This will often involve ensuring that learners are clear on what is expected of them not only through the setting of learning objectives but also through ensuring that the learning environment is safe for all learners to participate in a non-threatening manner. Francis and Gould (2013) emphasise the importance of setting ground rules in the creation of a safe learning environment. Their model to setting ground rules looks at both teacher led methods where the teacher sets the rules and dictates these to the leaners as well as those set in mutual agreement between the teacher and the learner (pg.19). In my personal experience, the best method has been when learners have participated in the setting of rules as they have tended to adhere to them more than when rules have been imposed upon them. While Gould and Berentsen agree that ground rules can be vital in creating a positive learning environment, they suggest that the setting of these should not be solely entrusted to learners.

Ultimately it is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that any ground rules set emphasise and adhere to those of the institution and address and respond to the issue of health and safety for the learners as per legislations, which teachers are to comply with. Gould and Barentsen (2014) argue that ultimately the most important aspect of teaching is ensuring that teachers ‘do a proper job’, including subscribing and adhering to several legislations as well as a professional code of conduct. Legislation will all range in nature and teachers will need to be aware of the various acts designed to ensure that they do indeed do a ‘proper job’. It is the responsibility of a teacher to ensure that they are up to date with changing legislation and addressing any areas of training in their CPD. Teachers are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring they are aware of legislation relating to health and safety as well as that designed to safeguard vulnerable groups.

Through the knowledge of the appropriate legislation, teachers will be able to increase awareness of their responsibilities and highlight their boundaries. The safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006) will cover issues of signposting and highlight to the teachers where their responsibilities to the learner end and another body takes over. Gould and Berentsen argue that in order for teaching to effectively take place, teachers must keep a degree of ‘professional distance’. This will allow the teacher to ‘maintain objectivity’, therefore allowing the teacher to treat the learner fairly and without prejudice or favouritism. Gould and Barentsen divide boundaries in two sets, with the first looking at professional conduct, while the second part is concerned with what they term ‘the limit of expertise’.

This then looks at times where, with the best intentions, teachers may wish to be helpful to their learners but are quite frankly, limited in the field that learners may require said assistance. For example, in the case where a student is experiencing family problems or is displaying some degree of mental health. This might extend beyond the teacher’s capability and therefore in the interest of the learner, the teacher must signpost them to the correct agencies for support. Gould and Barentsen then suggest that teachers are to be aware of ‘internal and external’ agencies in order to properly assist their learners by ‘referring them on’.


Overall, the list of responsibilities for teachers is long and ever-expanding. The amount of legislation that affects the job is also constantly evolving, making the task to teach more complex than ever. However, when done effectively, teaching can be a long and rewarding career, as it allows the teacher the ability to genuinely make a difference and have a real impact on learners. For the 21st century teacher, it is vitally important to be aware of the requirements of teaching and the boundaries thereof as well as the ever changing nature of the profession.

The need, therefore for teachers to invest in their own learning and professional development has never been greater, particularly in the Lifelong Learning Sector, where significant changes have taken place both in the requirements in qualification for prospective teachers as well as key changes in the standardisation of learning. Ultimately, teachers must always keep in mind their responsibility to their learners and the motivation that keeps them engaged in learning. It is my belief that through this understanding, teachers will be able to steer their learners towards achieving their qualifications while enjoying the journey at the same time.


For this evaluation, I will be using Gibb’s reflective cycle to analyse my teaching and to evaluate any areas of improvement. I chose to deliver my micro-teach on the subject of Interview Preparation mainly as a result of it being a subject I understand well and teach regularly with my learners. Interviews and interview preparation, are a universal issue for many and I felt that given that my current learners’ level was significantly above the ones that I teach on a daily basis, interviews would be a good, common ground through which I could utilise similar leaning outcomes. Due to time constraints, I chose to deliver my session suing mainly Petty (1998) theory of active learning. I felt that the best way to deliver the session in such a short period of time would be to utilise my learners’ prior knowledge and ensure that I had activities designed to encourage participation.

Therefore I chose 3 different types of activities to encourage group work of different sizes, thus highlighting any area, if any for differentiation. The delivery itself was designed to encourage learner participation and consisted mainly of leaners sharing their experiences of interviews while engaging with the activities. I chose to use a quiz at the end for evaluation as a means of embedding literacy and ICT. Overall, I felt the session went according to plan, however, given more time, I would have liked to have included less words on my PowerPoint and perhaps incorporated role play as a way of giving learners a different taster on the interview experience.

References Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E., & Ecclestone, C. (2004). Learning Styles for Post D16 Learners: What do We know? London: Learning and Skills Research Centre. Francis, M., & Gould, J. (2013). Achieving your PTTLS Award: A Praxtical Guide to Teching in the Lifelong Learning Sector. London: Sage. Gould, J., & Roffey-Barentsen, J. (2014). Achieving your Diploma in Education and Training. London: Sage. Petty, G. (1998). Teaching Today. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes. Walkin, L. (2002). Teaching and Learning in Further and Adult Education. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd. wilson, L. (n.d.). Pratical Teaching: A Guide to PTLLS & CTLLS.Cengage Learning EMEA. London: .

My undestanding of roles and responsibilities of a teacher

‘The role and responsibility of the teacher is a complex one’ cited (Wilson, 2008, p. 4) I agree to this as they are hard to define and all roles and responsibilities are different depending on which subject you are teaching and the age of the learners. However my main role is to ensure learners gain their qualifications from the way in which I deliver the subject. I must take in to consideration the different learning styles and levels of the learners. ‘Teaching and learning should be a structured process’ cited by (Wilson, Practical Teaching a Guide to PTLLS & DTLLS, 2008, p. 15) Which leads to the teaching and learning cycle and the first stage that I will address is identifying the needs of the learners.

To find out how I would do this in my area of teaching, I discussed with my mentor how the initial assessment process is carried out and to begin it involves interviewing each of the learners to discuss their current skills and experiences to ensure they are applying for the correct course then once enrolled on to the course all the full time students must then complete a diagnostic test, which will give results containing information regarding their key skills level and individual learning styles. I will use (flemings, 2005)four styles of learning to discover this which is appropriate for my teaching subject. This will help me identify any learning barriers and prepare individual learning plans for students who may need extra support or training, which will give them their own individual targets to help me plan a lesson.

To do this I will firstly identify what the topic is about and plan my resources and materials, ensuring I complete any risk assessments beforehand if using certain equipment. My individual learning plans will help me use differentiation methods to suit all learner’s levels and abilities, and ensuring I adapt to all strengths and weaknesses of each student, However at the end of a lesson I will re cap with the students and reflect on any strengths and weaknesses they may have which can help me to plan my next lessons. My roles concerning delivering the lessons all begin with the initial planning stage.

I must make sure that I accommodate all learning styles by providing different materials and resources that will help contribute to the lesson. In my area of teaching a lot of the work involves practical work and to help with the students who prefer to learn through theory I will start the lesson with an activity quiz which will also help all learners to engage in the lesson and reflect on what they learnt last lesson making sure there was equal involvement throughout the activity. This will help students feel more confident and motivated.

Assessing the students should be a continuing process throughout the year to check they are gaining the knowledge and appropriate skills to complete the course and that they fully understand what is being taught. In my area of teaching a lot of the assessments are practical, this is so the students can demonstrate their ability by applying the make – up or making hair wefts, although theory assessments are done either by paper form or on the computer, this helps to see if the students are developing the knowledge as well as in practical form.

By doing both practical and theory assessments throughout each unit in the syllabus will help give me valid and reliable results so I can re assess my own teaching methods to ensure I am identifying and correcting my own mistakes to help guide the students and enable any support that may be needed to help them improve and progress. After each assessment I will give each student direct feedback so they know how well they are progressing and answer any questions or queries they may have I think this will help improve their confidence and motivation.

The quality assurance is the next stage in the teaching and learning cycle and this is to ensure that the teaching program is being delivered and assessed consistently, accurately and fairly. It is my role to make sure I know the correct requirements as this can affect my role as a teacher. I will need to ensure that all my records are well prepared including my scheme of work, the lesson plan to follow this up and all assessment results and records of each learner. My mentor had put together a record of each student’s progress to show where each individual was up too in each unit of the syllabus and what level they were working towards.

This shows the verifier that the tutor is being observant with each student and keeping records so the tutor can identify the strengths and weaknesses of each student. ‘When teaching, you are also learning about yourself’. (Gravells, 2012, p. 135) At the end of the day it is every teachers responsibility to evaluate their lesson and reflect on what parts of the lesson were successful and helped the students learn, taking in to consideration their opinions. In my subject area I will reflect a lot on the lessons I teach at all times as it involves a lot of practical but to ensure every student has a variety of learning I will evaluate any theory work I have incorporated in to the lesson.

To discover what skills I need to develop more to improve my subject knowledge and how to portray this to the students, it is my role to continue my professional development. I will attend any events or training programmes to update my subject knowledge or gain new teaching methods. I will also attend regular meetings to discuss any changes that may occur to the curriculum or organisation that may affect my teaching. I must ensure that any opportunities for professional development I undertake are documented in some way to reflect upon.

Roles, responsibilities and relationships in education and training

Task A

As a teacher in the learning environment I feel it is very important to meet the requirements and needs of the Students. It is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that the Students feel that they can express themselves and self realise their true potential. The single most important attribute of a good teacher is that they are approachable in all aspects of the training. You are responsible for the guiding, developing and the overall safeguarding of the learner. As ‘thee’ mentor flexibility and diversity are useful and key tools in your approach to the academic environment. Although the roles and responsibilities in education are varied, as a teacher you should standardise your practice with others and prepare delivery material. Following SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) teaching theory is a great aid to preparing your lesson. The purpose of setting goals is for those goals to be achieved; using the SMART criteria helps ensure that the goals are within reason and attainable.

Setting objectives will empower the learner to address certain issues pertaining to any goal that is not being achieved. A well detailed, well-setup goal has the best chance of being achieved. Having the ability to listen, support and guide, be inspiring, clear communication with your Students, other professionals and stakeholders, promote appropriate behaviour, being reflective, which means learning from success aswell as mistakes, and being aware of support mechanisms (thecriticalblog, 2013). As a teacher you are also responsible for identifying learner’ specific needs, this is critical because if these are not identified the training will not achieve the intended outcome.

There are many methods in which we can you use to determine the level of our learner such as using assessments to determine where our learner is educationally. Having an understanding of the learner’s emotional and practical needs and what methods are adequate for the learner. There are many different methods you could use to determine this such as using Bloom’s Taxonomy (Geoff Petty, 2004) institute

The method in which I like to use is ‘VARK Learning Styles’ (Geoff Petty, 2004)

Knowing and understanding the learning Styles will enable the use of different modalities to receive and understand new information. The Students may have more than one learning style. It is important to include a variety of modalities in your lesson. Being able to do this will give all the Students equal opportunities to understand the lesson that you teach. Assessments are another great tool that can be carried out periodically throughout the teaching period, enabling the progress of the learner to be monitored. It is also very important to remember the teacher’s role as a role model/mentor and that you only get one opportunity to create a first impression. As a teacher it is imperative that you are punctual, dressed appropriately and you give feed back when necessary. It is essential that you portray a professional image and you work within the boundaries of the law, professional codes and ethics. As a teacher/trainer you will work with various professional such as Teaching Assistants, Administrative Staff, outside agencies (OFTED).

Teaching Assistants have a very important role to play in the success of your lesson. They will provide you with invaluable support, so it is crucial that you build a good relationship with them. Involve your Teaching Assistant in as much planning, preparation and assessments as possible. Teachers also need to have a good relationship with other practitioners such as social workers, nurses, GPs and other Educational Professionals. When working with Students it is paramount to maintain professional boundaries that stay within the job description and conforms to policies and regulatory codes of practice. The use of the ‘Teacher Cycle’ model helps to generalise the roles of a teacher in regards to facilitating learning to the student (Geoff Petty, 2004)

Before we can summarise key aspects of legislation, regulatory requirements and codes of practice we need to understand what these terms mean. Legislation, regulatory requirements are a duty to act according to the law as defined in an Act of Parliament and enforceable through a court of law. Codes of Practice are rules outlining how a person in a particular profession or a situation is expected to behave. (Wikipedia) There are a number of laws, directives and codes of practice that teachers have to be made aware of and implement in their role. The main act which I feel is immensely important is the Children’s Act (2004) this act emphasises the importance of safeguarding children and young people within their educational setting,

The Equality Act (2010) this supports professionals who may be discriminated against age, disability, race, religion, belief, gender and sexual orientation. Teachers must also be aware and understand the importance of Health and Safety Act (1974). The Health and Safety Act 1974 mandates that both teacher and learner should work in a safe environment were risk is correctly identified and mitigated against.

Task B

Reflective Account

It is vitally important to have a good working relationship within a setting because it reflects and promotes a positive environment. It is important to set ground rules as this is a strategy that will help to set the expectations of the Students, and enable them to achieve a cohesive and harmonious approach when working together. When the ground rules have been established and agreed with the learners this will then promote a frame for future reference. It is also a good idea to allow the student to establish and agree on ground rules within the setting, this will make them feel included and give them a sense of ownership. Explain to the Students why it is important to establish ground rules and why they need to respect the learning environment, other members of the group and the teacher.

Taking into account that not all Students have been involved in working on ground rules in the past and that there may be some learning/behavioural issues, I would therefore encompass different method which would involve the said Student what is important, is whatever method chosen the teacher establishes the ground rules at the start of their first session. A way of promoting appropriate behaviour and respect is to positively implement the established ground rules, practicing good role modelling, positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviour, and praise and encouragement were necessary.

When teaching I have to consider the importance in treating all Students equally with respect and dignity, regardless of their age, disability, race, gender, ethnicity or social class. Being aware that some of these factors may play a part in how the student will learn and it is important for me to consider this when planning lessons. It is important that when I teach I help my student by organising the learning environment to enable ease of access, use pictures and overlays in handouts and presentations, which will reflect the different learning abilities. As a teacher it is essential that you identify and meet the needs of you Students. Understand that Students have different needs, learning styles and difficulties. My role in respect of this will be to ensure that all classroom needs are met such as wheelchair access, can the person navigate easily round the classroom? Can my classroom be easily altered to suit other students with disabilities?

Have I prepared suitably for my lesson? Will I be able to return marked work in the agreed timescale and I must also adhere to policies and legislations. It is important that I reflect and review my own teaching techniques and methods. Identify areas of improvement to ensure that I meet the needs of my students. A good method in which I have learnt is to keep a Reflective Journal that way you are able to keep record of what has gone well and what hasn’t gone so well in your lessons. Should any of my students show lack of understanding I will then be required to prepare alternative ways to impact their knowledge.

Reference List
The Critical Blog, www. thecriticallog. com, 2013
Teaching Today Geoff Petty 3rd Edition, 2004
Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector 2008 Gravells A Wikipedia,

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Role and Responsibilities of a teacher. (2016, Sep 21). Retrieved from

Role and Responsibilities of a teacher

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