The Role of the Teacher
Different understanding of the role
Keeping Learners Safe
First thing I have learnt is that there are loads of letters that stand for stuff and people use these everywhere ... this frustrates me because I have enough trouble remembering words never mind non-words that mean something!! We always assume don't we that if someone is interested in a particular topic they will understand the technical words and abbreviations!
So the Role of a Teacher ... make sure that your learners understand what you are saying! I now know that LLUK means Lifelong Learning in the United Kingdom - obviously (not!) ... it has taken me 10 minutes to find that in Reece & Walker (2006) as it is used even in the contents and firstly referenced in the Preface .. it is all very well using our books and papers by dipping in and out, but these retched technical words and abbreviations ...
Enough moaning ...
If I asked you what are the roles of a teacher I think we would get a huge list covering so many things. I think we can simplify this with being a facilitator. However this is a big word so we need to understand the meaning in the context of teaching:
Facilitator of learning - Reece & Walker (2006:3) talk about how teachers used to be "...the font of all knowledge..." but now we are a "...facilitator: a person who assists students to learn for themselves." I think this is especially true in coaching students to paddle in that I can create scenarios for a particular paddling technique (say) and then by making some remarks or devising a practice routine I can facilitate the improvement of the paddler. I always hope that the paddler will take these away and progress with learning themselves by practice. However it is important that teachers have knowledge, especially with adults who ask endless questions. It is important to know what you are trying to achieve, i.e. outcomes.So the facilitator needs to do it in a planned way, with appropriate tools to enable learning to achieve outcomes, which can be measured in some way, to demonstrate learning. Hence we get many models of teaching. Also because people are individuals we also need to facilitate learning to everyone on an individual level and time (and space the final frontier ... sorry got carried away there!)
Bill Taylor in Chapter 1 of the British Canoe Union's (BCU) Coaching Handbook (2006:8) talks about "Coaching, like teaching, has a body of specialised knowledge borrowed from many of the sport sciences ... as well as formal education, youth work, management training and other people-orientated activities and professions." So we can say that teachers are managers in that they need to take the knowledge they are trying to teach and create an environment whereby learners can learn, including being safe but interesting, creative but timed, knowledgeable but willing to discuss and question. We as teachers also need to be up to date and considering best practice in what we teach. How we teach will depend on our own experiences and personalities. This is reflected again in BCU (2006:12) where roles are discussed as
"No matter whom you coach and for whatever reason, the act of coaching is a complex, dynamic and thought provoking process. It can provide moments of sheer joy one moment and a few seconds later of deep despair. Each coaching session and each coaching relationship is unique; individuals will vary in the way they respond to your input, and the environmental conditions, often so critcal in our sport, provide an ever-changing variable which
Bill Tayor in BCU (2006:8) also says that "Coaching is a complex, thinking activity", so teacher are also reflectors perhaps by the very nature of being a teacher ... discuss!!