Public servants like teachers, firemen and police officers are the backbone of the community. Teachers play vital roles in the lives of the students. Beyond simply educating, teachers serve many other roles in the classroom. Teachers can set the tone of their classrooms, build a positive learning environment, mentor and nurture students, become strong role models and listen and look for signs of trouble.
One of the most common role a teacher plays in the classroom is to teach information to children. Teachers are given a curriculum they must follow that meets state guidelines and is often matched to assigned standardized tests. This curriculum is followed by the teacher ensuring pertinent knowledge is taught to the students throughout the year. Teachers instruct in many ways beyond textbooks including lectures, small group activities, project-based learning, laboratory experiments and hands-on learning activities.
Creating Classroom Environment
Teachers also play an important role in the classroom related to the learning environment by supporting either a positive or negative setting. Students often emulate their teacher’s actions. If a teacher presents a soothing, happy classroom environment, students are more likely to be calm and happy. If students sense the teacher is angry, students may react negatively which can result in a hostile educational setting which can impair learning. Teachers are ultimately responsible for the social behavior within their classrooms. This behavior is often a reflection of the teacher’s actions and the classroom environment.
While the teacher does work to create a positive, encouraging atmosphere, there are other factors to consider including on-site administration, student behaviors, clustering of students and outward influences from the district. Teachers also have extenuating circumstances in their personal lives that may affect their classroom even as they try to remain professional.
Students spend a great deal of time with their teachers during the school year. Teachers are typically highly-respected by the community and become role models to students and parents, even inadvertently. Most teachers strive to be good role models for their students by not only maintaining professionalism in the classroom but encouraging similar positive behaviors by their students. A student interested in a future teaching career might further find their classroom teacher to be an excellent mentor.
Mentoring is a another role taken on by teachers. Like role modeling, mentoring as an interaction between teacher and student, can have positive or negative effects. Mentoring refers to the way a teacher encourages students to strive to be the best they can. This also includes encouraging students to enjoy learning. Part of mentoring consists of listening to students. By taking time to listen to what students say, teachers impart to students a sense of ownership in the classroom and their own contributions. This helps build their confidence and helps them want to be successful. Mentoring is a way a teacher can encourage students to strive to excel in the classroom and future.
Signs of Trouble
State laws specify reporting procedures if a teacher suspects that there are signs of abuse surrounding one of their students. It is mandatory by law for licensed teachers to report their concerns to the authorities or child-related agencies, like Child Protective Services. When a student’s behaviors change or physical signs of abuse are noticed, teachers are required to report their suspicions.
- Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images