A reflective account of my responsibilities and roles as a teacher Essay
A Reflective Account
This Assignment is a reflective account explaining my understanding of roles and responsibilities as a teacher.
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Promoting equality and valuing diversity
When teaching I will consider it important to treat all learners equally with respect and dignity - A reflective account of my responsibilities and roles as a teacher Essay introduction. It is necessary to remove barriers that they may face regardless of their disability, age, race, gender, ethnicity or social class. Some of these factors can affect the way in which they learn and it is necessary for the teacher to consider this when planning and teaching.
Some learners may have social issues that will prevent them from learning effectively. Poor housing, family breakdown or substance abuse can make learning an impossible task. It is necessary that they too are supported and given an opportunity to actively participate in learning so that they can develop and flourish. A mentor can be assigned to these individuals in order to give them the one-to-one support and attention that they require, as a teacher may not always be able to provide this. This will aid in the learning and future developmental progress.
When I teach I will adopt a professional manner and always ensure that I am non-judgmental and under no circumstances will I favor students or give some more attention than others. It is vital that I treat all students with respect and dignity and in turn expect the same in return. I will also ensure that particular students are not disadvantaged or overly advantaged.
Diversity is about valuing and respecting the differences in all students regardless of their circumstances. I am sure I will come across many groups of students with certain levels of diversity. It is important, when teaching, that I embrace this and help my students by organising the learning environment to enable ease of access around obstacles, use pictures and overlays in handouts and presentations, which reflect different abilities, ages, cultures genders and races.
When working in the lifelong learning sector it is important to realise the various roles and responsibilities I will have to deal with which will include inclusivity and assessment. There is a clear focus on personal review and action planning, planning and designing sessions and reflection. I will promote the values of reflective practice, equality of opportunity, inclusiveness and learner independence.
I will firstly identify my learner’s needs by:
•I ascertain their individual needs, learning styles and end goals. •I ensure all of my students complete a skills test and enrolment form. It may be necessary for students with particular needs to complete a form in a different language or larger print size. Students with a specific learning difficulty may need extra time or help from me to do this. It may also be necessary to provide students with forms and handouts in a different format, on coloured paper or coloured overlays and a different text. •I always make myself available to answer questions regarding the programme and for the learner to discuss their specific needs with me. •From the outset I discuss overcoming barriers to help ease the stress of finance and childcare etc. I am an empathetic person and feel that I have great understanding of individual needs and challenges.
When the needs have been identified, I will then plan the learning by:
•Firstly I will agree with the learner their individual needs and plan their learning outcome with them. •I will ensure that the resources and materials are available. These include such things like: audio/visual equipment, books, ICT, people; specialist speakers, colleagues, physical resources; models, apparatus. •I will have to cater my teaching approaches and activities to address individual differences, levels or speed of learning. •The learning environment will be crucial for effective learning to take place. I will ensure that the classroom environment and classroom layout is suitable for all learners. The resources used will need to take in to account that I may have diversity within the class. •Before each lesson I
take time to plan my delivery. I always think carefully about the needs of different learning styles in my class. So, considering the needs of the visual learner, the aural learner, the read/write learner and the kinesthetic learner, I will ensure that my lesson material includes reading, hearing, seeing, saying, and doing.
I have been in a situation where I had students with varying degrees of needs. In this case I had to remain professional and impartial, but sensitive. I think it’s important to be proactive and notice potential needs before they become issues. I had a student (Victor) who was very willing to learn and showed great ability but unfortunately due to his social class, his barriers proved to be very challenging. I sat down with him on a regular basis to talk through these barriers and on many occasions we did manage to overcome them with mentoring.
Although inclusion is about supporting learners’ needs, it is not always possible for teachers to do this without support themselves. In my experience with Victor, I was aware of the limits of my responsibility and knew when and where to access support both for myself and for my learner. I have a line manager and she is my first point of contact for referral. We have team meetings and my colleagues also advise me through their own previous experiences.
I feel it is important to refer your students to an appropriate specialist or agency if you can’t deal with their needs.
Maintaining a Safe and Supportive Learning Environment
As a teacher I understand individual and group motivation and behavior. I create safe, supportive and stimulating learning environments that promote positive social interaction and active engagement in learning. It is important for me to establish, communicate and maintain clear expectations for student learning and behavior and provide explicit feedback on this.
I think it is important for my students to assume responsibility for themselves and behave responsibly towards others, participate in decision making, work collaboratively and independently. To support this type of environment I ensure that my students participate in activities, tasks and discussions. Wherever necessary I also encourage working in groups or partners to enable support for one and other.
I manage my teaching time, resources and physical space to create and maintain a challenging, engaging, safe and supportive environment for learning.
Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector (Gravell 2012)