A teachers primary role is to deliver information. The 2003 workload agreement (Woodward and Peart, 2013) not only defined the levels of work a teacher could reasonably expect but also defined the roles which would provide a framework of support to the specifics of the teaching role. Though this applies to secondary education the principles can inform teacher roles in the lifelong learning sector. A teacher must develop an awareness, understanding and professional respect of all the roles which support them in their efficacy.
In the Institute of Learning’s Code of Professional Conduct is states that individuals “respect the rights of learners and colleagues in accordance with relevant legislation and organisation requirement” (www. nelcls. ac. uk, 2013). Regulations and Guidance under S133 of the Education Act 2002 (www. education. gov. uk, 2013) provides clear boundaries between the role of teacher and teaching assistant by stating that role of assistant should be to “to assist and not substitute for the role of the teacher”.
The teaching assistant can support the learner to more effective receive and process the information being delivered by the teacher (www. vnc. org. uk, 2013). However, both roles must be aware of not reducing ” the overall amount of interaction pupils have with a teacher” which research has shown may impact upon the learners learning (Webster, Russell and Blatchford, 2013). There are other roles which provide a framework of support in order for the teacher to achieve efficacy. The office staff have both clerical duties and are the focal point of the educational institution.
The London Borough of Hounslow (http://www. workinhounslowschools. org. uk,2013), for example, states “School Office staff cover a wide range of responsibilities, including being the clerical ‘face’ of the school and point of contact for staff and parents” . A teacher could signpost a learner here in order to complete any forms for attending a course or if any funding is required. Upon commencement of the PTLLS course I was not able to define which benefit would ensure I would receive funding for the course fees.
The teacher advised that I speak to the clerical assistant on the reception desk and she collated all my relevant information and inquire to her colleagues on the matter and I received clarification of my predicament the following week and I was able to complete the required paperwork. Maslow (McLeod, 2007)suggests that in order to achieve actualisation for both teacher and learner their environmental needs must be attended to. This is the role of the maintenance manager, caretaker and cleaners.
Their roles are to ensure adequate heating and lighting according to need and the buildings and equipment comply with all health and safety requirements as specified in the Health and Safety Act 1974 (http://www. atl. org. uk. 2013) The teacher as with all other profession roles has a responsibility to communicate their requirements effectively as well as ensure all equipment and buildings are used for their intended purpose and treated with due care. The department of Education states (http://media. ducation. gov. uk, 2013) “Employees should follow any health and safety procedures put in place by their employer”. Some roles maybe be specialised, for example, the information technology technician. When I could not access from home the files required to complete my first assignment, my teacher introduced me to the information technology technician and through a combination of his knowledge and peer support I was able to rectify the difficulties and continue with my studies and complete my assignment.
It is imperative for a teacher to be aware of their specific duties and responsibilities toward the learner which includes signposting them to those who have the level of training and designated role to support the learner with their specific difficulties. On www. sagepub. com (2013) its explains “Learners can present a variety of problems which may prevent them from making progress with their studies.
You will be better able to help them if you are fully aware of the internal and external support mechanisms which are available to them” For example with mental health issues the learner can be signposted to their doctor or a counsellor connected with the education institute. Or if the teacher suspects any learning difficulties they could discuss their concerns with the learner but direct them to the appropriate professional for diagnosis and support. Whilst doing my English A level my teacher identified I may have mild dyslexia and suggested I see student support to enquire about being tested for a diagnosis and appropriate support.