October 2009 PTLLS Assignment 1 Describe what your role, responsibilities and boundaries would be as a teacher in terms of the teaching/training cycle As teachers, we are committing to a lifetime of personal and professional learning and development. I remember a conversation that I had with my son when he was about six. I told him that nobody knows everything. He replied ‘What, even teachers? ’ I laughed at the time but it made me think about the fragility of knowledge and how it has to be constantly updated. According to popular educational theory, there are five stages in the cycle.
Identifying Needs and Planning. The first question you must ask is what the aims and objectives of the course are. What is the expected level of achievement? You must then work out what level your students are currently working at, are there any additional needs identified? In my organisation each student must undergo initial and diagnostic assessment. This helps us to work out how much support will be needed. There are a range of additional support mechanisms in place that need to be organised as soon as possible in order for the students to have the highest chance of success. Designing.
All of the information obtained previously has to be taken into consideration when designing the course. In order to teach effectively you must pitch it to the appropriate level. As many of my students are work based learners on day release apprenticeships everything covered has to be work based. Functional skills are a good example of this. To these learners, unless they can see a direct link to their job role and the chance to increase their earning potential they do not see the point in learning. Appropriate resources and scheme of works must be completed at this time and lessons planned in advance.
Facilitating. This is what some may refer to as the ‘actual teaching’. As the course gets underway it must be continually assessed by the teacher and the students. Individual Learning Plans must be drawn up and constantly checked and altered. Professional boundaries are of particular importance during this stage. Groups must be encouraged to draw up their own set of rules and guidelines and adhere to them. As a teacher you must facilitate, guide and teach. Be friendly but not befriend your students and there should be a modicum of mutual respect in the classroom, also in 1-1 tutorials or feedback sessions.
Assessing. Have your students learnt all that you set out to teach them? Have you pitched it at the correct level? You need to be constantly assessing in order to succeed. Evaluation. This refers to the stage when the course has finished although as teachers we are continually assessing at all stages. This is when a final evaluation is needed to find out how successful the course was. Did everybody achieve? What did the students think of the course matter and delivery? How could we improve? Just as there will always be new things to learn we can always do better next time.