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The Other Side Of The Deck

Though we talk often about learners and their roles, it’s just as important to pay attention to the teachers themselves. According to Hoyle’s and Harmer’s lists, there are a number of roles ascribed to the teacher in a general educational setting:

  1. A representative of society (teachers morals)

  2. A judge (gives marks)

  3. A resource (conveys knowledge)

  4. A helper (provides guidance for student difficulties)

  5. A referee (resolves conflicts)

  6. A detective (catches rule breakers)

  7. An object of identification (has traits that students imitate)

  8. A limiter of anxiety (helps students with impulses)

  9. An ego-supporter (helps with students’ self-confidence)

  10. A group leader (establishes group climate

  11. A parents surrogate (acts as object of bids for attention)

Knowing one’s role can be very motivational as a teacher, which is why it’s important to be familiar with these kinds of lists.

Source: Peter Medgyes, “Teacher-centered and learner-centered approaches”, The Non-Native Teacher


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