Introduction: In his book, “ A Practical Guide to Teaching Today”, Geoffrey Petty describes, “I am impatient with jargon, so throughout the book I have used the word “teacher” to mean any of the following: teacher, lecturer, trainer, instructor or facilitator” within the preface. This helps in define the role of the teacher; they facilitate learning. The Teaching Cycle: It is said that the teaching cycle comprises of five key elements; to identify needs, plan and design, deliver, assess and evaluate the program which has been delivered.
This cycle is continuous in that it is ever evolving, with linkages throughout. It indicates the importance of an initial assessment of the learner, but does not define this as permanent. In the same way that the cycle progresses through stages, its design enables the learner to progress through stages. The role of the teacher: The role of the teacher can become blurred by expectations from the learner. Fundamentally, it can be viewed in terms of wants and needs.The specification of the teacher from an employer’s point of view would request a teacher to be a competent coach, support learners, able to confidently design a program of study which can be reflected upon, assessed and evaluated.
The learner may want skills and attributes that are found more within some characters than others, such as patience and diligence. The teaching cycle not only creates the better program for the learner, but also causes the teacher to become more self aware.The constant reviews within the learning environment are central to the cycle and create an assessment tool in their own right. The style of delivery depends on the personal preference of the teacher, but may include such examples as short interludes with questions, or more formal testing. Identifying needs: It can be within this part of the teaching cycle that the confines of learner boundaries are addressed by the teacher; limits may be in the ability of the learner, their motivation or willing.The teacher should look at their role to identify learner styles.
The evolving learner: There may be occasions whereby the learner is limited in their participation within the cycle; they may need support for dyslexia or other physical or psychological matters. It is said in such instances that the teacher must know when to let go. They must realise where their professional role must end in order for the learner to carry on within another environment. Conclusion: The teacher’s role within the teaching cycle is to act as facilitator.Their responsibility is to provide the best micro culture within the learning environment as possible, calling upon personal skills pertaining, although not solely confined to management; time, commitment, knowledge.
Their boundaries are created through the breakdown of the two way communication which is a given constant within the cycle. References: •Petty G , (2001), Teaching Today A Practical Guide, Second Edition, Learning Matters •Scales P, (2008) Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, McGraw Hill •Gravels A, (2008) Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (3rd Edition) Learning Matters