The Role of a Teacher

The Role of a Teacher

What is the role of a teacher and why is this role significant in society today? I think the real question is this: what is not the function of an educator? Everything relies on the palms of their hands. As an educator, you have around 20 faces looking up to you- not only as a teacher, but as an adult figure they can freely talk to. Being an educator, regardless of the students’ age group, solely depends on your personal character. Your students may be in the midst of a wide range of situations at home- so why should they go to school only to feel just as terrified in the presence of a teacher who simply doesn’t care at all? The role of a teacher is to provide several routes to success. It is to educate aside from your major, to provide assistance outside of school-related discussions. This may sound controversial, but I feel that to be a teacher is to be there for your students. In years to come, you may not remember a conversation with a pupil you once taught. Nonetheless, they will remember your choice of words and course of action.

A student may reach out to you as a friend or parental figure. As a teacher, it is essential to fill whatever role necessary for them to the best of your ability. As the old saying goes, “you never know what’s going on behind closed doors”. Although I am no teacher, I live by this rule because I know what it’s like to come to school and pretend everything is okay. A teacher from freshman year has been there for me since day one, and they continue to do so even though I am no longer their student. Some of her words that I live by go as the following: “Keep your head up and stay positive, Megan. I know that’s difficult, but if anyone can do it, it’s you”. Whenever I get down on myself, I turn to this quote for guidance and compassion. This is what a true teacher means to me. Although being an educator doesn’t require going out of your personal agenda to be there, it is much appreciated. Not only will this direct your students to actually enjoy the work assigned, but you gain more respect by being a kind and caring individual.

There are two main things when it comes to a teaching position: assets and liabilities. What are the downsides of teaching? For starters, the salary is extremely low considering the work put in. This brings me to my next con- the large workload outside of school hours. Teachers have to constantly supervise their classrooms during the school day, leaving very little time for other work. This often means they must bring papers home to be graded. Lack of support from administration is quite common in schools across the world. How can you become a better teacher if you have no one on your side? Behavioral management can also be a lot of work, especially in elementary education. Most times, the behavior from your students in the classroom is a reflection of their lives at home. You may receive poor communication from parents or guardians, or inappropriate behavior directed towards you, which can cause discomfort and possible anger with the situation at hand. You’re told to stay calm, but you can’t help the overwhelming concern for your student’s safety. Behavioral management is not only important for the teacher to control students in the classroom setting, but to demonstrate these behaviors themselves (which often means keeping their own opinions at bay).

Of course, all career paths have their pros and cons- the question counts on whether or not the good outweighs the bad. There are some upsides of teaching such as inspiring the environment around you, connecting with staff members and students, job stability, continuing to learn and grow along your teaching journey, and long breaks such as holiday vacations. As a teacher, you also receive teacher workdays, which give you time to update grades, organize class planning, and to just take a day to breathe. This is essential for a teacher to unintentionally maintain their sanity, because let’s be honest- instructing a class can be exhausting.

I remember when I was graduating Pre-K and the teachers handed us each a mug (with supervision of course) and we were asked to write in black ink what we wanted to be when we grew up. When you are young, you think of being a firefighter, a policeman, a nurse- something easy to recite or a job our parents chose. I chose the word teacher because I wanted to be just like Mrs. Cathy. We all had to write our reasoning for our decision, and I wrote the words “I want to be a teacher because it’s funny”. I’m sure I meant fun instead of funny, but I was three- how should I know the difference? I miss that part of myself- the innocent and carefree actions I would take. I’m now 15 years old and writing an essay for a teacher cadet program. Recalling the numbers, 2025 seemed so far at the time. Now, it’s 2023 and I graduate high school in two years. I cannot fathom how children who are being born right now could possibly be my students one day. What better way to discover if I want to become a teacher than to fill this position? Well, I’m going to find out.