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21st century preceptors

What is expected from a teacher.. today it is entirely different from the methodologies used during ancient time. Earlier, the teachers were only source of information . But now-a-days the students are equipped with latest technical support and having access to all sorts of knowledge. Furthermore, they are not the first generation learners as they do have literate parents. In the present scenario, a teacher not only drives the educational system but also interacts and co-ordinates with the knowledgeable parents. Interacting with students and dealing with the parents are two different fronts. Thus, to be a successful teacher he/she has many roles to play.

A teacher's role is one that needs to be embraced if he or she wants to perform effectively in the classroom. Actually, the teacher has to prove that he or she is a real friend, philosopher and a guide for his fellows whether they are his/her students or co-workers. Here are different roles that a teacher often has to play if he or she wishes to be a successful teacher in his/her career.

The teacher has to be a resource specialist because every student approaches his/her teacher with great expectations. People come to teachers to gain knowledge and to gather information.

Once the teacher provides the information to the student or co-worker, he or she will often have to instruct the student on how to use the information.


Students need support while learning a new skill or piece of information. A teacher must act as the support person and should motivate the students to become independent enquirers, independent researchers and collaborative learners. When a student needs any kind of help, support of the teacher should always be available. Support can come in many forms such as a coach, leader and even a counsellor. In professional circles, a teacher may even have to support other teachers leading a particular subject matter.

One of the biggest roles a teacher may have is that of a mentor. Students look up to teachers and may pattern their own behavior and work ethic to match the instructor. An older teacher can even be a mentor to a younger teacher who is just a beginner in the profession.

A leader in a school is a person who takes on extra tasks such as leading the PTA meetings and even helping set up a gym for a big event. Teachers who are active in the school will often have more jobs than just the one they were hired to perform. Often, the goals of the teacher do not match with the instructions given by the authorities.

What Rabindranath Tagore said “A teacher is like a candle". So,

one last important role of a teacher is that of a learner. Anyone who has been involved in a profession long enough knows that there is always something new to learn. A learner is a person who grows continuously in life and never claims that he/she is the master of the particular field. A teacher gets challenges everyday with a new task that helps them grow into a better person.

A teacher is a person who has to play many roles. They are people with educational leadership skills and they must continue to grow and develop as professionals. Anyone desires to be a teacher should take advantage of any chance they get to grow as a person and as a teacher