The role of teachers in society
The modern age with its dynamic development, new technologies and advancement in different areas of life is one of the reasons why we respect and admire innovators, such as scientists, entrepreneurs, and artists so much. However, sometimes we unjustly forget the quiet heroes of progress. Those who work behind the stage, our teachers. The truth is quite simple – just like the importance of education, the role of teachers in society is also crucial.
Without a good education and effective teachers, there is no progress in any of the key areas important for societal development, from science to art and technology.
The position of teachers is the most delicate in that sense. They have direct responsibility and influence on what their students will become. Whether they will develop their full potential and eventually grow into people everyone will admire, or will become constrained and inhibited without the necessary knowledge, encouragement, or stimulation.
Hence, the fate of our society depends on teachers to a great measure, and that is why we need to talk about the role of teachers in society.
Why do we need more highly effective teachers?
Learning is a lifelong activity, and the teacher is an integral part of that process, especially in formal education. Simply put, after the initial learning experiences in the family, teachers take over the responsibility for children’s education from parents. This is especially true today, when many parents have a very limited time to spend with their children, because they work 9 to 5 the role of teachers in students’ life becomes that much more important.
Therefore, teachers are not there just to convey knowledge, but also to educate children by instilling moral principles and values in them. In other words, the teacher teaches, but also educates.
In consequence, it is not surprising that 98% of respondents in a survey believe that a teacher can change a student’s life. Educators wield great power, and consequently, have great responsibility. That is why it is important that every teacher is up to the task, and behaves in accordance with their position and influence. The role of society is to make that possible.
Being a teacher – profession or calling
Many occupations are just that, professions, and despite the satisfaction they can provide, there comes a time in life when one simply wants to change their career. In that situation, the teaching profession becomes one of the potential career options. However, it is different with born teachers. For them, teaching is not a profession, it is a calling.
Simply put, such teachers feel that their only calling is to teach, and dedicate themselves to their students, even in adverse conditions. Hence the belief that a good teacher actually views their profession as a calling.
Such a teacher is prepared to do everything it takes to provide their students with the necessary knowledge and values, support and encouragement that will help them to grow into free-thinking and successful adults. In other words, whether we will have a good education or not greatly depends on whether our teachers experience their profession as a true calling or not.
Because the reality is that no matter how well-conceived an educational strategy or how wisely built an education system is, without quality teachers to implement it “in the field” it is impossible to have a good education. What our future society will look like largely depends on education presently. This is how it was yesterday, this is how it is now, and this is how it will be tomorrow: conveying knowledge is the very foundation of our civilization, hence the teaching profession is extremely important.
Therefore, the teachers are those that make a difference and make education good and effective. They teach young people fundamental life values, not just the curriculum content. They demonstrate and prove time and time again that one should not only learn things that are practically applicable, but also things that will expand their knowledge, culture and moral values. All these things combined are crucially important for students as valuable experience, and a reliable value system. Thus, teachers are authentic role models for young people, and for all those who want to learn and develop themselves. They are passionate when it comes to their job, conveying knowledge, providing incentives and guidelines for student advancement.
Just like society, teaching is also changing
Education has gone through and still undergoes a variety of significant changes, and one of the most important ones is changing the focus toward the role and influence of teachers. Research shows that the teacher is the most important factor in education that influences the success of students in many ways:
- In fact, one research shows that 88% of the respondents stated that teachers had a significant positive role in their life.
In keeping with the modern times, new circumstances and needs of new generations, the manner of teaching and interaction with students has changed. However, as we can see, the role of the teacher in society has remained unchanged. A good teacher still has a great impact on society.
However, the teaching profession has become much more sensitized. They can no longer teach ex-cathedra, but have to find ways to get students interested, and encourage them to take an active part in the teaching process. They also have to be familiar with modern technologies, and able to manage teamwork: in other words, modern teachers also have to be keen students.
Such teachers are known as effective teachers.
Effective teacher – a teacher who is up to the challenges of 21st-century education
An effective teacher is a versatile individual whose work is a unique combination of knowledge, skills, beliefs, lofty values, professional aspirations, and motivation.
Such teachers are not only characterized by a profound knowledge of the curriculum and teaching content, but also by various soft skills and knowledge that allow them to help students master the most advanced knowledge and skills. Effective teachers ensure the highest quality of education by providing their students with support and tools based on the latest research and integration of educational technologies that help them to advance and develop their full potential.
In other words, an effective teacher is an authentic representative of the modern age, capable of maintaining a meaningful connection with his/her students at all times, and influencing their work and learning, but also the relationship with oneself, others and the environment.
This is the reason why effective teachers have a great and indelible impact on their students’ lives:
- In fact, according to research, effective teachers also impact the living standard of a society. Specifically, if we replace a teacher ranked at the very bottom of effectiveness with an average one, so not even a highly effective teacher, student income can increase up to 200,000 euros (Chetty, Friedman, & Rockoff, 2014).
Teaching – one profession, many roles
The importance of teachers is confirmed by the fact that this is one of the very few occupations that have a varied and far-reaching impact on society. Hence, the roles of the teacher are numerous and important.
8 roles of teachers in society
A good teacher is a:
- Tutor. Teachers teach children and have a great influence on the formation of their ethical beliefs.
- Conveyor of knowledge. A person who conveys knowledge, skills and tools necessary for success in life.
- Role model. The teacher is someone his/her students look up to, because of their qualities, education and attitudes.
- Initiator. Through their work, teachers train students to become productive members of society, thus helping society to thrive.
- Inspiration. The teacher instills their students with confidence, encouraging them to aim high and achieve their goals.
- Keeper of knowledge and values. By conveying knowledge and values our civilization is based on, the teacher also guards them against oblivion.
- Engine of progress. The teacher also supports and enables progress, new knowledge and noble ideas that help us discover new areas, and develop as a civilization.
- Support. The teacher is always there for his/her students, supporting them in their noble endeavors and goals.
Teachers play an important role in the life of every person
Even in adulthood, when they complete formal education, people never stop learning. They attend courses, develop professionally and change careers, and the key role in this process also belongs to teachers. Not a small number of people were influenced by teachers they had met as adults. Simply put, a good teacher has the power to broaden your perspective and improve your life, regardless of how old you are.
Therefore, when we think about great people, let us not forget that behind many of them stand armies of dedicated teachers, the discreet heroes of our progress. If we want students to obtain applicable knowledge, but also to develop positive qualities such as environmental awareness, social awareness, tolerance, altruism and respect, we need to make sure that teachers can develop without constraints, and to provide them with all the necessary resources that will allow them to do their job as best they can.
Research has shown that an average teacher influences the lives of as many as 3000 students during his/her career. In other words, a single good teacher can positively impact the lives of 3000 people who will become important factors in our society tomorrow. This means that one of the most vital interests of society is to nurture and create good and effective teachers.