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Roles, Responsibilities and Boundaries are different for all lessons that you teach and some of these may be out of your control. All teachers have roles, responsibilities and also boundaries that they must follow, so what we’ll do now is break these down into their individual groups.

We will firstly look at the roles of a teacher. These can be things like making sure that the initial assessments are completed correctly, identifying barriers to learning, identifying particular learner needs and the learning style that would enable them to learn best. Also making sure that any planning is done correctly, that you have the correct resources for your teaching, that you also carry out reviews and that you deliver the course in a professional and correct manner. Other roles can include embedding functional skills, such as English, Maths and Information Communication Technology (ICT) within your session, making sure that you establish and negotiate, and that you follow ground rules, making sure that you teach in an inclusive way and engage well with your students, for example the use of names helps in making learners feel settled. Use a variety of teaching methods, such things as icebreakers or energisers will make the sessions more inclusive. Ensure that you assess all learners and follow any requirements laid down by your Awarding Organisation. And finally look at how you can both self-evaluate and get learner evaluation. All these sections are completed in the teacher or learner cycle.

As a teacher, you also have a number of responsibilities, including making sure that you attend any professional upgrades that you need to do, that your CPD is taken seriously, that you dress appropriately, that you adhere to any rules that are laid down by the company that you may be teaching at, that you adhere to their code of conduct at all times, and you also need to register for a DBS check with the Data Barring Service. Make sure you provide good advice and guidance to your students in an honest and trustworthy way and also consider signposting them to internal or external sources to help them obtain grants or access funding.

Other responsibilities could include agreeing on individual learning plans, risk assessing and designing schemes of work, which covers more than 2 days of training and can be for a whole year, and also session plans. It’s also crucial that you have all the equipment that you need to be able to teach and liaise with other people within your organisation. Make sure that sessions are carried out correctly, make sure you act and speak appropriately, and ensure that you never embarrass anybody. Fill in all the paperwork that is required, ensuring that all records are kept up to date and adhere to Health and Safety requirements, including knowing the Fire Evacuation drill and where the relevant Muster point is, also who the First Aider is. You need to follow any professional values and ethics, and if someone is absent from a course you may need to find out why and if there is anything you can help them with.

Use appropriate teaching methods and approaches, ensuring individual and group learning styles, or VARK, are considered. Classroom tidiness and generally keeping the place clean can form part of the ground rules.

Your responsibilities for assessment can include; assessing learners, giving constructive feedback using formative and summative assessments, and peer and self-evaluation by learners is important and needs to be monitored by you. Making sure the records for everyone’s individual training is kept up to date must also be undertaken. The final responsibility around evaluation and quality assurance can be varied, and it may be that this is simply communicating with other people or evaluating the work that has been done to ensure it’s been done correctly and that any necessary changes are implemented for other courses.

Your boundaries in teaching will be various, and these boundaries are sometimes constrained to teaching, which you might see as a negative, but remember that all the boundaries directly apply to the teacher and learner cycle.

The “identifying needs” part of the teacher and learner cycle will include things like:
- making sure you meet the demands or need of your managers, or it might be funding
- can the learners actually afford to do the course? The initial assessment process that you work with, making sure that everyone has the correct information, maybe this could be a problem. It may be that information was not sent out to a learner before the course. Maybe there is a negative culture within an organisation, which could mean that people come onto your course with a negative attitude. There may be policies or time constraints that you have to work around, all these things are in the identifying needs section of the teacher and learner cycle.

Within the planning and learning section, we need to know what the capacity of the learners is. This can be achieved by completing an initial assessment and if required a diagnostic assessment to check their level of skills and knowledge. It may be Health and Safety regulations are boundaries to your teaching. It may be that there is a lack of understanding of the syllabus by you or by other people in your department. You might have unsupportive colleagues or people around you, and also potentially face equality and diversity problems. When you start enabling learning you’re then going to potentially face some other problems, and one of the main ones may be a lack of English language skills. You may be able to talk to someone very well in basic English, but they don’t necessarily understand you when you are talking more technically. Or they may be able to understand voice but not read the PowerPoint correctly. It may be that there are behavioural issues, disruptive classes, faulty equipment or perhaps the resources aren’t there. You may find that things have changed, in terms of legislation or codes of practice. Or you are given deadlines or targets that you simply cannot meet. Maybe you are using a classroom with incorrect seating or a poor working area, all these things add up to create problems. It may even be that you need to make sure that you have the correct subject knowledge, if you are going to teach a subject that you don’t really know too much about then this can be a really big boundary to your training.

Time can also be a major factor, as this can be one of the biggest problems, for example where you have two hours’ worth of teaching but you have only been allocated one hour.

Personal problems that arise during the session can be a really big problem, it may be that someone is upset or unwell and this can really affect how you deliver your training.

Boundaries within the assessing and learning section of the teaching cycle could be things like Data Protection and confidentiality, it could include deadlines that are being set, it may be that your organisation is asking you to do something that is just not possible. Also, you need to ensure that you have the power to make a decision. If you can’t make a decision then waiting for somebody else might delay your training.

Within the quality assurance and evaluation side, this could be things that are outside your control. These boundaries could be changes within the organisation’s Awarding Organisation, maybe the organisations internal or external verification process is causing boundaries to how you deliver training. It may be that your learners are giving feedback at the end of your session but there is not a lot you can do about changing it, or you have to change your lesson based on course evaluations. With these boundaries, they are things that must be sorted out and in relation to the teacher and learner cycle you need to analyse boundaries, look at them and see the best ways that you can overcome them.

Something worth mentioning here is signposting and referral. If you have a learner with a problem and you are trying to get through the roles, responsibilities and boundaries and you know that maybe there is someone else who can help this learner, then maybe you need to refer them on. It may be that you have identified someone who has issues with dyslexia for example, it may be that someone has problems caused by functional skills. Try and have a list of colleagues or at least someone who can help should people need it. You must make sure that everyone meets the requirements and you must be able to refer them on to somebody who can help and assist them, as and when required.