The role of the teacher: to teach, to guide, to cheer?

When I think about what education should look like, and more specifically what my role as teacher looks like, I wonder if my philosophy lines up with my teaching strategies. So much of what I'm reading these days speaks of the teacher guide rather than the teacher. Truthfully, I like this approach. I think it makes sense in this world of information where, God forbid, I should be the holder of all truth to be shared with the masses (or at least my students). But I wonder, what does many of these practices look like in the classroom. I still set the objectives, but at what point do I let the students make their own goals. How do I make sure that their goals still fall under my objectives without having everyone all over the place. And what about feedback. I've always given students feedback, but it is generally towards the end of the project, or worse once the project has been completed. That may be helpful for future work if the student remembers what my comments were. I feel like I can learn all the right strategies and even accept or dismiss that which I think will work. However, sometimes it is difficult to see the how strategies REALLY work in the classroom EVERYDAY. I suppose it starts with one lesson. If anyone has any great advice or stories to share on how you put some of these practices into play, balancing teacher, guide and even sometimes cheerleader, I'd be glad to hear them.

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Comment by ConorK on September 10, 2009 at 2:24am
Well I agree with you that the main role of the teacher is to guide, teach and give your student moral and educational support. Well there are times that it is too hard to cope up with the young people nowadays. In the past - kids, teens and even adult treat their professors with respect and obedient but now I doubt it. Yesterday, it is 9/9/09 as a teacher of sociology I’ve shared some norms/superstitious beliefs about having this kind of numerical combinations. And to be honest I’ve seen in my student’s eyes how curious are they and how they cooperate with the discussion. Well, I admit its too pleasing to see your students paying attention and making some comments in their own beliefs, I believe that having an open interaction and reaching out with them is the best way to make them trust and learn from you.
Comment by Sharon Axthelm on September 10, 2009 at 8:37pm
I think you touched on a very important part of the teacher/ student relationship, and that is Respect. If there is respect in communication and environment, then hopefully this opens doors for greater communication and collaboration. Where do you see collaboration being most important, during the learning process or in evaluating what has actually been learned? Or is it an either/ or situation?

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