The Many Roles of the Teacher

The Many Roles of the Teacher

A teacher wears a variety of hats - there's a lot more to teaching than just showing up and giving the day's lesson!

Provider of Information

This is the traditional role of the teacher. The teacher lectures the students on a particular subject, through lessons that build on students' prior knowledge and moves them toward a deeper understanding of the subject at hand.

Role Model

Students look to teachers as examples of professional adults. They often have more contact with their teachers than their own parents, so it's important for teachers to always reflect a positive image and teach children things like respect, trust, and responsibility. A teacher can do this through his actions and words in the classroom, leading by example.

Surrogate Parent

Many students suffer from lack of parental contact at home. In fact, there are students whose parents leave for work before they wake up for school, and who return from work after they've gone to bed. Parents may be either working many hours and unable to be with their children or they're absent from their children's lives.

As a teacher, you may find certain students who lean on you for support and come to you for advice or to share their good news. Positive adult contact is crucial to raising well-balanced children, and teachers are often given the charge of being surrogate parents for their students.


A teacher cannot just teach a lesson and then move on. Teachers must assess each student's growth and mastery of the lesson objectives. This assessment can happen informally through classroom observation or through formal methods like quizzes and tests. Expert teachers are able to recognize patterns in the test results of their students and then plan their lessons to meet their students' needs.


Teachers must be expert planners, both on paper and in their heads! You never know what may happen that will derail your current lesson plan, so you need to have backup plans available to pull at a moment's notice. Most of the time, the planning involves taking the assessment data from your previous lessons and using it to develop your plans for the next unit.


The more you get to know your students, the more you realize that the worksheets that come with your assigned textbook just aren't going to be enough. You will become a developer of resources - making worksheets, designing assignments, creating PowerPoint presentations to go along with your lessons. You'll stop at nothing to make sure your students are all taught in the way that suits them best.

Other Roles

Teachers can also be event planners, travel agents, tour guides, bookkeepers, first aid givers, and more! It all depends on the type of teacher you are and the school district you teach in.

Being a teacher is so much more than standing in front of a class lecturing. The best teachers are happy to extend their role beyond lecturing because they know it makes the students' educational experience so much more beneficial.

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