Fernando: Functions


ONE of the most task-demanding professions or call it a vocation is teaching. It asks a lot from the teacher because of the number of roles a teacher has to play. A teacher can be called an adviser, counselor, parent, prefect of discipline, a friend, mentor, instructor and more. Each of this label calls for specific job description and it is difficult for both teachers and students when the former tries to do two or more functions at the same time. This is management skill and not all teachers are equipped with this skill or committed to adopt this skill.

To effectively implement effective management of student discipline or student management in the school, teachers must be clarified of the roles their play. Others do not agree with the imposition of immediate penalty and punishment because this kind of teachers stick to their role as teacher-counselors, not disciplinarians. Or it is hard to impose severe penalty because some teachers see themselves as friends whom the students trust. The role of a friend is viewed as someone who understands and protect a friend.

Accordingly, a teacher is a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue. But we know, the reality is, there is much more than these words when describing what teachers do. Teachers can not help students acquire a specific knowledge or competence when students are not in the proper disposition to learn. Teachers cannot perform their function to teach when students are rowdy and disruptive. This is when class management comes in. Class management is a complex subject and it is just a part of the role of a teacher.

Teachers’ function is two-sided: classroom instruction and classroom management. And these two go hand in hand. One cannot teach well when the class is poorly manage while it is problematic when students do not learn their competencies even there is ideal classroom management. To be effective in the classroom instruction function, a teacher must be knowledgeable of his/her lesson. He/she knows the strategies in imparting knowledge, competencies, and virtues to the students. On the other hand, to be effective in classroom management, the teacher should have the skill of putting the students in the most appropriate mood to learn. This disposition is affected by classroom structuring, consistency in implementing rules and regulations, and teacher’s integrity.

As classroom instructor, teachers can embrace the role of a mentor, and instructor while in classroom management, a teacher can either be a friend, parent, and counselor or a prefect of discipline and the like. The role of an adviser-teacher is difficult because of the different views of what advisers do. A teacher can act all of these functions but he/she will eventually have problems on stress and illnesses or get drained mentally, physically, and emotionally. That is why, in the school system, we have designation for guidance counselors which is manned by the guidance office, and designation on prefect of discipline which is delegated to selected teachers. This is not being empowered I observed. The adviser or teacher has the responsibility to talk and advise the student about a misdemeanor, then refer it to the guidance office for counseling, then refer it to the prefect of discipline for appropriate disciplinary action or the higher office if necessary. The adviser cannot handle all these functions because if he/she tries the result will only be devastating.

Many of our schools especially big schools have problems on both academic performance and student discipline. One problem is the lack of clarity of our roles as teachers in the school. When there is clarity there is consistency. If there is consistency in our roles and functions, there should be quality and less behavioral problems.


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