My role as a teacher in the lifelong sector is to facilitate learning. This role involves carrying out responsibilities that are shaped by national legislation and institutional requirements. In performing my role and responsibilities, it is essential that I am able to maintain professionalism by establishing boundaries and acknowledging my limitations as a teacher.
I will be teaching a range of subjects falling within the management of information systems discipline including intellectual capital management, knowledge management and strategic information management. The learners are full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students, aged 18 years old and above, male and female, coming from diverse backgrounds and nationalities. Courses will be classroom-based and will include lectures, in-class discussions, case studies, seminars and student research. There would be one two-hour teaching session and one one-hour seminar per week.
In fulfilling this role, I have to carry out legal and contractual responsibilities. I need to ensure that legislative policies such as health and safety and equal opportunities are adhered to. As an employee, it is my responsibility to operate effectively as a part of a team of academic, technical and administrative colleagues through teaching, research and administration. I am expected to contribute to the development and implementation of effective methods of teaching, learning and assessment. In addition, it is also my duty to undertake personal research and scholarly activities that would contribute to the research profile of the institution that I belong to. Lastly, I would need to perform administrative functions such as attending and participating in meetings and committees and complying with government and professional bodies’ regulations.
Along with responsibilities, my role also includes boundaries and limitations. Although it is important that I develop a caring professional relationship to help students learn, it is crucial that the professional boundary between myself and the learners is maintained at all times (See Appendix A and B for helpful tips in maintaining healthy professional boundaries). Blurring the role of the teacher and friend can lead to difficulty when grading and evaluation time comes around. At worst, it leads to charges of harassment. There may also be times when I might face student matters that I do not have the necessary skills or expertise to deal with such as family problems, financial problems or depression. It is imperative that I am able to acknowledge my limitations and identify and refer the learner to the person, department or agency (such as a guidance counsellor or financial advice office) who could provide the appropriate support.
My role as a teacher is to facilitate learning by performing my responsibilities in teaching, research and administration. In carrying out this role, I would need to constantly maintain a professional boundary with learners and acknowledge my limitations and refer learners to appropriate departments or agencies when faced with situations that are beyond my responsibility and capacity.