The evolving role of a teacher to a facilitator has seen the teaching learning process undergoing a sea of change. In the last few decades, the teacher is no longer an instructor that she used to be. Today as a facilitator, she/he is one who designs learning opportunities and allows students to participate. A teacher’s role has changed from being a sage on the stage to a guide by the side and becoming a facilitator of learning process. We have to move forward in creativity and we are expecting our teachers to not just disseminate knowledge from books or rote learning, but to make the entire teaching-learning process more creative. In consonance with the new cognitive demand of the society to promote ownership of learning whereby students are able to analyze, create and innovate rather than just read and puke it out on the paper. Today’s child is not just a passive recipient of the information transmitted by the teacher. Rather, there is a shift of teachers being facilitators. The loudest voice in the room is not that of the teacher anymore . There is a huge change where teachers initiate a discussion on a topic while being neutral herself, and allowing children to deeply engage with what they are studying. So, in this globalized world, teachers are not only imparting subject knowledge but teaching students to be self-sufficient and to face challenges of a bigger world. Today, the role of teachers is intense and demanding as they need to continually incorporate new technologies and new assessment techniques in their teaching strategies. Earlier, there used to be flip classrooms and sessions were recorded and went to children who were absent. They were not used to doing that. But today, the teacher is expected to do much more than teaching out of a book. So today, the critical challenge is to enable students to upgrade themselves through infinite information that is present everywhere, into an integrated stream of knowledge. In the past, the teacher would just tell a child to score well in an exam. Today, they are being told that exams and results are not important. They are encouraged to think ‘out of the box’ and act like project managers, planning managers, psychologists, counselors and teacher all at once. The teacher today has been designing the curriculum keeping all these aspects in mind. Tomorrow, if the child is under stress, the teacher also should be a psychologist. In the 21st century, they should engage at a much deeper level with their children. The times have changed and children are no longer asked what to learn. Children are asked to explore on their own and learn through various means and modes. Classroom dynamics are very much different before the advent of the Internet. A school student has designed a touchless doorbell during Covid-19 times from home, with the teacher as a facilitator working from home. The shift should now be continuous professional development of the teachers because they are expected to do different things. The roles, and the skills have changed. When we are trying to prepare school teachers for next generation schools, the focus is not just to teach but also touch lives. Teachers evolve only after training sessions. Teachers can actually shape potential dreams and careers. Capacity building of educators is more important than ever before. This involves combining elements which benefit all stakeholders. Students and parents need to incorporate collective responsibility and ensure that the show must go on. Principals and leaders are responsible to the stakeholders. Technology has to be the main focus and safe infrastructure by the management is critical because technology is here to stay. Adequate budgets by schools for teacher training to having appropriate platforms and technologies are the needs of the new normal. The Government should also come up with facilities, new rules and guidelines which are user-friendly. Earlier, imparting knowledge was the only thing. Now, imparting excellence in skills is something which should be dealt with and educating teachers with technology and bandwidth will ensure capacity building for the future.
The contributor of the blog is Mrs. Alka Kapur– Principal, Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh.