A typical teaching job will have six different roles. The first is what is usually referred to as the “helper role.” This means that the person teaching the class of students is generally not in charge, but rather, a supervisor. The supervisor is typically in charge because the teacher has a lot of responsibility (because of course we are all human) and not all of the students know what they need to do and how to do it for themselves. If we have a class that is just beginning to do our first task, we may have to sit the class down and explain things to them. Our supervisor will not be in charge of every single task, but rather, will be in charge of those things that we do to help help students along. These tasks may include doing some light reading before the class for the student, helping with the writing assignment that is assigned to the student, or just watching what the class is doing.
Second, there is my role as a coach. This means that the teacher teaches at least 3 skills, with the last being the most important skill for them to learn as a student. They need to be able to talk to the class, not only about the skill, but also how it can be learned through practice, how to correct mistakes, why the practice is important, the consequences if they do it wrong, and so on and so forth. The teacher generally may not have all the answer, but they will probably have a lot of advice for the class. This is the role of our mentor.
This last role also does not have to be my job if I don’t want to be. When I am not coaching the class, a lot of the teaching time I spend with the students is taken up by answering text messages, reading emails, and doing computer work. These are pretty mindless and boring things for me to be doing, yet it would be great if it helped these students learn. And I have no choice but to spend time at my job.
Let’s assume for a second that all of the above doesn’t apply to you. Where does this time go? Well, your mentor works with the student to help the student take what they learned in class and get it into their life in a way that makes it easy for them. They give each student specific tasks and advice on how how they can use the tools around them to improve their life. They work as a coach with the student to
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