Understanding Roles and Responsibilities in Education and Training. B

Reflective account
Even the best teachers can be apprehensive and nervous prior to the first day of teaching a group of new learners; this can be a frightening prospect for both teachers and learners alike. It is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure that the learner is put at ease as soon as possible when entering an alien environment. It is essential that a set of ground rules are put in place and explained why they are there. The purpose of using ground rules is to establish a shared understanding amongst a group, that everyone has the right to an opinion and a right to feel valued and respected.   Ground rules establish acceptable boundaries, agreements and structures, which may guide a group to achieve its potential and promote mutual opportunities for everyone to reach their individual goals and aspirations. This should be done on the first meeting, so that all are aware of there responsibilities and the way they should be behaving whilst in the new environment.

Some rules will be requirements for legal and safety reasons others will be there for the good and benefit of all participants. This could mean things like no swearing, arriving on time, let the teacher know if you intend to be late. One important ground rule is that no one should interrupt when one person is speaking; thereby reinforcing the notion that all individual views are important, valid and listened to.

It is important to recognise that there will be diverse personality types within groups ranging from outspoken to shy individuals.   Ground rules may help to prevent over domination by more confident, vocal members and enable better participation by the quieter characters of the group.   As the class is possibly made up of students from various backgrounds and cultures jargon or colloquial language may not be appropriate or may need to be explained.

It is not only students that need to abide by these ground rules, teachers also need to abide by them. Talk through all the rules and...