The expected role of the teacher in the classroom is different depending on the program. The things that a calculus teacher does each day in the classroom will look different from the things that an art teacher does. The differences in the role that teachers play are not limited to the different subject matter. The type of school that a teacher is at can significantly impact the role he or she is expected to fulfill. The underlying philosophy of the program, expectations from the administration, and regulations by the state are all factors that impact the role of the teacher. You can see how big of a difference these factors make when you look at the differences between a teacher in a private school and a teacher in public school.
Role of teacher in private school
A teacher in a private school is there to teach and guide students. The way that this is done depends on the underlying educational philosophy of the program. In general, private schools have smaller class sizes that allow the teacher to be more deeply involved with each student. When the class size is kept small, teachers in the private school classroom have the opportunity to get to know the needs of each student. This design allows for individualized instruction for each student. Private schools have the ability to be self-directed when it comes to the role of the teacher, curriculum, and enrichment programs. This is because private programs are not heavily regulated by the state. Because of this, teachers in the private school classroom have more flexibility when it comes to instruction and meeting the needs of each student.
Role of teacher in public school
A teacher in public school is also tasked with teaching and guiding students. However, there are a number of other - possibly competing - expectations given to public school teachers. The state regulates most elements of public school education. Teachers have a list of criteria they are expected to teach on throughout the year. The criteria are the same throughout the state to ensure that all students have access to the same level of education. Standardized testing is used to measure the success and quality of the school. A big problem with this design is that the role of the teacher can turn into teaching students how to do well on a particular test instead of ensuring that the students are actually mastering concepts. Some schools put intense pressure on teachers to make sure the students do well on the test because test scores are tied to state funding and other resources. The teachers in public school classrooms are limited in the ways that they can customize instruction because of the ways their success is measured by both the school and the state.
There are a number of clear differences between the roles that teachers are expected to fulfill in the private school classroom versus the public school classroom. As you think about which option is right for your child, consider what role you want your child’s teacher to fulfill in the classroom and in your child’s education.