Modern teachers have a changing role in this decade


By Hugo Vermeulen

The modern teacher faces a world of change and challenges in the field of education. If we look to the next decade to around 2035, there are a number of important roles and skills that teachers will need to adopt to ensure the success of their careers and the education of learners.

Here are 10 of these roles and the related skills:

  1. Facilitator of learning experiences: The teacher of the future will have to enable learners to learn actively by creating challenging and meaningful learning environments. This role requires the skill to differentiate and adapt lessons to the individual needs and potential of each learner.
  2. Curriculum Developer: Teachers will have to participate in the development of innovative curricula, which are relevant for a changing world. This role involves the deliberate establishment of learning actions that will challenge learners in their development of critical and creative thinking and thus better prepare them for the future.
  3. Technological Researcher: In a period of increasing technological progress, teachers will need to stay abreast of new educational technologies and have the skills to use them effectively in the classroom.
  4. Data Analyst: The collection and analysis of data to evaluate learners’ achievements and to offer individual support in a diagnostic manner will play an important role in education in the future.
  5. Change Management Role Model: The ability to be very adaptable to the changing educational landscape and therefore to be an example for learners of how constant change must be managed successfully.
  6. Motivator and Inspirer: Teachers must have the ability to inspire and motivate learners to do their best by creating a positive and supportive relational environment, within which they must overcome the challenges of the education of the future.
  7. Value transmitter: The teacher as image bearer of value system as required by the community will therefore have to lead by example. So, he will have to be more of an educator than a mere transmitter of knowledge and insight.
  8. Generation expert: Teachers must have the ability to successfully interact with all past and future generational types.
  9. Learner Supporter: Teachers have a supportive role to play in the lives of their learners, where they have to support learners emotionally and socially. Teachers will have to play an ever greater role as sources of love, security and guidance.
  10. Mentor and coach: Last but not least, teachers will serve as mentors and coaches to other teachers and assistant teachers. They will have to share their experience and knowledge to support or even facilitate the professional growth of their colleagues.

The successful teacher of the future must have a combination of hard and soft skills. Hard skills include a strong understanding of the curriculum, technological competence, data analysis, and the ability to use assessments effectively. Soft skills include communication skills, empathy, adaptability, leadership, and critical thinking.

In a rapidly changing world, the teacher of the next decade will have to have a resilient ability to adapt to constantly learn and keep up with new trends and best practices in education. They will play an integral role in preparing the next generation for the challenges and opportunities of the future. It therefore seems clear that teachers need to redefine their role as educators.

  • Vermeulen is the head of training at the Solidarity School Support Center (SOS).