The 21st Century Teacher

University of the People states that teachers are perhaps very valuable asset to society because of the role they play in the lives of their students who grow to become future leaders of nations.


Traditional Teacher


Teachers are known to impart knowledge, virtues and skills to students in the classroom. Traditionally, teachers share knowledge in specific areas of study which are covered in the curriculum. This is done through lesson notes, tutorials, physical and practical activities, and discussions. The teacher then assesses the students through quizzes, assignments and standardized test or end of term exams.

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Importance of teaching


Apart from imparting knowledge, which is the main responsibility of a teacher, he/she plays some other vital roles in the classroom. This includes the creation of a conducive environment for teaching and learning, help in developing the minds of students through mentoring, role modelling, counselling, listening, guiding and identifying special needs and helping them resolve those needs where possible. I remember in school, one of my teachers always gives illustrations to help us understand him. He goes like this, “Better illustration for better understanding!” The illustrations help us to keep imageries of the topics taught. Teachers also motivate their students’ desire to be successful in life.

Figure 2: 21st Century Teaching and learning Source:
Figure 2: 21st Century Teaching and learning Source:

Below are some attributes of a good teacher which can reveal the changing role of the teacher:


  • Compassion: Teachers must be compassionate towards their students, colleagues and others.
  • Passion for learning: Teachers need enthusiasm for sustenance because their job is difficult.
  • Understanding: Teachers need a thorough knowledge of the backgrounds, difficulties and abilities of their students.
  • Patience: Teachers do not only handle students but, their parents and the school system.

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Dolores Mensah Hervie

Article Writer & Content Contributor

Dolorae Mensah Hervie GiLE article writer

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The opinions expressed in this article/publication are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of GiLE or its members.

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