'Few professions are as good at multi-tasking as teachers - during any day they must be pilots, pirates and patriots'

Teachers are required to project multiple personae; the challenge lies in deciding which hat to wear, and when

Last week, I was reminded of the multiple personae that teachers are required to project.

At a meeting of heads of sixth, the focus was on the technical coaching skills teachers need when working alongside individuals.

The book I had taken to read (obviously not during the session) was William Kitchen’s Authority and the Teacher, which argues that in the pursuit of knowledge, the teacher’s authority should be absolute.


Neither of these approaches is wrong – indeed they are complementary. The challenge for a teacher comes in deciding which hat to wear, and when.


In the course of a teaching day, depending on where each class is located on the arc of learning, the educator casts herself in the role of presenter, instructor, consultant or participant. Erica McWilliam describes the teacher’s various roles as "sage on the stage", "guide on the side", and "meddler in the middle".


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