Teaching bursaries – Teaching is the process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings, and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things.
A teacher (also called a school teacher or, in some contexts, an educator) is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values.
Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone (e.g. when showing a colleague how to perform a specific task). In some countries, teaching young people of school age may be carried out in an informal setting, such as within the family (homeschooling), rather than in a formal setting such as a school or college. Some other professions may involve a significant amount of teaching (e.g. youth worker, pastor).
In most countries, formal teaching of students is usually carried out by paid professional teachers. This article focuses on those who are employed, as their main role, to teach others in a formal education context, such as at a school or other place of initial formal education or training.
In much modern usage, the words ‘teaching’ and ‘teacher’ are wrapped up with schooling and schools. One way of approaching the question ‘What is teaching?’ is to look at what those called ‘teachers’ do – and then to draw out key qualities or activities that set them apart from others. The problem is that all sorts of things are bundled together in job descriptions or roles that may have little to do with what we can sensibly call teaching.
Another way is to head for dictionaries and search for both the historical meanings of the term and how it is used in everyday language.