I believe the role of the teacher is honorable but must be reaffirmed continually by those toward whom I direct my activities. This reaffirmation is fostered by the awareness of the importance of the student's experience. The role of the teacher is to guide the student toward discovery of self and other, and discovery of home and universe. In being open to allow the student to discover, I remain open to discover my own relation to self and other. It is in this sense that the student/teacher relationship is a dialogic process.
In teaching speech communication, the experience of the student is of vital importance. Communication is a process which begins with life itself. When students come into the communication classroom, they have a wealth of life experiences with the process and outcome of communication in terms of relationships with others.
As a communication teacher I can facilitate a deeper understanding in a number of ways. By being open to the experiences of students in their life-long process of communication and allowing students to express those experiences in an open environment, I can facilitate awareness of other's experiences. This awareness can enrich the lives of students, as well as my own, by allowing for the incorporation of new possibilities for communicative interaction.
Options for the communication process are limitless, but often the knowledge of those options is quite limited by a lack of exposure to the experiences of others. The classroom should be a safe environment where all options can be explored, and all paths can, if desired by participants, be traversed. The role of the teacher in the communication classroom is to allow for the demonstration of the many paths available and possibly heretofore unseen.