It was a busy afternoon. The freshers were ready for their first brush in simulation at our newly renovated simulation lab. The students fumbled on their first day, not knowing how to switch on the handpiece or control the water flow. Raised a student his hand and asked a nearby supervisor, can you help me with this please? I don’t think it is my job dear, polited the lecturer. I think you are briefed on the use of this before, right? He vented his frustration to his colleagues on why people don’t do their work.

I was left wondering. Whose job is it anyways? It was very clear; it was not the lecturer’s job to explain the student how to work in the simulation lab. The session was on creating ‘Black’s’ cavities and we all had rubrics to evaluate. It could have been the job of the support staff; or the student would have missed a session that explained what was required of him. But this was not the right answer, whose job is it?

I rephrased the question, what is the job of a teacher. The AMEE guide 20, roles of a good teacher, came to my mind. The 4 roles in the category of ‘Student contact’ fit this interaction. The teacher needs to be a mentor, learning facilitator, on-the-job role model and teaching role model. I assessed the above situation and found that the lecturer can improve in these roles to become a good teacher. I am not aware what situation or compulsion was the lecturer in to act such, but I tell what an ideal conduct could be. Explore why the student does not know and if this lack of understanding is across the whole cohort, act to remediate the situation. Explain the student how to go about or direct to another staff to explain the student how the simulation lab works. Explain to the student that he does not know about this and direct to someone who knows. And others actions, should be, which I am not aware now.

How about me, an observer? Did I have a job to do, according to the 12 roles as a teacher, again aligned to the ‘Student contact’. I could have explained to the student what I wanted the lecturer to do. I could have talked to the lecturer understanding his views and telling my thoughts. I could have talked to the course coordinator and understood the situation to make it better. More possibilities.

Did you have a situation which made you ask, Whose job is it anyways? What are your views?

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