Classroom Roles

Teaching is not a matter of showing how smart
you are, but a matter of showing your learners
how smart they are!

Classroom Roles Description

There are three roles that help our classrooms become vibrant language & culture learning communities:

  • “MC” (Master of Ceremonies or Primary Instructor)
  • “DJ” (Document Jockey or Secondary Instructor)
  • Classroom Assistant

General Duties of All

  • Responsive communication
  • Timeliness
  • Arrive 15 min early and stay for after class debrief
  • Enthusiasm, Engagement, and Motivation


  • Flexibility, empathy, enthusiasm, and an attitude of openness & experimentation
  • A willingness to examine one’s own privileges and cultural upbringing
  • A willingness to be awkward, try new things, take direction and give direction
  • A willingness to look at your weak spots and to be wrong
  • The desire to be a better person and a better teacher
  • The ability to tell the difference between observation, feeling, interpretation, and evaluation
  • Be the cheerleader you want to see in the world
  • Curiosity and patience
  • Daily access to email and the internet
  • A burning desire to connect people to resources and other people
  • Intermediate fluency in English
Helpful, But Not Required
  • Good grammar
  • Phone with text capability
  • Immigrant/refugee experience, personal or family
  • Intermediate fluency in a language other than English
  • Prior skills training (like music teaching or sports coaching)
  • Outside the US experience

MC – Primary Instructor

  • Plan a lesson the day before class, drawing from the Real-World Curriculum
  • Communicate with Secondary Instructor and any assistants via text, email or phone
  • Ensure that all necessary materials arrive at the classroom
  • Administer group activities & manage the classroom
  • Enthusiastically motivate and gently push learners just out of their comfort zone
  • Provide clear direction to Secondary Instructor, Assistants, and other guests or participants
  • Practice Total Participant Engagement by keeping everybody involved
  • Respond calmly, humorously, and decisively to the challenges that present themselves

DJ – Secondary Instructor

  • Communicate with MC via text, email, or phone
  • Assist & support MC with implementation of classroom activities
  • Greet latecomers and make sure they have everything they need
  • Document learner attendance according to site procedures
  • Prompt/document MC’s after class Self-Evaluation
  • Post Class Report on the website before midnight the day of class

Classroom Assistant

  • Support the MC by participating enthusiastically in classroom activities
  • Connect with the learners, but don’t get latched to one learner

Work Schedule

Typically 545 to 8 pm (class is 6 to 730 pm) 1 to 4 days a week (1 class per week is most common). There are daytime classes in some locations.


Class locations vary, most are not in the city center – that’s where non-native English speakers are.  You can view all the active locations at Current Classes.


Most sites are easily reached with a combination of MAX and bus, especially if you have a bicycle. A car is helpful but not required.