The role of teacher is often formal and ongoing, carried out at a school or other place of formal education. In many countries, a person who wishes to become a teacher must first obtain specified professional qualifications or credentials from a university or college. These professional qualifications may include the study of pedagogy, the science of teaching. Teachers, like other professionals, may have to continue their education after they qualify, a process known as continuing professional development. Teachers may use a lesson plan to facilitate student learning, providing a course of study which is called the curriculum.
A teacher's role may vary among cultures. Teachers may provide instruction in literacy and numeracy, craftsmanship or vocational training, the arts, religion, civics, community roles, or life skills.
A teacher who facilitates education for an individual may also be described as a personal tutor, or, largely historically, a governess.
In some countries, formal education can take place through home schooling. Informal learning may be assisted by a teacher occupying a transient or ongoing role, such as a family member, or by anyone with knowledge or skills in the wider community setting.