Children in schools (middle schools mostly) seem to misbehave more nowadays. Teachers have almost no power over the kids, the worst thing they can do is just give them a referral or send them to the office. Another thing is online/virtual school; some kids don't even need a teacher anymore.
The role of a teacher has become less important today. Students and teachers do not have the same type of relationship that they used to in the past. Today's teachers are not allowed to properly discipline students, and students tend to have poor classroom behavior. The teacher-student relationship has become increasingly impersonal in recent years. In some cases teachers sacrifice their job to teach kids because they are afraid to be accused of abuse by the student.
I believe the role of the teacher is still very important in society today, I believe the rise of technology and the interent gives people more ability to learn about different topics and areas but I believe the role of the teacher is still something very imporatant to society today.
The ability for students to take in vast quantities of information, readily process it / collate / discard erroneous information, and then synthesize these disparate sources to then generate abstractions from which to come to a clear understanding of the topic is more important than it has ever been. While fact-based information is quite a bit more readily available than at any point in history the ability to manage all of that information is still a skill that must be taught.
I think that while the image of the educational system and teachers in general are not the best today, I still believe that the role of a teach is as important as it's always been. I think that there needs to be a great emphasis put on teachers who actually want to teach instead of those who are collecting a pay check.
No, the role of the teacher has not been made any less not that it has ever been. I think that teachers are crucial to the development of the kids that are in this nation, and that they are the thing that keeps the nation going for the long term.