The simplest definition of an educator is a person who teaches. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says that an educator is:
1: one skilled in teaching: TEACHER
2 a: a student of the theory and practice of education: EDUCATIONIST
2 b: an administrator in education.
I like these definitions because Number 1, I think teachers should be skilled in teaching. One should not be a teacher if they are not skilled and dedicated to improving their skills. Think about the ramifications, a teacher is responsible for the education for an entire school year (in my case, nine months) of a set of specific students. Whatever is taught or not taught will influence each and every child in that class in subsequent years. It’s a pretty awesome responsibility. Every parent wants a skilled and knowledgeable teacher for his or her child. In fact, studies have shown that teacher quality more heavily influences the differences in student performance, even more than race, class or school of the student. (Nye, Konstantopoulos, & Hedges, 2004). NCLB defines a highly qualified teacher “as one with full certification, a bachelor’s degree and demonstrated competence in subject knowledge and teaching.” In reality, an effective and successful teacher has qualities that aren’t often mentioned on paper.
These qualities should include being:
- Adept at forming and maintaining relationships
- Genuine interest in his or her students
- A team builder who creates and participates in learning communities
- A proactive learner
- A facilitator
- A great communicator
- Skillful at inspiring students
- A dreamer
- Proactive in problem-solving and planning
- A 3-D Thinker… one who can think inside and outside the box.
And let’s not forget that teachers should always be students themselves. Educators continue to learn new concepts, theories and practice new techniques in their classrooms. The quest for knowledge and learning should never end. I never want to become the educator who has one year of experience twenty times. I want twenty years of varied experiences.
This is an online portfolio of my 19 years of varied professional and educational experiences, accomplishments and projects.