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.
An educator is much more than a teacher, they are learners, collaborators, fire-starters and idea generators. In school buidings, teachers are responsible for the education for an entire school year 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.
Learning should not be confined to occur inside a school building. An educator’s goal should be to foster learners who want, need, have to; acquire knowledge outside of school hours and wherever they are stationed. Ultimately, an educator’s goal is to foster learners and not students. A great teacher inspires and creates lifelong learners.
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). 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 learners
- A team builder who creates and participates in learning communities
- A proactive learner
- A facilitator
- A great communicator
- Skillful at inspiring learners
- A dreamer
- Proactive in problem-solving and planning
- A 3-D Thinker… one who can think inside and outside the box.
Educators should always be learners themselves. Educators continue to learn new concepts, theories and practice new techniques daily. 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 20 exciting years of professional and educational experiences, accomplishments and projects.