Yes, I am an educator, even though I quit teaching several years ago.
What does it mean to be an educator? In French, we often hear teachers talking about being a good educator, but what do they mean by that?
The Larousse dictionary defines an educator as “a teacher, an education specialist or a person who has the qualities of a good teacher.” According to that definition, all teachers are educators and all educators are teachers. But is that really the case?
Let’s dig deeper and ask the following question: what is educating?
The Larousse tells us that it is “the overall set of methods used to teach children and teenagers.”
Does that make more sense? Not to me. When I was studying teaching (a long time ago), my professors constantly talked about education and the importance of being an educator, but without being able to satisfactorily explain how to become one.
Can only teachers be educators? I doubt it. Of course, most teachers rely on education daily. However, I didn’t retire my educator hat when I resigned from the school. Once a teacher, always a teacher…
Here is what my experience has taught me about education and educators. Education is the science of explaining, transferring knowledge, and using learning and retention methods.
Educators use education to make it easier for those around them (students, colleagues, etc.) to understand certain concepts or just to make their work easier for them. They will anticipate people’s difficulties but will not do the work for them. Educators will also ask students to rephrase what was just said to make sure they understood. If students (or others) fail to understand a concept, educators will explain it differently, use real-life examples, and try to reframe the problem. They will use their ability to put concepts into words in a way that allows everyone to understand them, without providing all the information. They will help others reach their full potential by allowing them to make mistakes, search for information and learn at their own pace.
I know that most teachers truly are extraordinary educators. I just want others, non-teachers, to also be able to benefit from this. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone had a little educator in them?
So, let’s all be educators together and enlighten the future!
“Every difficulty encountered is an opportunity for new progress.” - Pierre de Coubertin
Summer holidays are just around the corner or might have even started already! The energy of the end of classes manages to keep you well anchored in the present moment and allows you to continue accompanying your students in a dynamic way. But once summer arrives, it's not necessarily easy to set your mind at rest. Personally, when the school year ended, I needed several weeks to completely let go of my school year and really enjoy my holiday.Read →