Friday, July 11, 2008

I am an Educator

Thinking about the previous post on being a Writer....I wonder if part of our existential angst regarding our profession is the result of the definition of an Educator or Teacher being just as slippery as being a Writer.

teach·er [tee-cher]
noun
a person who teaches or instructs, esp. as a profession; instructor.


ed·u·ca·tor [ej-oo-key-ter]
noun
a person or thing that educates, esp. a teacher, principal, or other person involved in planning or directing education.

Dictionary.com


(I like that the definition of "educator" also includes things.)

Though this particular readership falls under the "esp. as a profession" category (most of us have trainer/teacher/instructional something or other on our business cards), think about the number of people who teach/instruct/educate as a large part of their job. Yet it's not part of their title or formal job description.

The construction worker showing one of his co-workers a new technique for mitering corners. Is he a teacher/educator?

A co-worker showing her new colleague the department's data entry tool. Is she a teacher/educator?

Spike (my little enforcer kitty) training me to scratch him behind the ears each time he sits on the corner of my bed and meows in a certain way. Is he a teacher/educator?

In the comments to yesterday's post, Janet noted:
I think this conversation will got down the 'what is art?' road. What is writing? Well, it depends who's writing and who's reading.


Is that the problem we are having as "professional educators" these days?

Just a little navel gazing for the weekend....

1 comment:

Karyn Romeis said...

For years, my offical title included the word 'trainer', which I found so unsatisfactory for reasons that Mark Berthelemy has so adequately laid out in this post. Now I am known as a learning solutions designer. Sometimes I am also known as a learning consultant. I prefer that. I like to refer to myself rather generically and vaguely as a learning professional. So, yes, I am a teacher. I hope I am also an educator - both while doing my designs and while working with those SMEs you've referred to in your other post.