I Will Be A Great Educator

604 words | 3 page(s)

In my youth, I wanted to become a teacher. Like most college students in a teaching program, I wanted to gain the tools necessary to be able to teach children the necessary materials to be able to advance their education. I recognized the job of teaching as being one that would allow a home and work balance as well as allow me the opportunities to network with other likeminded individuals. Although I saw teaching as a career, my first seven years spent working in the school system can be characterized as a teaching job. I was not yet an educator as described by Sackstein (2016).

The next fifteen years, I focused on starting a family. The home and work balance of a teaching job was not sufficient to support my family life which led to a decision to leave the position. Yet, I found myself longing for the classroom and feeling as if I had not fulfilled my duties to the students. I began to take assignments as a substitute teacher and found myself in the position of a teacher’s aide for first grade students who were falling below their grade level. According to Stronge, Grant, and Xu (2015) a teacher does not become an educator until they recognize the impact that they are able to make in the lives of the students. It is in this latter position that I no longer wanted to be a teacher but rather an educator.

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With this motivation in place, I began to question the qualities that separate teachers from educators. Sackstein (2016) provided several specific examples. For instance, a teaching requires presenting materials while educating requires connecting with the students in a way that the materials change their lives. A teacher speaks to a classroom while an educator speaks to the students. In brief, a teacher teaches while an educator educates. When I wanted to teach, I spend the greatest part of my day preparing lesson plans and grading assignments. While I must continue to do these things as an educator, I must also balance time to get to know the needs of the students so that the lesson plans can meet these needs. Radhakrishnan (2015) explains that this creates a shift in the educator’s perception of success and failure while also improving the students’ motivation. To motivate a student and foster a desire for life-long learning, in my opinion, are the true measurements of success.

Many things have occurred in my life since I worked as a teacher. These life experiences have taught me the value of a comprehensive education. I have a strong desire to fight social injustices through decreasing economic and educational disparities. I recognize that improvements in society cannot occur without a generation of students who do not simply graduate high school but continue to seek knowledge long after their final assignment has been turned in. I want to promote this desire to learn through fostering a sense of confidence. This can be achieved through encouraging the students to ask questions, actively listening to their concerns, and focusing on their strengths (Radhakrishnan, 2015).

I will be a great educator because I possess the skills necessary to transform the learning experience. I was, at one point, a great teacher. I provided my students with the necessary skills to be promoted to the next grade level. As I have grown in my own life, however, I realize that this was not enough. My job as an educator is not to teach. Instead, it is to educate. As Sackstein (2016) explained, a person may forget which teacher taught them something but few will ever forget who truly educated them.

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