Teacher vs Educator: the duel is ON!

Are you going to be my teacher?

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YouTube video Uploaded by on Oct 25, 2009

Good question kid?  However, I think it would be better if you asked:

ARE YOU GOING TO BE MY TEACHER OR ARE YOU GOING TO BE MY EDUCATOR??

Well, as for me, kid, I don’t want to be yours or anyone else’s teacher! I want to be your EDUCATOR!  No, they ARE NOT the same thing!  They say that you should be passionate about what it is that you do, otherwise, what’s the point?  Well, I AM passionate about my profession.  I am an educator.  Or so I like to think.  Although, these days I really don’t like my job so much because I find I am a teacher, much more often than I am an educator.

Do you teach or do you Educate?

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“Education is not the filling of a vessel, but the kindling of a flame.” – Socrates

The shift in education today centers around reverse instruction and this idea of a “flipped” classroom.  Many educators (note I do NOT say teachers) are moving toward this 21st century style of learning and the results coming out of the classroom are amazing.  Why?  Because this is what students of today, the Digital Natives (aka digital learners), want AND need to truly learn and be prepared for the real world.

Engage me!

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Alan November says, we need to involve students in a community outside the classroom and relate it to class concepts.  We need to teach critical thinking and problems solving, not just rote memorization and calculation skills.  We need to turn the ownership of the learning over to the students and let them make a contribution.  Let them find the problem to solve and then we guide them in using the technology and concepts to solve it.  They need to find dignity and integrity in their work, to create content that adds value.  We as “educators” should be helping our students leave a legacy.  When students are creating a legacy, “There is a change in the culture, the ecology of learning, a fundamental shift in relationships and roles and a feeling of empowerment students have.”

So, in order for this to happen the bottom line is:

We need to change that plain one-dimensional teacher into an educatora mentor, a guide who illuminates, enlightens, inspires and empowers, not just explains.

Well, I have definitely jumped onto this “21st century learning” train of of educators working to incorporate reverse instruction and the flipped classroom, and am working to regularly implement this pedagogy into my classroom.  I want to become an “educator” every day and get rid of the “teacher“.  I want to bring the mathematical exploration and critical thinking inside my classroom door on a daily basis instead of leaving it to the students to trudge through alone at home most of the time.

To help me in this transformation, I am reaching out to get connected to those who have done it (Dan Meyers, Brian Bennett), and, thanks to Jeff Utecht and my COETAIL program, am working to build the connections and educational networking communities with other educators already riding the train.  As I said from the very beginning, it all starts with baby steps.  Well, this girl’s train is picking up, baby.

However, unfortunately, I see a folk in the road up ahead and I’m now sure how to handle it.  But THAT is for another blog.

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