Do I teach or do I educate?
Through my experiences not only here at South but all through my education career, I have noticed the difference between a "teacher" and an "educator". In my mind when I think of a teacher, I picture a "relayer". I picture it as if it is a 4x800 track event where the teacher has taken the baton (information) from the book or other source and is now passing it off to me. I then hold the baton for my duration of the race and pass it on to a sheet of paper (the test) and whatever information I once had is now gone. I really have not learned anything. I held onto the baton for as long as I had to then passed it off. On the other hand, When I think of an educator, I think of a "giver". I of an educator as being someone who gives his or her students a gift of knowledge. The difference being: If you give someone a good gift the recipient is not going to "pass the baton". The recipient is going to keep it and use it.
I know a lot about sports, so naturally one day I was asked to coach a boys AAU team. When they approached me they said, "Hunter we need you to teach these boys how to win." I thought about it for a minute and then I replied, "I can only give them the skills they need to win. Whether they win or not is completely up to them." And I feel the difference is that these boys did not look at me as a coach, but rather a mentor or guide. I tried to be a role model the best I could so that they would want it more. I watched the same group of boys finish out their first season of high school basketball and go on to win their county championship, and that's when I knew that I hadn't been the relayer, I had been the giver. I want to apply the same principles when I become a teacher. I will still be coaching, but I hope that I can be just as good of an educator in the classroom as I am in the gym.
Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home
In his article, John Spencer tells a story where a fellow faculty member is more worried about the fact that students would score lower on a standardized test rather than different types of learning. I have actually experienced this myself. When I was in high school, teachers would teach us materials and subjects for the sole purpose of passing the graduation exam. I can remember making stack and stacks of notecards, until we eventually stopped using notecards and soon began to simply cut paper into sections. All types of learning if not done by memorizing notecards was completely taken out. The other faculty member makes the statement, "Okay, you keep telling yourself that, but don't blame me when your test scores are lower." The tone I take is almost like Gertrude thinks of it as a competition between which teacher can produce the best scoring students. Yet again I feel that she is primarily worried about the scores rather than further stimulating young minds.