Week 1 – Discussion 2
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Your  initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until  Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect  both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses.  Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon  above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.
 Teacher vs. Educator
Read the “Teacher vs. Educator (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.”  article and reflect on a school leader who has been influential in your  life.  Based on the example given in the article, explain why you would  categorize that influential school leader as either a teacher or an  educator.
Guided Response: Consider and respond to the ideas  shared in at least two of your classmates’ posts. Provide your reaction  to how they categorized that influential educator. In addition to your  two classmate responses, be sure to In addition to your two classmate  responses, be sure to respond to any questions or comments posted by  your instructor.
You can use the Writing a Good Discussion Board Post (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. document to help create your responses.
Teachers vs Educators: Which Are You? – Work in Progress – Education Week Teacher
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/work_in_progress/2016/05/teachers_vs_educators_which_ar.html?cmp=eml-eb-popweek+05132016[6/30/2016 12:25:02 PM]
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Starr Sackstein teaches writing and
journalism in New York City. She is a
National Board-certified teacher and
the New York director for the
Journalism Education Association.
Sackstein is also the author of the
Teaching Mythology
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« Empower Students to Self-Assess for Report Card Grades
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Teachers vs Educators: Which Are You?
Starr Sackstein
on May 5, 2016 5:00 AM
How often do we meet
people who leave a
lasting impression?
How many of those
people were
educators who spent
time helping to sculpt
us into the people we
are today?
This past weekend I
had the experience of
a lifetime when I
presented my first
TedxTalk at a
event at Burlinton High School in Massachusetts.
All of the speakers were very inspiring, but I’d say that the student speakers stole the show.
Timmy Sullivan, a senior at Burlington High School, closed the event with a compelling talk
about the difference between teachers and educators, which got me thinking (and I’m sure
I’m not the only person who was wondering which
he’d classify me
First he sought to define what a teacher is using the dictionary. Courtesy of Webster:
The opinions expressed in Work in Progress
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Teachers vs Educators: Which Are You? – Work in Progress – Education Week Teacher
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/work_in_progress/2016/05/teachers_vs_educators_which_ar.html?cmp=eml-eb-popweek+05132016[6/30/2016 12:25:02 PM]
A teacher is “one that
:  one whose occupation is to instruct” versus an
educator, who is “one skilled in teaching
.” I agree with Timmy that these two
definitions don’t really distinguish between the two well enough.
For me, like Timmy, a teacher is someone who shows up for a teaching job every day. He or
she knows the content and likely teaching like a job. Whereas an educator is one of those
people who goes farther than what is expected. It’s the teacher who makes relationships with
students more important than the content, but because of those relationships, the content
comes alive.
Teaching isn’t just a job to an educator,
it’s a calling
. It’s passion and commitment and a
desire to amplify the voices and dreams of the many children whose lives touch them as
much as the educator touches theirs.
Timmy spent time going through his schooling career and came up with a short list and tried
to figure out what they had in common. Being much farther away from my formative
education, the fact that some educators still remain inside my consciousness to this day as I
continue to grow in this profession as I try to emulate the impact they made on me supports
their classification as such.
So for this
Teacher Appreciation Week
, I’d like to give a little shout out to a few educators
who have helped shape me as the person, writer, and educator I hope to become.
Margery Kashman
– MK taught 12th grade honors English. She read my personal
writing and encouraged me to keep at it, as a matter fact, she still does now. Being
in her class made me love reading and we shared many probing conversations at
lunch about
When it came time for me to do my observations as I was
becoming a teacher, MK was the teacher I wanted to observe most. She invited
me back with open arms.
Mr. Johannan-
Calculus teacher who made math an experience. His classes were
fun, challenging and engaging. I enjoyed math that year.
Mr. Williams
– High School music teacher. He knew I was shy and lacked
confidence as a singer, but always offered me opportunities to try. Performing in
his groups taught me discipline and made me feel a part of something that really
mattered. The music bled from him and his excitement for the subject filled the
hallways with song.
Ted Chereskin
– an art teacher who let me follow my whims, no matter how crazy
they were. He allowed me to test my curiosity, even if it meant me casting my
entire body in plaster or using pencil shavings as filler in a collage. No suggestion I
made was out of bounds. I took risks in his class and he supported everyone.
Mr. Scheiner
– my 4th grade teacher who I accidentally called “daddy” once. He
didn’t shame me, he was flattered. It was in his class that I learned to love reading
not fear it. His presence was a commanding one and despite the way he looked,
his demeanor was so gentle and warm. I was going through a hard time in my life
at that time and school became a place I wanted to come to hide away.
Dr. Maxwell
– 11th grade honors English. She challenged us all to consider
literature in a way that made me think. We put novels on trial. Ours was
. I’ll never forget the experience of arguing against censorship despite
the content of a novel.
Dr. Berman –
9th grade honors English. English came alive as we passed the
conch shell around the room in our discussion of
Lord of the Flies
or we talked
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Chief of Staff
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Nashville, TN
Industrial Education Teacher
Haven Middle School, IL
Professional Development Position
Springfield, MA, MA
Park City School District, Park City, UT
Executive Director/Director – 2 openings
OSPI, Olympia, WA
Minority Achievement Officer
Pinellas County Schools, Largo, FL
Teachers vs Educators: Which Are You? – Work in Progress – Education Week Teacher
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/work_in_progress/2016/05/teachers_vs_educators_which_ar.html?cmp=eml-eb-popweek+05132016[6/30/2016 12:25:02 PM]
about phonies in
Catcher in the Rye.
Each of these educators had a profound impact on my life both at the time and now as I look
back and consider the legacy I want to leave in this profession. After 14 years of teaching, I
can only hope that I touch the lives of my students in the same way that each of these adults
did mine. Their compassion and excitement for learning permeated what they did and that
So thank you to the special educators in my life, past and present.
Who are the educators in your life that made a difference and why? Please share
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School/Life Balance
What if
authentic learning
student empowerment
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Score: 2
William Soderholm
7:02 AM on May 5, 2016
This is very interesting.
The problem is we keep getting things added to our
list that interefere with all of these positives.
The bigger problem is
education is promoting these things at an exponential rate all the while
providing lip service along the lines of this article.
1 reply
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Score: 2
John Bennett
9:06 AM on May 5, 2016
Though many true educators still refer to themselves as teachers, in my
mind, the difference is fairly straightforward: Educators facilitate learning,
occasionally teaching when needed; Teachers deliver information following
lesson plans, occasionally educating some students.
Back when dirt was clear (you know – so long ago, it wasn’t even dirty yet…)
when I was in school, most were teachers with a few like Ted Strein who
were educators. Today, more and more are educators but the change can
never be fast enough!!!
3 replies
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Score: 5
11:22 AM on May 5, 2016
Teachers had this calling long before the term educator was in vogue. Non
of the students I have had a lasting impact on since 1970 have ever called
me their educator.
Report Abuse
Teachers vs Educators: Which Are You? – Work in Progress – Education Week Teacher
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/work_in_progress/2016/05/teachers_vs_educators_which_ar.html?cmp=eml-eb-popweek+05132016[6/30/2016 12:25:02 PM]
1 reply
Score: 4
11:50 AM on May 5, 2016
As a teacher, I personally dislike the term “educator” and never refer to
myself as such. However, I do full believe that teaching is my calling, not just
a job. My dislike for “educator” stems from the fact that it is used to
describe everyone involved in education, superintendents, curriculum
managers, and the like. Many “educators” do not teach. That is not to say
that people in those positions are not necessary to the work that teachers
do, but they do not fit the author’s or Timmy’s definition of “educator”.
1 reply
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Score: 4
3:36 PM on May 5, 2016
This “line in the sand” description is ridiculous.
My next door neighbor insists
that she be addressed as an “educator” and will correct any other title.
imply that some are “educators” and others merely “teachers” would be like
distinguishing between “preachers” and “ministers” because you like the
style that one of them employs and denigrate the other.
Additionally, any
teacher also knows that the students perception of the class (and teacher)
relies not just on the teacher (educator, instructor, professor, whatever you
insist on being called) but also on the content of the class or perhaps more
so on the other students in the class.
While we’re at it, let’s decide what
other monikers we need to distinguish between.
Which is better, doctor or
physician? Preacher or minister? Manager or supervisor?
teacher or instructional coach?
Let’s not get too full of ourselves here.
the end of the day, do I love my job?
But I also hope that everyone has
the feeling that they make a difference in their job, regardless of the
To think otherwise could only imply that I’m unappreciative of
their service.
Report Abuse
Score: 4
Nancy Flanagan
6:24 PM on May 5, 2016
I once gave a keynote address on the joys of teaching. Immediately
following, a woman in a business suit and heels approached me and said
“Don’t ever call ME a teacher! I’m an…educator.” I was taken aback–but it
was an opportunity to give the terms some thought.
I think “teacher” is a perfect word–a noun made from an equally perfect
although simple verb: teach.
Parents teach their children. Children teach
each other.
The opposite of teach is lean, a seesaw of meaning. The
opposite of education is…well maybe what Donald Trump meant when he
referred to the “poorly educated.”
When people believe they’re not teachers any more—they’re educators–
my “rhetorical excess” radar goes on. I will always be a teacher.
Report Abuse
Score: 4
1:07 PM on May 7, 2016
Teacher or educator?
Who gives a rip?
If respect is missing from the
equation it doesn’t matter what they call us.
How about “Administrator or
Classroom Failure?”
Now that would be a topic for discussion.
1 reply
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Teachers vs Educators: Which Are You? – Work in Progress – Education Week Teacher
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/work_in_progress/2016/05/teachers_vs_educators_which_ar.html?cmp=eml-eb-popweek+05132016[6/30/2016 12:25:02 PM]

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Score: 4
3:02 PM on May 8, 2016
I can see the distinction you are trying to make, but I have always held the
title “teacher” as sacred.
Even as a college professor, I thought of myself
first as a “teacher,” and I prefer the old-fashioned Anglo-Saxon word to
“educator” any day. Being a teacher is my calling, and I do more than show
up everyday for a job.
Society at large may belittle the job and title of
teacher, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept their assessment of
teachers and give ourselves a new name.
Report Abuse
Score: 3
11:10 AM on May 9, 2016
So I suppose a good teacher is a teacher but a great teacher is an educator?
Or is a mediocre educator a teacher? If I teach students I’m a teacher, but if
I get students to teach themselves I’m an educator?
What if I try to get
students to educate themselves and they fail to do so?
Am I still an
educator, or am I a teacher?
I get that you are trying to say something profound here, but I think that
you are missing the point.
The general public already believes that teaching
is a calling rather than a job, which is why they find it so hard to accept that
we deserve salaries and benefits.
Missionaries don’t complain about their
lack of good dental coverage, do they?
I see myself as a cognition-expert, standing at the boundary between
working memory and long-term memory to facilitate the transfer of
In other words, I’m a teacher.
Report Abuse
Score: 2
12:28 PM on May 12, 2016
On behalf of the teachers you’ve honored in this blog, “Thank you, my dear!”
What a lovely thing to do for those who made such a difference in your life.
As for teacher vs educator, I don’t care what the official term is as long as
I’m working with my wonderful 10th grade English students and we’re all
learning together.
1 reply
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Score: 0
9:16 AM on May 13, 2016
I have a problem with referring to teaching as a calling.
Being a teacher is
not the same as being a priest or a nun.
Claiming that teaching is a calling
has too often been used as an excuse to pay teachers next to nothing.
I love
my job, but I won’t do it for free.
No. Profession? I’d like to think so.
1 reply
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Teachers vs Educators: Which Are You? – Work in Progress – Education Week Teacher
http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/work_in_progress/2016/05/teachers_vs_educators_which_ar.html?cmp=eml-eb-popweek+05132016[6/30/2016 12:25:02 PM]

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