Being an educator is my gift to the world. My father was a school principal for many years and my mother was a teacher for a bit. My dad actually discouraged me from becoming a teacher, since he knew how difficult the job could be, with little financial reward. It was a choice I made to make a difference in the world. I especially love teaching at-risk or learning-disabled students who need the most help. Some students can get on with learning with little need for help from a teacher, but there are those for whom a good teacher can make all the difference. I also believe education can open doors for some disadvantaged people (like myself…I grew up in a place called “The Ghetto”)… so I want to play a part in making lives better for others. I have been an educator for 33 years and plan to keep sharing anything I know with anyone who wishes to learn.
I think teaching can be both a vocation and a profession. There are many teachers who have no training about teaching and for whom it is more of a vocation. They teach the way they were taught themselves during their school days, with little or no knowledge base to support their actions. I think a lot of university instructors are really subject matter experts who do their best to impart what they know to others. They may have little idea about how to make learning engaging for students or how students learn best. Then, there are trained teachers for whom teaching is a profession (like dentistry). They have a knowledge base and tool kit to help them implement best practices when working with students. They keep up with current research in their profession and add to the knowledge pool themselves. They adhere to a code of conduct becoming of their profession. So they are both subject matter experts AND pedagogical experts.