I’ll make this quick.
Just stop it. Stop belittling me. Call me a teacher. I take great pride in that distinction. It is truly an honor to be a part of this vocation. This profession, in my extremely biased opinion, is among the most noble in all of society. It is a privilege to tell others that I am a teacher…that I educate and positively impact my students. So, it bothers me a bit when it is suggested that ‘we’ should change our name. Recently, Edutopia published an article written by an administrator suggesting we instead use the term ‘learning engineer’. Here’s some of the author’s rationale for the change:
“When people hear the word teacher, mental images of their own student experiences often come to mind. In a Google search of the word, 26 out of the first 30 images were of an instructor in traditional teaching mode: standing in front of the class talking, writing, or pointing in front of a chalkboard or whiteboard.
That idea of the teacher as a dispenser of knowledge is not, as we know, what teachers do these days. But because so much tradition and social history are connected to the word teacher, I suggest that we give serious thought to using a different term, one that fully describes what we do as teachers.”
I disagree with a lot of this…a teacher is a dispenser of knowledge…it is what I do these days…we should be the expert in the classroom. But, this is a discussion for another post.
When I’m told that the profession is changing, kids are changing, and being a ‘teacher’ isn’t enough anymore, I can’t help but take it personally. There is something quite disparaging about this entire idea. Kyle Berry tweeted this in response to the article:
“I can’t think of another profession or trade that would tolerate an article like this. “Rethinking The Doctor’s Role”, “Rethinking The Plumber’s Role”, “Rethinking The Accountant’s Role”. Each one would think a headline like that to be absurd.”
I completely agree. Although there are advances/changes in those professions, no one is clamoring to redefine or lexiconically innovate those sectors…and for good reason. Those professions would laugh at this attempt and simply carry on with their important work. I propose teachers do the same. Let those who wish to profit from useless diversions waste their time…we’ll just carry on with teaching, because it’s what teachers do.
So, in review, here’s a list of things I am not. These are terms/phrases that cheapen and asperse the teaching profession:
Facilitator of learning
Personalized learning practitioner
Just call me teacher. No term better describes what I do. No term better honors this important profession. No term fills me with a greater sense of pride.