The difference between a teacher and an educator

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I have formed some of the strongest relationships with my teachers since moving to Washington. Throughout high school, I have learned important lessons from the people who educate me every day–but I think there’s a difference between one who teaches and one who educates. 

Educators in my life have been the ones who went out of their way to develop a relationship with me and help me when they noticed I was struggling. By acknowledging a student and figuring out a way to approach them, educators open the door to communication.

I also believe that educators go above and beyond their normal duties to ensure that every student is accounted for, whereas select teachers complete whatever their contract asks of them. 

However, there’s no harm in being a teacher. After all, teachers help students learn new things and are just as responsible for the success of their students’ education as an educator would be. There are many teachers that I know who wouldn’t exactly fall under the educator category but put a lot of effort into their lessons to keep them fresh and engaging. 

The difference between a teacher and an educator has little to do with curriculum and more to do with approach. A teacher will work with a student to make sure they are understanding the subject, but an educator will get to know the student on a deeper level, teach material outside of the syllabus and use their knowledge of the student to motivate, inspire and educate them–which can make a student feel valued and cared for. 

In my experience, I’ve built better relationships with educators than I have teachers, and although I can acknowledge the effort and rigor of both jobs, the lessons I’ve learned from educators will follow me into a professional career and even further. 

Education from teachers and educators is very important, but it’s the educators who make it worthwhile.