Ask a friend, "What type of educator are you?" and you'll get an array of answers. Some say, "I'm the type who gets things done," while others claim, "I'm the joker all kids love." The school administrator may contend to be, "The one who makes everyone succeed."
We spent a few weeks talking to educators, asking questions about their professional interests--what they enjoy about their work and what they desire, in terms of collaboration, pedagogy, and professional learning.
This somewhat informal research indicates that schools are usually filled with three types of educators: Lead Learners, Student Engagers, and Personalized Learners.
We believe that it's important to know your educator type, so you can understand your "inner educator" and better serve your stakeholders, while becoming the best teacher or leader you can be.
Let's learn more about each of the three types.
This inner educator is eager to serve teachers and learners, in ways that more effectively impact everyone in the education community.
While the traditional principal leads from an office and a podium, the Lead Learner is highly visible, working in classrooms, hallways, cafeterias, actively engaging with everyone in the school.
Lead Learners believe they are not just steering the bus; they're a passenger along for the ride. So, they must view things from multiple lenses.
This inner educator is willing to do anything to engage with every single student. You want your students to not only love your subject, you want them racing to your classroom, eager to dive in to every lesson and activity every day.
You know that today's learners come to you with a variety of issues that impact their level of engagement, including variables outside of school that are rarely in your control. Still, you long to be even better at meeting each and every child where she is.
This inner educator is eager to hone your craft. In order to help students and colleagues perform at their best, you realize that you must constantly be evolving and improving. Your must be the best version of yourself.
Your will to grow professionally is strong; you want professional development, but you'd prefer to drive it yourself, in most cases. Let's be honest, school-driven PD rarely fits the needs of all educators.
You know what you need, and you're ready to begin; you're just not sure which PD path is right for you. You're determined to figure it out, though.
How can you focus on one more thing, when you're more overwhelmed than you've ever been? Coping with teaching and learning in a pandemic world is likely burning you out; you just want to survive.
Believe it or not, knowing and nurturing your inner educator can help.
Once you figure out what type of educator you are, you'll begin understanding your needs a bit better, and you can take small steps to improve both professionally and personally.
For example, a Lead Learner will want to help teachers cope with the stress that comes with distance and hybrid learning. She'll find resources to help her help those teachers.
While a Personalized Learner is typically open to any help she can get, she realizes she needs stress relief now and will seek it out on her own, maybe by reading an article or listening to a podcast about the impact of meditation or a new form of exercise.
The Student Engagers will want to better serve their students, who are also struggling like never before. They might explore a new tech tool to engage learners both in and out of the classroom. At this point, students will love the time you take to give them something fresh.
So, what type of educator are you?