July 16, 2019

Educator vs. Teacher – The Difference Between Education and Schooling

Finally! — thanks to a true Educator, I have come to understand the difference between a Teacher and an Educator. It has taken me over a year of hands-on research. And I discovered that while the world needs both, Educators are in short supply.

We are all Teachers to someone – our kids, our parents, co-workers, friends, even acquaintances. For some of us, like myself, it’s also a full time profession.

As a Teacher, you recall past information learned and pass it on. You correct faulty information and insist on more practice until, indeed, 2+2 = 4.

But what about those students who know you want them to say 2+2=4, yet in their universe 2+2 can equal infinite possibilities?

What do we do with those who see the world differently?

Do we simply label them as something to make ourselves feel better because they are different? Or because we really don’t understand why they’re different? For whose benefit is all this labeling?

When you give a Student a label — ADHD,  Autistic, Genius, High IQ, a boy, a girl, an English Second Language — does this justify your mind’s confusion as to why this round peg is not fitting into your square hole?

Each of us sees the world differently in one field or another. Yet how do we educate the “genius” and “autistic” we each seem to possess?

“A true Educator locates the intelligence and abilities within another, drawing them out for all, even the student, to see. And then steps out of the way, allowing them to develop, create and pursue their talent.”
– L. Ron Hubbard

A case in point is a recent pilot project I headed utilizing Toastmaster’s Youth Leadership program to teach public speaking and formal meeting procedure.

After 12 weeks of weekly seminars to our Middle School student Toastmasters (ages 11-14) — including both ESL (English Second Language) and EFL (English First Language) — we held an internal school Speech Contest where each Toastmaster student judged their fellow members on a speech they had written and delivered.

The top 10 moved into Finals and presented their speeches for the entire Middle School to observe. They were then judged by seasoned Toastmaster judges from local chapters.

The results were remarkable!

Our Speech Contest winners turned out to be 3 of the most unlikely students. No one could have predicted it because these students had been given pre-conceived labels that had not allowed anyone to believe they could become such polished, professional, entertaining Speakers!

Their abilities were uncovered. And with minor education utilizing the fantastic curriculum that Toastmasters has put together (my hat goes off to them) – along with the L. Ron Hubbard Communication Course delivered here at the Delphian School — true Public Speakers were able to come to life.

I cannot look at my own child the same after this experience. Instead of just teaching the basic life skills any parent is responsible to teach, I now search out his true abilities and let him shine through them.

I still struggle with the “step out of the way” and let him roll with it part. But I’ll go ahead and mention my “Type A Personality” label to “explain” it, so you can feel better about my being “different”.


Dana Houston Jackson, www.youthmuse.com



  1. This is BRILLIANT!

    Thank you for your insights. Your storytelling talents and personal experiences always make your message a pleasure to read.

    I’m delighted to share this!

  2. This is awesome! Indeed, you are an educator. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am motivated to do more for my students.


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