Educator & Mentoring
Note: This page was last updated by Alisan Atvur on 12-September-2018.
The following definitions are intended to clarify my perspective on the roles of “educator” and “teacher.” Should my personal interpretations of these words change, I will update the definitions.
A person who helps others develop and use inquiry methods to move towards this truth is referred to as an educator. At times, I perform my role as an educator when invited (explicitly by the student or implicitly by the situation) to adopt such a role.
When pursuing this role in order to achieve the means and resources to maintain my physical survival, the role becomes a profession called teaching.
I’m fortunate to educate students at various stages of their learning career, ranging from undergraduate university students to senior professional specialists. Regardless of the specific subject or student, I typically focus on achieves some (if not all) of the following three (3) objectives with each teaching session.
I enable students to develop capabilities to calmly, constructively, and creatively to plan and work through difficult professional challenges.
I strive to prepare students for the collaborating with different types of professionals and personalities in their daily work.
I present a viable vision of professionalism and compassion within the creative arts that others want to follow. In short, my objective is to generate more creatively-capable, more collaborative, and more compassionate professionals.
My Responsibilities as an Educator
I believe an inescapable power dynamic exists between the educator and the student, and I intend to respect such a dynamic by clearly and consistently upholding my responsibilities in all of the work I perform. The following list reflects some of those responsibilities.
I believe enabling students to build compassion and use creativity is more socially impactful than any single act of compassion or creativity.
My General Responsibilities
My arguments and propositions should be based in traceable evidence.
My students should not be penalized for constructively or respectfully making a counter-argument to my arguments or propositions.
The costs of my educational sessions should calibrated with consideration to the students.
When possible and practical, I should make the costs as little as possible.I should offer direct but polite feedback.
Responsibilities to University Class Students
My performance evaluation system (e.g. grading rubric) should be understandable and accessible before a student registers for any session or class with me.
When teaching less than 50 students a semester, I should protect at least 30 min of private time per semester for each student in each class I teach. My office hours should be lengthy enough that each student can reserve this time with me.
When I receive clearly written emails with specific questions about curriculum, I should respond to emails within 48 hours. I should not penalize students if my delayed response impacts their work.
I should clarify what I expect in correspondence between myself, my fellow faculty members, and students (including expectations regarding privacy, timeliness, and tone).
When possible, I should present materials in an format that accommodates different learning styles.I should not assign work that does not have an explicit or implicit connection to a learning objective of the class.
Responsibilities regarding the Classroom Environment
My classrooms should be free of bigotry or violence in any form or fashion.
My classrooms should accommodate different learning styles within reason.
My teaching style should be respectful of the power dynamic and honor my students as individual human beings.
I strive to assess the baseline knowledge of the students before planning and executing lessons.
Consistent Evaluation and a Commitment to Improvement
I should methodically and regularly invite feedback from students and faculty in order to improve my performance as an educator.
In contrast, I’m not obligated to give good grades, build a student’s professional network, write letters of recommendation, or provide private tutoring.
My students’ responsibilities
Any learning activity I execute is intended to be a transaction between myself and the student. As such, I perform the responsibilities I’ve mentioned above with the assumption that my students perform the responsibilities mentioned below.
Students are expected to have reviewed and annotated all required readings before the beginning of each class.
Students are expected to read intensively and record clear questions to ask before entering class.
Students are expected to meet deadlines conveyed at the beginning of the semester.
Students are expected to identify any challenges or problems with meeting expectations identified in the syllabus or the plan within the first two weeks of the session. (However, I understand that emergencies happen).
Communication and Contribution
Students are expected to make evidence-based arguments that can be understood by others.
Students are expected to be respectful to their fellow students and faculty members. Disagreements may occur, but diplomacy and decorum are expected.
I hesitate to commit to a single method or collection of methods which I use for every learning experience. However, I typically rely on some or all of the following methods in many of my experiences.
Instructor Performance Evaluation Methods
Qualitative student reviews
Qualitative faculty reviews
Student Performance Evaluation Methods