Which Kind of Educator are You?

Tarika Powell
2 min readApr 23, 2023
Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash

Many online “educators” enjoy and benefit from the fact that people are reliant on them for knowledge. Let me explain why that’s a problem.

Exploring topics independently is a crucial part of education, but many online “educators” replicate a top-down education model that’s already failed people in school. They are the teacher standing at the front of the room lecturing, droning on while the students never get to engage. They don’t create self-motivated learners.

Self-exploration, conversation, and independent study are where students engage with gray areas and nuance. The best feeling as an educator is when your students outgrow the need for you to hold their hand. That’s when you’re really doing your job.

Most influencers don’t want to outgrow the hand-holding dynamic of low-quality education. It’s necessary for their influence to exist.

DEI professionals can learn a lot from this. Are you teaching in a way that gives your participants something to build on? Is your program motivating them to explore? Or are they just glad the DEI training is over?

As a trained educator with a Masters in my field, I’m not particularly fond of everyone taking on the title of educator. I think it shows how little respect people have for the field and the skills required to be effective. But if you’re going to call yourself an educator, you’re also going to have to ask yourself which kind of educator you are. It’s not just about being an educator. It’s about being a good one.

Additional reading:

What is independent learning?

Guiding students to be independent learners

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Tarika Powell

Environmental policy expert living with PTSD. Writes about environmental policy, mental health, DE&I, and abuse culture. https://tarikapowell.com