A Teacher or an Educator

Teacher. One who imparts knowledge or skill. One who instructs. Educator. One who shares information. One who trains. Educator. One who develops understanding in others. Are they the same? Perhaps. That's the funny thing about finding just the right word, just the right phase.

Teacher? Educator?

According to a news report, a certain private school in Washington recently faced a unique problem. A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick, and put it on in the bathroom.

That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick, they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night, the maintenance man would remove them and the next day, the girls would put them back.

Finally, the principal decided to do something. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man.

She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night.

To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required.

He took out a long-handled mop, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it.

Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.

Sometimes there are teachers. And then sometimes there are Educators.

strawberry lipstick

How Being a Teacher is Like Being a Rock Star

You work hard each day to hold the attention of a distracted, even squirrely crowd.

You hear your name being called out all the time.

Groupies like to line up, to follow you wherever you go.

You fans freak out when they see you in public.

You fear hearing the sound of "crickets" after a performance.

You ask yourself each day, "Am I on drugs, or did that really just happen?"

The Wise Teacher

There was once a wise teacher, known throughout the county.  Students eagerly sought to meet this teacher and learn from her wisdom.

Over the years, one-by-one her students would leave her and go off to do great work in the world.  All, that is, but one.

For this one student, things did not seem to go well. He wondered why he wasn’t ready for the world after years under this teacher’s care and instruction. He figured it must be the teacher’s fault. One day, he asked for a special meeting with the wise teacher.

“Teacher,” said Jason, “Why am I not yet ready to go off into the world? I listened carefully to everything you have said. I have acquired vast knowledge. Why, then, am I not ready like the other students? It’s just not fair. Some of the students started after me and they are already off on their own, doing great things in the world.”

“Jason,” replied the teacher, “Perhaps I should meet you at your home to discuss this further.  Where do you live?”

thoughtful boy

Jason gave her his address, but the teacher wanted more.  “Can you please give me directions to your home so I can get there without a map.”

And so, he told her how to find his home, in great detail. He explained about the twists and turns in the road, where to watch out for the apple tree with the dead branch just before the road that led to his home. He explained about the flower box just to the left of the door and the herb garden off to the right.

The wise teacher carefully repeated the directions to Jason, not forgetting even a single detail.

“Yes, yes. That’s right!” he said.

“Do I have all the information I need?” the teacher asked.

“Oh yes, you’ll have no trouble at all,” replied Jason.

“Are you sure I haven’t forgotten anything?” the teacher said with a puzzled look on her face.

“No, Ma'am, that’s everything,” said Jason.

“So, no important last minute hints young man?” asked the teacher with a slight frown.

“No, really.  You have it right,” he said, with an annoyed.sigh.

There was a long pause as the wise teacher rubbed her chin.

“Well then,” the teacher said her hand clasped behind her back now.  “Am I at your home?”

“What?” Jason asked, a bit confused.

“Am I not standing with the flower box on my left and the herb garden off to my right?” said the wise teacher with her eyes closed.  “After all, I have all the information I need, right down to the smallest detail.”

There was a long period of silence.

Bowing his head Jason finally looked up at his wise teacher, the lesson finally dawning on him.  “Oh Teacher,” said the student humbly, “It is not just information and details that I must remember.  I must learn to take action. It is in the doing that takes us where we need to go.”

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