When hearing the term educator, many people envision a classroom teacher. That’s an accurate depiction of an educator, but it’s not an all-encompassing one.
I’ve worked in education my entire adult life, even before I graduated from college. As an undergraduate, I was an RA in several different types of residence halls, and I tutored at a local after school program.
After graduation, I worked as a hall director, director of minority affairs, and early alert coordinator at a local college. I didn’t set foot in a classroom, at least not as an instructor, but I worked as an educator, nevertheless, ensuring programming, diversity, safety, and academic success for the entire school community.
After that endeavor, I started graduate school and worked as an instructor for many composition and African American Studies courses at several universities. Before completing my doctorate, I got a job directing a university writing center.
Since then I’ve led two university writing centers – one an on-ground center with mostly student staff, and the other an online center with an entirely professional staff – and realized I love to help people gain confidence and courage in their writing.
Although this reads like a straightforward path, my trajectory as an educator has been circuitous. I’ve also worked in a faculty development center and as an assistant director in an academic resource center. I’ve been a high school teacher. I’ve served on a vision committee trying to start a new school, and I’ve served on a Title I committee at an all-girls urban charter school.
As an educator I’ve taught classes, but I’ve done so much outside of the classroom, too.
Educators are teachers, but we do not only teach in classrooms. We are librarians (my high school librarian transformed my life), and cafeteria workers (I know a cafeteria worker who spends her free time pondering how to positively impact students in the few seconds she shares with them through the day), and deans (a dean once advised me to study what I loved, and that made all the difference), and department administrators (one department administrator made my 4 years of undergraduate feel like home), homeschoolers (a homeschool dad challenged me to reimagine what makes a good education), and on, and on, and on.
How do you educate? What roles do you play?
No matter how you educate, LELA House is here to care for you as you care for others.
Here’s some inspiration for those who inspire – 15 Empowering Maxims for Education Mavericks.Roshaunda D. Cade, Ph.D. is an educator, writer, and creator. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband and teenage children and enjoys reading, writing, dancing, and pushing her creative boundaries. You can follow her at roshaundacade.com, lela-house.com, and on Teachable, Medium, Youtube, and Instagram.