Publication details

Teacher, Counselor, Mentor, Coach—What Should We Call Ourselves?



Year of publication 2018
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
Description In courses and activities which foster autonomy, the role of the teacher is often dramatically different than in a traditional classroom. It’s obvious that we teachers may want to call ourselves something different to reflect our different relationship with students. What’s much less obvious is what exactly to call ourselves. Are we counselors, coaches, mentors, facilitators, tutors, advisors, or all of those, or something else entirely? And how should a team of teachers decide on the best word(s) to fit our roles, considering the many complicated influences (such as culture, language, and personal connotations) on how we and our students perceive these titles? In this presentation, I will share some possible alternatives to the title “teacher” which my colleagues and I have considered as we’ve searched for the best titles for our various roles in the Masaryk University Language Centre’s “English Autonomously” course. I will offer a few different perspectives on the shades of meaning in these words, drawing from etymology and actual contemporary use of these titles in a few different English-language contexts. I’ll ask you to reflect on your our own ideas and feelings about what these words might mean to us and to students, and on your own difficulties and successes with choosing titles for ourselves. Together we’ll come to a deeper appreciation of what’s in an (autonomous) name.

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