My name is…my name’s…err????

I put TEACHER on my CV but I was recently referred to as an EDUCATOR and also TRAINER. Other people call themselves PROFESSOR, TUTOR, FACILITATOR, COACH, INTERCULTURAL TRAINER, COMMUNICATION SKILLS PRACTITIONER and numerous other things.

I think I understand the differences between all these titles and, in theory, each is a different career with qualifications and knowledge but which am I and which should I be? Numerous people have shifted from ELT to more serious and higher paid training of one sort or another but are they still ELT teachers or teachers at all??

The big change seems to be between the idea of teaching and supporting or improving, hence replacing ‘student’ with ‘learner’. I’ve never liked the teacher title and I don’t feel like a formal teacher. I like to get students teaching themselves.

Here are some alternative titles I could use:

Language chef, language instigator, knowledge stirrer, error usurper, vanquisher of errors, grammar dictator…

What are you called?


18 thoughts on “My name is…my name’s…err????

  1. Interesting. I think my teaching role is officially referred to as ‘lecturer’ but that doesn’t sit at all well with me. The thought of giving lectures to my students is both terrifying and hilarious. I’m off to design my new ‘Vanquisher of Errors’ cape…

  2. How about “question master”? “travel guide”? Just plain “daft bu**er” (considering salary, environment etc)? “torch” (to lighten the way?). Sorry, getting carried away here…..

    • One by day and one by night Dave.How about an English language masked vigilante?

      I joke but I remember an ADOS who used to get dressed up in balaclava to do his lecture on Protestants and Catholics. He started it off by splitting the room in half depending on religion.

  3. My official job title in Turkey (I can’t be called a teacher due to not having a PGCE or equivalent) is ‘usta öğretici’. Depending on who you ask/which translation website you use, that means ‘qualified trainer’ (seems a bit daft seeming as my lack of qualificaitons is the source of this alternative title), ‘expert educator’ (sounds a bit better) or ‘master instructor’ (that’s my favourite!)

    If I were to pick, ‘facilitator’ and ‘director’ sound most appealing – like I’m overseeing things but a few steps removed from total control. Actually, now I think about it ‘language overseer’ has a nice ring to it… 😉

    • How about The Punisher? Or The Onlooker or even The Language Brewer?

      I like Overseer, sounds like a wrestler. We could start a Super hero team-up with these names or wrestling crew.

      • Phil, I really like your comments…they’re so hilarious 🙂 I can imagine a team of teachers all dressed up like superheroes with sticks and rulers as “punishing weapons” !! 🙂

        When you start your Super hero team I would love to be The Vanquisher of Errors or the Grammar Dictator. They both make me feel like a dungeons and dragons’
        character 😉

  4. I’d say ‘teacher’ or ‘instructor’ works for me. I’m not big on the more creative phrases, like the ones you’ve ended with. Traditional view of what teacher/student is or not, let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?

    • Hmm. I like instructor but it sounds like some kind of physical thing in a gym or even military.It definitely has an authoritative element to it. Do you think ‘teacher’ is still modern or acceptable?

      Maybe we should all have badges with these names on.

        • So why do I keep reading TRAINER, COACH, …SKILLS INSTRUCTOR etc?

          Are these new careers with new training or just teachers rebranding themselves?

          I read Bob Dignen’s new book and he is a highly qualified ‘instructor’ for all his diverse areas but is everyone else? And if so, how do we become qualified in those areas too?

          Evan said in another comment that those people who move more into skills training make a lot more money, probably due to how one boss put it ‘you are only a language teacher so make less than the subject teachers’, less than the student assistants too. If all this is true then maybe we should all jump ship, do a short training, get some business cards printed and charge 100E an hour.

  5. the other day I read on someone’s biodata: learning architect.
    I almost puked… lol

    I also dislike ‘facilitator’, maybe ‘cos it became a buzzword; so I came up with ‘difficultator’

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