The Three Types of Educators at Your School

3 types of educators

 All leaders are educators, but there are three distinct types you will need to identify.

Whether in schools, on courts, or in offices, everyone in a leadership position is in a role of developing people and becomes responsible for encouraging their growth.  In fact, the organization’s success is largely dependent on the leader’s ability to teach those in his or her group the skills that are required to “step up” their performance to meet standards or become more effective and profitable.

But not all educators are the same, and the problem is rarely their knowledge or character. 

The difference between the competent educator and the great educator is found in what precisely they perceive their job to be. 

Because of differing opinions about what a leader’s job should include in terms of educating the people they will depend upon, there are three distinct types of educators…

                        1. PRESENTERS

                        2. TEACHERS

                        3. COACHES


PRESENTERS do exactly that – present information.  This has the smallest influence on students, as presenters are concerned only with putting the food on the plate, and take no responsibility for making it look appetizing or delicious or giving any effort to seeing it ingested by their students…

TEACHERS do more than present – they take responsibility for the student actually understanding the information or mastering the skill being shared.  They work hard to make sure that what they share is relevant, interesting, and ultimately digested and internalized by the student.

COACHES are the most influential of educators, as the role of a coach is to help students take the knowledge and skills they have learned and APPLY them in pursuit of a worthwhile goal.  They not only make sure the information or skills are digested, but then demand that nutrition become muscle by using it in a purposeful and productive way according to the student’s interests.


A principals job is leadership that impacts school culture.  As a leader, it is your job to influence people in your organization and give them the best possible chance to be successful.  And while all students, athletes, and employees deserve more than just a presenter, the reality is that many leaders seldom offer more than a buffet of information and expect their people to grab and digest it.

Unfortunately, this often eventually leads to an organizational lack of performance or productivity.  

In order to inspire yourself (and others in leadership positions) to take more seriously the responsibility to do more than just present information, you must make them aware of the behaviors of the three types of educators and the impact that each has on how their leadership will be perceived.


So, how do you do that?

Begin by telling a story about how presenters really just set themselves up for failure. 

Then provide an illustration of how teachers raise their team performance by ensuring group skills are learned and mastered. 

And later talk about how the most effective and celebrated coaches have helped their people see how skills and knowledge can be applied in important situations.

Share your understanding that leaders can actually ensure their own success by evolving from presenters to teachers to the most influential and successful role of coaches, for it is by helping others be successful that we most effectively find success ourselves.

If you want to move first two types of educators in your organization up the steps of influence – from being presenters… to teachers… to coaches, consider the benefits of a faculty teambuilding event to provide the team motivation, morale, and leadership skills you may be missing.

You can also encourage your teachers to “step up” and steal great ideas from their peers by incorporating a teacher collaboration tool into monthly curriculum team meetings.

Even if you are not a teacher, everyone in a position of leadership is an educator – and you can have a tremendous influence on how others in your organization define their job by making them aware of the three types of educators and the impact that each type has on organizational performance.

If you liked this article, you will want to request free access to Sean’s Teamwork Toolbox – over 50 useful handouts and activities for smart team leaders!