Phi Beta Cons

Teacher or Education Provider?

I enjoy exchanging handshakes, high-fives, and hugs with my graduating students on their commencement day. But as one who teachers online classes, I find there is another aspect of graduation that is more of a downer.

As I watched the parade of graduates at my school’s festivities over the weekend, I heard the names of several students who took my online management history course. It was somewhat depressing to realize that I didn’t know those students at all, especially when considering the mentoring relationships that I foster with several students in my face-to-face courses.


Today’s medical doctors are referred to as “health-care providers” by third parties that dictate aspects of how physicians practice. Hence, in terms of delivering faceless online education, I feel like an “education provider” more than a teacher. The latter assumes that I know what’s best for my students, whereas the former assumes a system more suited to meet student needs.


Even though I can put a Dr. in front of my name, I’ve never felt like a “real doctor.” But in this one regard, I can empathize.


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