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A Humane Educator is committed to instilling in young people values such as compassion, empathy, and integrity, and to giving them the knowledge and tools they need to put those values into practice.
For some people, education is about memorizing multiplication tables, Presidents’ names, and state capitals. For others, it’s about having common sense, gut instincts, and social capital. Today, however, there aren’t just “book smarts” and “street smarts.” Thanks to an emerging field of instruction known as “humane education,” there also are “heart smarts.”
If you’re a Humane Educator, that’s the kind of learning you love most. You’re a pioneer of the humane education movement, which is dedicated to teaching and promoting humane attitudes toward people, animals, and the environment.
To do that, you work as an employee at places like animal shelters, daycare centers, parks departments, zoos, museums, and nonprofits, or as a guest speaker at places like schools, camps, and community centers. There, you teach topics such as animal welfare, environmental stewardship, and human rights. When it’s appropriate, you use live animals as teaching aids. And when it isn’t, you use photos, videos, or puppets, instead.
Either way, your goal as a Humane Educator isn’t creating better scholars; instead, it’s designing and delivering programs that create better citizens. That results in more social justice for individuals, more peace for communities, more environmental protection for the earth, and more love and respect for animals.
Your job as a Humane Educator, then, is really as simple as this: You’re paid to be a good person, and to teach others to follow your example.