Dental assisting teachers are one of a kind, with a few key characteristics in common. Below are just a few ways that you might know you’re a dental assistant educator, or that you’re on your way to becoming one.

1. Back-to-School Season Is Your Favorite

For some, autumn appeals include Halloween festivities, pumpkin-flavored everything, and cozy scarves and sweaters. Dental assistant teachers tend to also appreciate fall because it signals a time to get back into the classroom. While it may be a bit sad for everyone to see the sun set on summer, anticipating a new school year is always exciting for an educator. New school supplies, students, possibilities — you might be an educator if you thoroughly look forward to fall for all these reasons and more!

2. You Love to Learn

It likely goes without saying that dental assistant educators love to learn as much as they love to teach. If you’re a teacher, you’re likely passionate about seeking out your own continuing dental education (CDE) in an effort to be an expert in all things dentistry, so that you can help others master the material as well. You know that by completing CDE courses — such as those offered by the DALE Foundation, DANB’s affiliate — you can demonstrate your learning to your peers and pupils, and this is important to you.

3. You Enjoy Educating Others

Think about your time spent working as a dental assistant. Do you love mentoring your dental teammates, particularly those dental assistants who are new to the role and dental office? Do you love sharing your oral health and hygiene knowledge with grateful dental patients? If you can relate, this is a clear sign that you might belong in the dental assistant classroom. In this setting, dental assistant educators serve as a source of knowledge for students, who will likely go on to mentor their own co-workers and patients in the future.

4. You’re Extremely Organized

If organization is your strong suit, you’re probably up for the teaching task! Only those who are detail-oriented can juggle all that’s on an educator’s plate: preparing for lectures and clinical classes, presenting your lessons, fielding questions from students, grading homework and projects, and more.

5. Your School Experience Was Memorable

You might also be a dental assistant teacher if you routinely look back on your own school experiences to draw inspiration from them. As a student, you probably had some standout moments, as well as some challenging but ultimately rewarding times. Now, as an educator, you likely can better empathize with your students who may be encountering similar experiences.

6. You Want to Be Like Your Favorite Teacher

If you’re a dental assistant educator, you likely were impacted somewhere along the line by an outstanding teacher or mentor from your past. (Do you recall a memorable teacher or mentor?)

Now, you’re probably driven each day to be just like them and inspire others, just as you were influenced and inspired.

7. You’re Eager to Give Back to the Dental Profession

Some dental assistant teachers didn’t always desire to be teachers. For some, the opportunity to teach came their way unexpectedly. Going from chairside to classroom felt like the right career transition. Does this sound like you? If so, you probably teach to give back some of what others gave you in your career. As an educator, you strive to mold up-and-coming assistants and positively contribute to the future success of the dental profession.


What would you add to this list?