Is there a single word that captures the meaning "students who teach"?

For example, there are students who teach, maybe on YouTube. Do these students, who are not yet professionals in their fields, but still teach have any name?

  • Wouldn't "intern" be way too broad? Plus, interns usually work for someone for the experience. The "person" I am referring to might be doing it as a hobby.
    – Paddy
    Jul 13, 2020 at 14:35
  • 2
    Interesting question, I can't think of an answer and I think none of the ones so far are correct.
    – Phoenix
    Jul 14, 2020 at 6:10
  • 4
    Tutor or Teaching Assistant is commonly used in Australian universities. Jul 14, 2020 at 8:18
  • 3
    Are you thinking of students who are employed as teachers or, as seems more likely from your description, working on a casual freelance basis? The answer to this question will affect the terms you need.
    – BoldBen
    Jul 14, 2020 at 12:09
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    The word "unreliable". A lot of people on the web use the activity of explaining something to other people as a way for themselves to learn it ... eventually; when they have read and absorbed enough negative comments from people who know the stuff.
    – Kaz
    Jul 14, 2020 at 22:46

7 Answers 7


TLDR: Some of the other examples have suggested the term student teacher. In American English, this means something quite specific, and would be very confusing if you used it in other contexts. You could use student instructor instead.

In American English, a student teacher is somebody who is getting a degree in Education, probably in preparation for a career as a teacher, and who is teaching in a primary or secondary school in conjunction with their degree program as practice for this career. See Wikipedia.

Calling somebody who is getting an undergraduate or graduate degree in physics, and who teaches a class or who makes educational videos and puts them on YouTube, a student teacher would be very misleading.

If the student is actually teaching a class, you could call them a student instructor, since in American colleges and universities, instructor is often used for people teaching classes. See the Merriam-Webster dictionary.


In graduate school, a student who teaches is called a teaching assistant, or "TA". From M-W:

teaching assistant: a graduate student who teaches classes at a college or university

  • 1
    In (UK) physical sciences, the term "demonstrator" is used for students who teach practical work or computing. It's a subset of "TA", along with "marker" and occasional others.
    – Chris H
    Jul 14, 2020 at 13:12
  • 3
    Some TAs don't instruct, they grade papers or facilitate labs and such. So 90% of TAs lead classes; some do not. Jul 14, 2020 at 16:14
  • TA refers to the position, not the state of the person. While TAs traditionally students, if a person who wasn't taking any classes were to assist in teaching, they would be a TA. Jul 14, 2020 at 20:52
  • @Packard Yep, universities definitely rely on grad students to serve as TAs as part of their scholarships. Jul 14, 2020 at 22:13

For example, there are students who teach, maybe on YouTube. Do these students, who are not yet professionals in their fields but still teach, have any name?

Yes, they are called "students" or referred to as "someone who teaches XXX on Youtube."

A: "The Battle of Hastings took place in 1066."

B: "How do you know that?"

A: "A [history] student on Youtube said it." / A: "Someone who teaches on Youtube said it."

  • The word here 'student' might be misleading - someone who's a professional can still be a student.: the third meaning in my dictionary: "a person who takes an interest in a particular subject. e.g. "a student of the free market"" - Student here is a refers to the activity rather then the 'job position' "i'm currently a student"
    – Jmons
    Jul 15, 2020 at 8:43

Student teacher


The student teacher is usually placed in a neighboring or participating school. The student teacher is monitored by the cooperating teacher from the school, as well as a supervisor through the college. The supervisor acts as a liaison between the cooperating teacher and the head of the college’s student teaching department.

Might be a little too specific, but it may suit your needs.

  • 16
    This answer is currently misleading (although student teacher might indeed be the right term). A student teacher is not any student who teachers, it is a student of education who is in training to become a teacher and is practicing their future profession. Somebody who is getting a BA in mathematics, say, and teaches calculus recitations is not a student teacher. Jul 13, 2020 at 14:14
  • 4
    It's unfortunate that you picked the right term—but attached the wrong use-case definition. Jul 13, 2020 at 16:07
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    -1 No, this is not correct, for the reasons Peter says. Jul 14, 2020 at 16:14

Few of the terms that can be used are prac teacher (practice teacher), student teacher or a intern teacher/tutor
A good example is:-
The obstacles these student teachers face are not their fault, said Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, a policy and research organization.(https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/student%20teacher)
And a "student teacher" on youtube is usually called a teacher or a youtuber, there are no specific names for that but you can still use "prac teacher"

  • 4
    I understand "student teacher" to be somebody who is learning to be a teacher, usually at a Teacher Training College or similar establishment.
    – TonyK
    Jul 13, 2020 at 18:35
  • Yes @TonyK but isn't that what is being asked, a single word for a student who teaches and these are closest terms. There are no specific terms for it, as far as i know they are usually just called tutors, or maybe on youtube they maybe called educators, or any of the terms i mentioned above. Jul 14, 2020 at 4:37
  • Also @TonyK what your talking about is called a preservice teacher(i think), cause a preservice teacher is someone who is in the process of preparing to become a teacher. Jul 14, 2020 at 4:43

While "docent" is more commonly used for a (student volunteer) museum guide, it can also refer to a university teacher who is not yet credentialed as a professor. (Cambridge English Dictionary)


If someone is a student and also a teacher, but there is no institutional connection between their responsibilities as a student and a teacher, then there is no special word in English to cover this. It is possible (albeit difficult) to be a full-time high school teacher while at the same time being a Ph.D. student at a university. Such a person is a teacher, and a student, but not a student teacher, and not a TA. It would actually be considered inappropriately demeaning to use a special word that indicated their student status, since they already have whatever credentials are needed for whatever position they hold, which may sometimes mean no credentials at all. If your job is to teach, then you are a teacher.

This is different from fields like law or real estate, where you can't call yourself an attorney or a Realtor unless you have a certain credential. Being a teacher is more like being a plumber or a scientist - if you do it, then you are one.

You mention teaching on YouTube as an example. In that case, actually, I would be reluctant to use the term "teacher" at all. Being a teacher tends to apply some kind of organized relationship between teacher and student. Being an educational YouTuber is more like being an author.

  • What I'm asking is closer to what a TA does. For example: someone who has studied a subject in depth, has the capability to teach it, but does not have the official credentials to teach that subject
    – Paddy
    Jul 15, 2020 at 10:25

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