Our View: Teaching well
November 17, 2007
Craig — There is an old saying: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”
At times, it is easy to feel this way.
Perhaps it is when we see our children’s grades or test scores dropping.
Or perhaps it is when we have had some sort of conflict with the school system.
And perhaps it is just envy for people who get three months off each year.
But does the public really know what teachers go through?
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Just like any other profession, there are good and bad teachers. They all have issues to deal with, from parents to students.
And when it comes to good teachers, there are some other sayings we should consider.
On class size, perhaps the following says it best:
“If a doctor, lawyer or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher’s job.”
On overcoming unfunded mandates:
“Most teachers have little control over school policy or curriculum or choice of texts or special placement of students, but most have a great deal of autonomy inside the classroom. To a degree shared by only a few other occupations, such as police work, public education rests precariously on the skill and virtue of the people at the bottom of the institutional pyramid.”
On if teachers are paid adequately:
“Good teachers are costly, but bad teachers cost more.”
On if teachers are properly respected:
“Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.”
On parent-teacher relations:
“If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I’ll promise not to believe everything he says happens at home.”
On the impact of teachers:
“A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.”
We need to pay attention to our community’s teachers. They mold our youths. They have to walk the line of educating our youths while also sometimes taking up the slack for students who aren’t getting everything they need at home.
Three months off or not, our teachers have a full plate. It’s a thankless job, but a vital part of our society.
In the end, for good teachers, it’s not a matter of “those who can do, and those who can’t teach.”
Rather, good teachers are already doing it, and they’re doing it better all the time.