Teachers become teachers by teaching

Here is the “Comment of the Day” from Education Week (3/7/2011):

I was vastly unprepared to teach gifted students when I graduated from college. All students in an education program should be required to have at least one practicum in a gifted classroom setting.

Dear ecampbell:
You were vastly unprepared to teach any students, when you graduated from college.  Some things you can’t be prepared for, and teaching is one of them. Nobody is ever “prepared” to be a teacher. Teachers become teachers by teaching.

But many people believe as you do — that college graduates can be more or less prepared to teach. It is more accurate to say college graduates can be more or less unprepared to teach.

This is a major distinction because it points to the aesthetic nature of teaching. If teaching is an applied social science, college students can be prepared for it by learning teaching methods and psychological  theories.

But if teaching is an art, college graduates become teachers by teaching, just like (1) comedians become comics by performing in clubs, (2) painters become artists by painting, (3) and singers become entertainers by singing.

Just as  fine and performing arts graduates are not artists, education graduates are not teachers.  They become teachers by teaching.


There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment