Teaching without knowledge?

There is a saying, “Those that can’t do it, teach it”. The shorter version that I have always heard is “Those that can’t, teach”. Either way it is said is just plain dumb in my view. How can you truly teach someone something without being able to do it yourself?

Now I’m going to pick on teachers in the public school system a little bit here. I have had four children that I have watched go through the public school, two of which are still attending. I have found multiple times where teachers are teaching subjects that they themselves don’t understand. I will not tell which years or the names of said teachers. I am not here to condemn anyone. I am simply going to address things that I have witnessed through the years. If you are reading this and are one of these teachers guilty of this practice, I hope you will adjust you teaching methods accordingly.

Teacher pointing with stick at blackboard, holding book and looking at students
Teacher’s book is for your reference. The book is not the teacher

First subject I would like to address is math. When a teacher is teaching math and they have to look in the back of the teacher’s manual to be able to give the students the correct answer, you as a teacher need to study before teaching students. I am completely flabbergasted that there are teachers teaching math when they themselves don’t understand how to get the answer. I understand there maybe times that you need to refresh your own memory but, you need to do this before getting in front of your class. You know what you are going to be teaching your students the day before. Spend a little time the night before refreshing your skills. If you do this, your students will gain a greater respect for you and you will be a genius in their eyes.

Next subject I will discuss here will be gardening, agriculture, farming or whatever the school decides to call it. If you are the teacher of this sort of class, you must know how to use the farming type tools before you teach your students. A simple tool like a shovel used incorrectly can cause injury to your students and possibly get you in a world of trouble to boot. Don’t condemn a student that is working on a farm and using a tool correctly in your class because that’s not the way you think. If you don’t know the proper way to use the tool, do some research. Research in this day and age is extremely simple. All that is needed is to go online and look it up. It’s not like it was before the internet, where finding the answer was somewhat more challenging.

Man stepping on shovel

There are other things that I have seen through the years that were taught by teachers, where the teacher didn’t know the answer. There is nothing wrong with not knowing. The smartest people in the world don’t know everything. You must learn yourself as well as teaching others. This is not just for school teachers. I’m picking on school teachers just because it is easier for me to show examples. If you are on the job site in a construction zone and teaching the new guy, these examples also hold true.  If you find yourself in this situation, you better know what you are doing or have the mental fortitude to tell your boss that maybe you could use some more training yourself. This will keep you and your fellow workers safe and efficient.

So above I have basically talked about all the bad and why this must change. Now let me give credit where credit is due. I have met and observed some very good teachers. These teachers are school teachers as well as trainers on job sites. A trainer on a job site that knows what they are doing, not only is able to teach the new employee how to do a job correctly but also is there later for questions if needed. I have a true respect for these people and they truly deserve it.

Teacher writing on blackboard

School teachers are in position to mold a young mind and help their students have a successful life. The teachers that take this to heart and really want their students to succeed, are put on a pedestal by their students. These teachers will always hold a special place in their students lives. These teachers have my utmost respect and it is well deserved.

Every adult can look back and find one or two special teachers that made an impact on their lives. I had a couple of these teachers that I think of quite frequently. They were and are special to me today. They really cared about their students and felt if their students went on to do well in life, they had done their job. I remember some teachers but not for good reasons. These were those that thought of teaching just as a job and were just looking forward to summer break.

If you think back to both of these kind of teachers, I would be curious if you have the same reflection about them. The one thing that really hits me is, I can remember the caring ones. I remember their names, the way they looked and even sometimes the tone of there voice. I can remember special times of things that happened within the school walls. I can remember how much they wanted me to truly understand what they were teaching me and how their eyes would light up when I finally understood. The other teachers that were there just as a job are hard to remember. If I try real hard, I may be able to remember their names but with great difficulty. I can’t remember what they looked like or how they sounded. I don’t remember any special times. It’s almost like I never really knew them at all.

Teacher helping student at student's desk

If you are a teacher or you are training someone at work, please take into consideration which kind of teacher you want to be remembered as. Are you there to help or just there for the job? Do you really want to teach or do you just like the summer vacation every year? I want you to really think about this because, it would be nice to see students remember all their teachers later in life and not just one or two.

Tell me what you think on this subject especially if you are a teacher. I look forward to reading your views. Take care and Remember, we are all in this together.

Published by C.S.I

United States Veteran. Spent time as over the road truck driver and copper miner. Trying my hand at blogging since retired due to becoming disabled working in copper mine.

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