By definition, a teacher is one who can impart information in a way that others can understand it. It means to show or explain how to do something. So, a question just begs to be asked…. If those you are “teaching” are not understanding, are you really teaching or are you just talking?
If those you intend to teach are not understanding and learning what you are talking about, then, in my opinion, you are not “teaching.” A person that knows and understands a certain body of information is informed but not necessarily a teacher. A teacher must be able to break down that information and present it in a way that others understand and learn. Learning and teaching go handing in hand. No learning – no teaching – just a sharing of information.
Some people can teach and others can’t – it is not a reflection of your intelligence to not be able to get others to understand something – nor does possessing a teaching credential mean you can teach. Earning a teaching credential means you have taken and passed the requisite courses, and survived your student teaching assignments. A credential does not mean you are able to effectively able to impart knowledge. I am not saying that we shouldn’t have credentialed teachers – we should because there must be some means of ensuring that teachers are trained, have certain levels of knowledge, and completed certain college courses. I am saying that, we must also have a way to weed out those who have completed the coursework but are unable to actually “teach” a child. Just completing coursework is not enough.
You don’t have to attend college to be able to teach; you do have to have a certain level of knowledge and you have to have skills to help someone else understand something. Parents do this all the time, from the time a child is born, so why not teach their child standard school subjects. The home school parents I know are all devoted to their children – they have given up that “free time” when children are in school. They work hard to teach their children and do whatever it takes to ensure they do not fall behind – something many teachers don’t. Home school parents network and are not afraid to ask for advice, suggestions and help when their child is not understanding something and then they teach it again and again until the child succeeds – also something many teachers do not do. Are these home school parents also teachers? You’d better believe they are. They teach and ensure their children learn and if necessary they find another way to teach the same information until they find a way to get their child to learn what is being taught. I also believe that if the parent doe not have the ability to teach or a sufficient knowledge base, then they should probably not be homeschooling their child.
You know, that’s what good teachers – public, private or home school – do. They teach and if kids don’t get it the first time, they find another way to teach it again and again until their students learn and understand the information. Is this harder in a classroom of 30 to 36 children? Absolutely, but it is still the teacher’s job.
Here’s to good teachers! Hear, hear!