Teachers cannot teach!

Víðgelmir cave expeditioners walking on top of...

Víðgelmir cave expeditioners walking on top of a “pipe” formed by lava-skin that rolled half molten down the walls when the flow receded. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know I like to take part into the weekly DP Challenge, even though I don’t follow-up each and every week as I sometimes skip some of them. But this week’s about my profession so I think I should say something here.

Believe me it sounds weird to me when I realize I have been teaching for ten years now! Time flies!
I am actually a bit into the students’ mood and I still remember when I was a teacher to be at uni, going to parties, discussing about the education law and having the idea to revolutionize education.
Teaching is an impossible job, and I am going to tell you something which I think it’s really important and I am thankful I was taught it at uni.

Teachers cannot teach

The word teacher is clearly wrong, as it is a contradiction in itself. Nobody can teach anything to anyone. I wish I could cut open my students’ heads and throw in all the data they need, but I can’t.

Teachers exist to guide learners through a discovering voyage in which they keep their own pace. So I see myself more as a guide than a teacher really.

I lead the way and tell my students to follow me, but they would only do it if they please. I frecuently have to go back and pick somebody up, as people get lost in their ways.

I cannot suppose they’re following me, I must know it clearly and take some action if I have to. It’s a perilous trip, but clarity is at the end of the tunnel.

Learners learn

Learners can learn with a teacher’s guidance, but they can also learn without us. The only thing we do is telling them where to step on, how to move through the cave of ignorance and where to head in order to get out.

Students can only follow if they want to, students can only succeed if they will. Teachers can also be wrong as well as it is not our duty to know everything, but to know how to get what we don’t know.

And that’s how I try to do my job, telling my kids to question everything and everyone, even me. If I can only make them feel independant my job would be done and I would have succeeded.

But students go their own way in the end, and the fly out the nest far too soon, and I only wish they leave with wings strong enough to fly away and reach the sun, reach the clarity we all hope for.

Keep Thinking!

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  1. Thank you for this insightful look into the role of teacher, it clarifies to me at least why some of the teachers who try to ‘teach’ are not always the best! I like the idea of the guide who encourages independence in the student.


    1. Thanx for your comment and support 😉

      You must be a little crazy for this work, so it was the best choice for me, but I won’t recommend it to anyone who’s not really in love with it!


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