Teaching is Doing, and Without Teaching, Doing is Impossible

So I noticed yesterday, a comment on one of my previous blogs that brought up something that bears a full address.  Oh, and yes, I did blast the commenter for it, and this time, I will make no apologies.  I love the fact that people are commenting, and I encourage everyone to do it.  Just make sure you bring it.

Anyway, what this commenter brought up that made my blood boil was the old comment, “those who can’t do, teach.”  I, as most of you have probably gathered, am a teacher, so the fact that this phrase even exists as an idiom in our society is horrifies me—quite frankly, it is at least partially why we don’t have more great teachers…more on that later.

Teaching is doing.  It is a specific field of work, and it requires not only expertise in your subject matter, but also an understanding of how people best learn, how classroom structures and methods affect that learning, how to best assess this learning, and how to design instruction to meet specific learning objectives.  Moreover, you must also manage the behavior, productivity, and special needs of 35 children, many of whom probably have parents with the same views as the fucking idiot that prompted this blog.

Teaching requires a masters degree, and having one, I would hope people know that you don’t learn content when you get an MAT—you learn, specifically, how to teach.  Teaching is doing.

The joke of it is that without teaching, doing is impossible.  Teaching is the very basis of an advanced society.  I can’t think of any business that does not require, at the very least, language skills and basic math, which even prostitutes need to service their Republican Wall Street clients.

And yet, we have stupid fucks like our commenter, repeating this absolutely asinine line, that those who can’t do, teach.  This, along with the continual attacks we are subjected to by the Republican noise machine, is why a lot of people, when it comes to choosing a profession, don’t choose to become a teacher.  Why enter into an incredibly difficult job (try it sometime, observe a teacher—anyone is welcome to come into my classroom at any time; well, with the exception of Jerry Sandusky and his ilk) where you are serving the public, at their mercy for funding, and a large minority of them hate you for what you do, want to cut your salary (which is, in the first place small, with only small, incremental raises), and look at you as if you’re a lesser person?  I’m sorry, but FUCK YOU, ASSHOLES!  And a hearty fuck you to anyone who devalues the work that we do.

Oh, and by the way, this is why the teachers unions are so absolutely loathe to give up any power.  Many teachers, myself included, would love to not have to belong to a union, so that we could actually get paid for our talent and ability.  But when we find ourselves constantly attacked by newspapers, the public, and the entire Republican party, group dynamics alone dictate that you stick together.  And until our nation actually decides to value the work that teachers do, and stop attacking us at every turn, teacher’s unions will exist to fight for a fair salary, for appropriate levels of school funding, and to secure the resources necessary to prepare our students for the modern world.

Teaching is doing, and the next time you hear that stupid goddamn fucking phrase uttered by a friend, relative, or even some other asshole on the street, set them straight please.  Teaching is doing, and without teaching, doing is impossible.

About The Author: Jay Scott


  • Reply Lisa

    People who say the phrase “those who can’t do, teach” can’t teach and they probably can’t “do” either. Teaching is incredibly difficult, I’ve always hated that phrase.

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