Learning When Those Who Can, Teach

You’re probably all too familiar with the saying, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

There’s just enough truth in that cliché to hide an equally important observation: Those who can often cannot teach what they do.

I advise middle school and high school teachers to take a part-time or temporary entry-level job every so often to keep in touch with the workaday world. More often than not, the person tapped to train a new entry-level person lacks teaching skills. If the new hire and the trainer happen to have similar learning strengths and preferences, the orientation can be a pleasure for both. If they don’t match, the training is frustrating for both.

Those of us who work with students need those periodic reminders that learning can be a struggle even when;

  • the instructor is highly skilled at the job
  • the student wants to learn
  • the student works hard

You can read those facts but to really understand how they affect students, nothing is as educational as work experience.