Those Who Can’t Do, Teach

I’m sitting with friends in the recording room of Sweet Briar College’s music department trying to decide which of our many old projects to pick up and start work on. Since I began teaching 7th grade English this August, I haven’t touched any real art. With this breath of freedom we have, ironically due to an impending disaster, we begin to dig up buried treasures. And even now, my mind is guilty, knowing it should be focussed on planning the coming week, it’s lessons, and the improvements that need to be made in my classroom climate.

Long before I graduated with my Masters in Teaching, I decided I wholeheartedly disagreed with the saying, “Those who can’t do, teach.” I know from experience that the best teachers have been the ones who truly know and have experience in their craft or field. However, as I’ve struggled through these past 5 weeks trying my best to teach 65 middle schoolers, all at varying skill levels, how to value, interact with, and DO English as an academic subject, I’ve started to realize that there might be a cornel  of truth in the saying. That is to say, it seems, those who teach, can no longer do.

those who teach, can no longer do.

At least for a new teacher, there simply isn’t time. To be a good teacher, you not only need to give your expertise, but you need to give your time, care, and consideration outside of the classroom as well as inside of the classroom to 65 individual people, their ways of learning, their skill levels, and their home life.

Yet I make time for myself now. To write this post, to look back at some old projects I hope to make new, and to remember myself as an artist, something I will always wish and believe myself to be.

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