Today on Blogcritics
Home » Those Who Can’t Do, Teach

Those Who Can’t Do, Teach

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter4Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn11Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Most people are quite familiar with the saying, “Those who can’t do, teach.” This statement suggests that people who have failed or would be failures in the world outside of academia end up as teachers.

The origins of this quote and various permutations of it are unclear. An early quote of similar meaning comes from George Bernard Shaw in "Maxims for Revolutionists" in Man and Superman (1903). The history of viewing the teaching profession with contempt or at the very least disregard may date back to the origins of the apple for the teacher custom.

In the Middle Ages, knowledge was viewed as God’s gift. Since it was God’s gift, it was seen as wrong to charge for it. As a result of this view, teachers at many institutions were not paid at all for their work. They had to rely on the gifts and charity of appreciative students.

Sometimes, a teacher was lucky to receive an apple so he’d have something to eat. It’s rather difficult to develop a mindset that a profession is pursued by people of high capability if that service is offered free of charge.

The value of the work being done as well as the education level required to perform that work is reflected in the salary, yet teachers are still relatively low-paid compared to other jobs with similar educational requirements. Additionally, teaching is one of the few professions that require a higher education, yet people commonly suggest those who take that career path are deficient in some fashion.

Being a teacher requires more than a standard Bachelors degree, but many people still view teaching as a profession for lazy or unskilled people. A favored chestnut among those who hold such views is the anecdotal story about the incompetence of teachers who teach topics related to professions in which they have never engaged.

For example, a business teacher who has never successfully run a business can’t possibly know real world business well enough to teach the topic effectively.

The attitude that a teacher must have worked in the profession that his students will eventually pursue is a reflection of ignorance of the point of education. There is a difference between receiving an education and attending vocational school. A vocational or technical school teaches specific skills that a student carries over to a job.

Education is about equipping students with a broad base of knowledge they can draw on to become successful in the occupations they pursue.

It is up to the student to digest the information he receives and find an application for it in his life, not for the teacher teach him each individual step. Considering that each company and job demands a customized set of skills, this is certainly a more reasonable approach. Even similar jobs may require different approaches at different types of businesses.

The sales tactics for selling computers requires a different approach than selling cars. Also, companies in the same industry often adopt their own approach. Marketing at Apple, where the focus is on design and limited numbers of models, would be a very different job than marketing at Dell, where the emphasis is on frequent sales, different equipment combinations, and low price.

Universities need only teach the fundamentals of each discipline and the companies can do the rest.

If you feel teachers don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to the real world, then you’re missing the point of education. The point is not to memorize a sequence of steps to be regurgitated as needed at a future job. Teachers are there to help you learn how to be smart enough to figure out those steps on your own.

Powered by

About Shari

  • http://www.lorimortimer.com/blog lori

    While I applaud your defense of teachers, many of your arguments completely miss the mark.

    Education is about equipping students with a broad base of knowledge they can draw on to become successful in the occupations they pursue.

    Only to a point. Knowledge may be power, but SKILLS are even more powerful. One of the big problems with the typical liberal arts college education: it leaves its graduates with no discernable skills for the workforce. The number one question employers ask prospective employees is, What can you DO for me? A liberal arts education is usually more about what you know than what you can do. And that’s a big flaw in the system right now. It was fine when only a small minority of wealthy elites attended college. Now that a college education is so commonplace, education needs to change to meet the needs of its students, most of whom are going to work for the man for the rest of their lives.

    I should know — I was an English major who, had I not worked on my school’s newspaper, would have had an empty “skills” section on my first resume. Our colleges and universities need to stop living in their own isolated world and realize that for $30K per year they should be helping their students develop not only a a broad base of knowledge and the ability to reason, but also real working skills that can be applied in one or more job fields.

    For example, a business teacher who has never successfully run a business can’t possibly know real world business well enough to teach the topic effectively.

    This is essentially true, depending upon what level of education you’re talking about. In junior high or high school, someone with no business experience can teach the basics of the subject just fine. Maybe even a 101 college course. But once you get into higher level courses, how can someone with only book knowledge of the subject be an effective teacher? I’d want someone who had been both successful and unsuccesful in business to be my teacher. And that goes for engineering, lab sciences, and yes, even liberal arts teachers, too. If those people haven’t ever had a non-academia job that required them to apply some skills related to their field, how can they adequately prepare their students to do it? It would be okay if a minority of teachers had no practical work experience, but the majority don’t (the exceptions may be in the sciences, business, etc.). And that’s bad for students.

    Considering that each company and job demands a customized set of skills, this is certainly a more reasonable approach.

    If that were true, then nobody would ever jump companies for a higher salary based on past experience. Some job skills are company specific, but most are not. Usually, in white collar jobs, knowledge or information is company specific, but not actual skills. One test for whether or not someone will be a valuable employee is whether or not s/he can transfer his/her existing skills easily to a new company.

    The sales tactics for selling computers requires a different approach than selling cars.

    Not really. The sales process doesn’t change that much between types of products, nor do the skills required to be a successful sales person. The process usually just gets shorter or longer and requires some specialized product and market knowledge. Good sales people switch from product to product and even industry to industry quite fluidly all the time!

    Marketing at Apple, where the focus is on design and limited numbers of models, would be a very different job than marketing at Dell, where the emphasis is on frequent sales, different equipment combinations, and low price.

    This is true, but it doesn’t mean the people in the marketing department need different skills. It just means that they need to be tuned in to their company’s goals and business model. But marketing is marketing.

    Seriously, we need to rethink what we consider an educated person in the US and other western countries. I’m all for a broad liberal arts background, but to make that the goal of a $100K education is just simply a waste of time and money. The world has changed dramatically in the last 100 years — why hasn’t a liberal arts education changed as dramatically?

  • http://myso-calledjapaneselife.blogspot.com/ Shari

    Lori, you make good points but your very experience shows that you can use what you know to gain experience before you graduate which allows you to acquire skills. You worked on your school newspaper. A friend of mine who had the same major as you worked on the publishing of a book as a senior project. Both of you have relatively thin experience in publishing which you received as part of your university education yet you still managed to get jobs.

    In fact, having worked publishing textbooks for over a decade, I’d say your experience was nearly inconsequential. It was as close to nothing as you can get. While it may have tipped the scales in the job market for you, it’s your educational background that really will matter in your future. It’s the type of thing you can’t get from a job.

    As for what you asert about salespeople, I disagree based on having worked at a company which had specific tactics. In fact, one of the main failings of the salespeople at my company was that Japanese people do not study a major related to their future work. They are completely trained by the company and often have no educational background. You could see the short-sightedness of their choices and how they simply followed the steps they were told to follow. When that failed, they had no new ideas because they had no general educational background in their field. They had no adaptability and were in trouble when their skill-set failed them.

    As for a $100,000 education, with an average starting salary for college graduates being about $45,000 and an average salary which is $10,000 higher than non-college graduates, the cost of an education is reasonable given the present economic situation. It’s all well and good to talk about cost but you have to also consider benefits and current salary ranges. You can pay off that expense in 10 years. That’s what we all pretty much have had to do.

    A big part of going to college is the process of becoming responsible for yourself and your education. You gain knowledge but by completing a degree, you also show that you have the ability to meet expectations, organize your time, and express yourself to others.

    Part of that process includes being responsible for finding what you need to add to your resume before you graduate rather than expecting your teachers to do it all for you. Even if you turn unviersities into glorified technical colleges, it won’t be enough to get you a job. You’ll still need to show you had the initiative to gain real world experience.

    The only difference will be that you’ll leave as less of an individual with an all-round education and likely have less flexibility in the workplace. If you start to specialize degrees (which would ultimately be necessary to offer more skill-based education) in order to offer up more process than background, you’ll find your options are narrower. I’m not sure that’s good for anyone.

  • http://www.lorimortimer.com/blog lori

    Both of you have relatively thin experience in publishing which you received as part of your university education yet you still managed to get jobs.

    Fresh out of college, the only job I could get was as an administrative assistant. I had my pick of those. I was turned down for one copy editing job, the hiring manager told me, because I had zero *formal* experience (the school paper didn’t count for that) or training as a copy editor. The company, who otherwise liked me, concluded that they needed to hire someone with at leat a couple of years experience because they *didn’t have the time to train me.*

    That’s right: it’s expensive and time consuming for companies to train new employees in *basic* job skills. Everything else being equal, they will almost always opt for someone with experience over someone with none. For $100K, liberal arts colleges should be turning out students with basic job skills AND a broad educational background.

    At the time, I had a $40K education and couldn’t get a copy editing job that paid about $15K/year. I was apparently qualified to type and run errands. Isn’t that fabulous?

    It was as close to nothing as you can get.

    You’re right. The whole package — classes and extracurriculars — didn’t get me much right out of school.

    While it may have tipped the scales in the job market for you, it’s your educational background that really will matter in your future. It’s the type of thing you can’t get from a job.

    As I mentioned, it didn’t tip any scales for me. Now I’m old enough that my undergraduate education is irrelevant. What matters? My experience and skills. The thing you often can’t get from a traditional liberal arts education is useful experience, unless you seek it out on your own.

    My undergraduate education has had and will continue to have little impact on my career. I’ve created a career out of nothing by being proactive and chasing down opportunities, one after the other. My liberal arts school didn’t provide me that. I had it in me already. But it would have been nice to have been prepared for that first copy editing job. It would have made life a lot easier, and I would have gotten a lot more value out of my formal education.

    In fact, one of the main failings of the salespeople at my company was that Japanese people do not study a major related to their future work. They are completely trained by the company and often have no educational background. You could see the short-sightedness of their choices and how they simply followed the steps they were told to follow.

    I never advocated this type of thing. I’m advocating that liberal arts programs change with the times to make sure students leave school with skills and experience, along with broad knowledge. I never advocated that young people skip school, get all their “education” at work, or learn rote repetition.

    But the sales process is not unique to each industry, in spite of your Japanese anecdote. A good sales person can change jobs and industries pretty easily. They’ll have some studying to do, but the sales skills are the same.

    It’s all well and good to talk about cost but you have to also consider benefits and current salary ranges. You can pay off that expense in 10 years. That’s what we all pretty much have had to do.

    Many people can still handle their student loan debt. And many leave school and find decent paying jobs. But I’m glad you mentioned “current” salary ranges. The cost of education has continued to rise, no matter what was happening in the overall economy. We’re in a recession? Too bad, that $100K education still costs $100K. Yet another example of how schools don’t live in the real world.

    Besides, starting salaries and manageable debt aren’t the only barometers for whether or not schools are preparing students well enough for the workforce. Ask the employers if they like what they’re seeing. If companies are spending a lot of time getting new graduates up to speed on basic skills, then schools are not doing a good enough job. Companies have to hire from the available pool of candidates — if we don’t provide the kinds of employees they need, especially at the salaries they’re paying, they’ll start looking elsewhere. See the offshoring phenomenon as a cautionary example.

    A big part of going to college is the process of becoming responsible for yourself and your education. You gain knowledge but by completing a degree, you also show that you have the ability to meet expectations, organize your time, and express yourself to others.

    And none of this would go away if liberal arts schools added a strong career and skills component to their programs.

    Part of that process includes being responsible for finding what you need to add to your resume before you graduate rather than expecting your teachers to do it all for you.

    Straw man. I never said that “teachers should do it all” for students. I said that liberal arts colleges need to better prepare their students for life after school, which for the vast majority means getting a job and staring to pay their own way through life. That means schools need to offer good career planning services and academic counselors that/who help students learn what they need on their resume and then help them figure out how to get it (students shouldn’t be left alone to wander around searching — the school has some accountability here), a strong internship program, courses that focus on job-related skills for certain majors (copy editing and proofreading courses for English majors, for example), etc. I would really hope that for the price people pay today for school, they get more than just ivory tower intellectual masturbation.

    Even if you turn unviersities into glorified technical colleges,

    Another straw man.

    it won’t be enough to get you a job. You’ll still need to show you had the initiative to gain real world experience.

    Of course. This is always true, whether you go to college or enter a trade or do something else with your life. But that doesn’t absolve the school that’s taking your money from its responsibility to help you get some world experience.

    If you start to specialize degrees (which would ultimately be necessary to offer more skill-based education) in order to offer up more process than background, you’ll find your options are narrower. I’m not sure that’s good for anyone.

    Flexibility is still good for liberal arts graduates. But many, many other students leave school each year with a very specific plan for the next few years, be it grad or professional school, a job in a particular field (like computer science or engineering graduates), etc. Why do liberal arts majors resist building skills that can point them down a career path? If you have too vague a background, you’re not really qualified for much of anything, and especially not for those $45K jobs fresh out of school. There has to be balance. And right now, the scales are still tipped at many schools toward a traditional knowledge-based education, which is the least valuable kind out there.

  • http://www.booklinker.blogspot.com Deano

    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

    Specialization is for insects.

    -Robert A. Heinlein

    I think you are debating the age-old question – why go to university? While I recognize that a liberal arts education is often widely derided as useless or unrelated to work-specific skills, I would have to disagree on two grounds – the first being that the ability to process information/ knowledge, analyze, comprehend, and draw conclusions is one that is taught quite effectively within most liberal arts curriculum, despite the fact that it is often qualitative in nature rather than quantitative as it is in the sciences. The ability to think effectively, to have a broad-base of knowledge and human experience from which to draw upon is the fundamental byproduct of the liberal arts education…and it is a skill that has a tangible impact in the workplace.

    The second is the focus on University / college as being the “be-all, end-all” of learning – determining your future worth, skills and life. Effective learning is a life-long pursuit, not limited to the years of your major. It is an attitude, not an end. Certainly there are skill sets that you can take in college or university that will enhance your job prospects – skills sell, that is a basic truth – but you need to ask the question if we should be spending all our time just learning specific technical skills that are easily salable? The number of business majors, engineers or medical professionals I’ve met over the years who can’t string a sentence together or communicate a basic concept to anyone without acronyms is very high. My MBA class was filled with people that bluntly couldn’t write, couldn’t demonstrate basic communication abilities in their own languages, yet who had tremendous skill sets in other areas.

    To merely train on a salable skill is to deny much of the knowedge and capability that helps make an effective and adaptable thinker. Cross-pollenization of skills is a necessity, if what you are trying to achieve is a balanced, effective member of society and the economy.

    A liberal arts education is not a bad thing, nor is it unsellable or lacking in usefulness for employers.

  • Mark Saleski

    Effective learning is a life-long pursuit, not limited to the years of your major. It is an attitude, not an end.

    couldn’t said it better myself.

  • http://healthreports.blogspot.com Howard Dratch

    Mark hit the educational nail. Somewhere the love of learning and knowledge, of reading and thinking seems to have been trashed for saleable skills. The only salable skill that education can and should offer is learning to think, to read, to question. The skills come from them. Or, after learning to think, read and discuss, there are places to go to learn to work — computer school, graduate schools in art, drama, conducting, museum curating,law school…

    As a friend in Columbia’s placement office used to quote (from What Color Is Your Parachute) “Planning without planning for change is not planning at all.” If you learn to think, read and learn then you can change with the world rather than saying forlornly that the world has changed and you have been left behind.

  • http://www.lorimortimer.com/blog lori

    Ay-yi-YI! In spite of (or maybe as a result of) writing incredibly long comments, I’m not being understood. I’ve repeated my main point several times, which makes me wonder about those alleged reasoning and analysis skills a traditional liberal arts education provided all you BC readers out there.

    ;-)

    So, here’s what I said in comment #1:

    Our colleges and universities need to stop living in their own isolated world and realize that for $30K per year they should be helping their students develop not only a broad base of knowledge and the ability to reason, but also real working skills that can be applied in one or more job fields.

    In comment #3 I said:

    I’m all for a broad liberal arts background, but to make that the goal of a $100K education is just simply a waste of time and money.

    I should have said “the only goal.”

    And I added:

    For $100K, liberal arts colleges should be turning out students with basic job skills AND a broad educational background.

    In other words, I said schools should do both, not one of the other. And yet, I continue to see responses like:

    Sheri: “Even if you turn unviersities into glorified technical colleges,”

    Deano: “but you need to ask the question if we should be spending all our time just learning specific technical skills that are easily salable?”

    And Deano: “To merely train on a salable skill is to deny much of the knowedge and capability that helps make an effective and adaptable thinker.”

    And Howard: “Somewhere the love of learning and knowledge, of reading and thinking seems to have been trashed for saleable skills.”

    So to sum it up, because saying it four or five times is apparently not enough, my point is that a traditional liberal arts education does not provide all the basic skills employers are looking for and that graduates deserve to have. I never said anything about specializing or training only in “salable” or “techinical” skills, but about being realistic and getting some BASIC skills for jobs in one or more fields along with the traditional liberal arts stuff.

    Why is that so wrong?

    Onto other comments:

    The second is the focus on University / college as being the “be-all, end-all” of learning – determining your future worth, skills and life.

    Never said it. I’m talking about leaving college with an idea of what kind of job you want to start with and the real skills you need to do it at an entry level. I said nothing about “be all and end all” or about college determining your worth or life. It’s about getting something besides four years of navel gazing for your time, effort, and expense.

    The reality is that most of us have to work and that we start working within a few months of graduating. What is so wrong with starting out with job-related skills employers are looking for so you can get a better job that makes you happier? Nobody would be forcing college students to learn particular skills for jobs they don’t want — the choice would still be theirs.

    Effective learning is a life-long pursuit, not limited to the years of your major. It is an attitude, not an end.

    I happen to agree. And most of life’s learning doesn’t happen in college, does it? So shouldn’t we take a more tactical approach to college, which is a mere four-year snippet out of the life-long pursuit? There’s plenty of time to take pottery classes after you graduate.

    The number of business majors, engineers or medical professionals I’ve met over the years who can’t string a sentence together or communicate a basic concept to anyone without acronyms is very high.

    You’d be surprised by how poorly some English majors write. I realize that certain fields are acronym laden (as my brother-in-law says, all his software is fully buzzword compliant), but you can’t swing a cat without hitting an American college graduate who doesn’t know how to write or communicate effectively. But that’s another topic for another day.

    The ability to think effectively, to have a broad-base of knowledge and human experience from which to draw upon is the fundamental byproduct of the liberal arts education…and it is a skill that has a tangible impact in the workplace.

    Fair enough, except for that bit about a broad base of human experience — college doesn’t give you that, it gives you a narrow base of human experience for the most part. I happen to believe that American schools (K-12, especially) do a pretty terrible job of producing graduates who can really think. Colleges don’t do a whole lot better, probably because they’re already behind the 8-ball when they start.

    Howard said:

    The only salable skill that education can and should offer is learning to think, to read, to question.

    The ONLY? That’s just nutty.

    Or, after learning to think, read and discuss, there are places to go to learn to work — computer school, graduate schools in art, drama, conducting, museum curating,law school…

    Okay, so what you’re saying is that after I spend $100K on an undergraduate education, I’m not qualified for a job? (I think that’s what I’ve been saying, isn’t it?) I need to spend more time and money on school?

  • nugget

    no lori, you rock. I could not agree with you more. I know fifteen dirty rednecks (mechanics, construction workers, handymen, etc.) that learned how to read, write, “comprehend”, and think logistically and productively because they HAD to in order to survive. They did it all without college. This bullhonky about “oh we need the liberal arts to teach us “how” to think” is just so full of it. I went to 5 different liberal arts schools, had a slew of majors, ended up in music performance, got a degree, and now I do computer repair. (I’m 24)

    I studied everything under the sun and enjoyed it, but HOw much do I remember about William the Conquerer sailing across the English Channel to sack England in 1056? 1066? Not a whole lot. Do I remember everything about James Joyce or Shakespeare’s The Tempest or T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland?? Well, probably more than most because I enjoyed it, but I would have read that shit anyways. Funny how that works. Right now I’m reading Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Just finished Thomas Friedman’s “The World Is Flat” and have continued music studies on a different principle instrument than was my major. Once I got out of college I really started learning. On top of all of that,

    TWO WORDS: 1) GOOGLE 2) WIKIPEDIA

    Liberal arts colleges have turned into campy year-long binge drinking faux political rallies. I hated every minute of every college I went to…(unless I was drunk or having sex). The class parts sucked b/c they weren’t applicable. If I want to learn French, I”ll go to France. I’m starting to learn a little bit of Spanish….know why??? you guessed it, there are lots of mexicans around me. that’s why!

    Liberal arts schools have morphed into these ridiculous, detached sandboxes in which professors can romanticize about the subject matter they scatter about the student body. The regurgitated bits and pieces of information they “organize” for students hardly makes sense at all. They are bitches to their texts and some other historians general perspective. I can think of only 2 teachers in my entire college life that could think beyond Houghton & Mifflin (or however you spell it).

  • nugget

    also, how the fuck can a professor prepare a student for the workforce??? The only professors that are worth a damn, as far as preparation goes, are ones that have had multiple jobs in the workforce. I know there are a good bit of these, but not enough. I didn’t meet many. Most of my profs thought, “hey you should go to grad school, get a masters, then get a doctorate, then be poor like me! that’s what I did! YOu could teach college like me!!!!” then they let out a whimsical “I hate my life” sigh and continue on in their fantasy world of “knowledge.”

    Learning for the sake of learning is just so fucking overrated. If you learn something, it must YIELD you some benefit in life. It must be relevant to my safety, wallet, health, understanding of other people (in order to keep myself safe and build friendships), etc.

    rant rant rant rant….I could go on!!!!!!!!!

  • Mohjho

    “Those that can’t do, teach.”
    This is a ridiculous notion. How about “Those that can’t teach, do”? Either make no sense.
    Teaching is a skill in itself. I know this because there are good teachers and bad teachers.

    Most people can trace some profound positive effect on their life from a teacher in their past.
    If you doubt the use of teachers, try to imagine our country without them.

  • http://www.lorimortimer.com/blog lori

    Nugget, I agree with some of what you said but not with the idea that learning must yield something as tangible as you describe. I’m reading a book right now about the relationship between Mark Twain and Ulysses S. Grant. I’m not reading it for any other reason than I thought it was interesting. My safety, health, job prospects, or understanding of other people won’t be affected by what I’m reading. I’m reading it purely for pleasure, and I’m learning a little obscure literary history in the process. It’s all good.

    I’m also reading a book about Maria Montessori for entirely different reasons. One of my kids is in a Montessori school, and I want to learn more about the woman and her educational philosophies. So I’m approaching the book with a different purpose, and as a result, I’m even reading it differently from the other book.

    We learn different things for different reasons. Given its cost and what most people do after graduation, college should be a time for learning for pleasure/self-actualization/whatever and for more tangible goals.

    A lot of women who go to college or beyond leave the workforce or choose not to work in the first place. Does that mean their education was a waste of money or time? No, of course not. We as individuals and as a society benefit from having a well-educated populace. But that doesn’t mean that colleges should operate in a vaccuum, as if it doesn’t matter if anyone ever gets a job after school, because most graduates do go to work.

  • nugget

    I think your reading is more tangible than you think. For instance, I think learning about the more soap opera side of History is pretty cool. Yes it’s entertaining. I remember reading David McColough’s (sp) JOhn Adams and thought the family letters were riveting.

    I don’t think that reading John Adams (even though it was for pleasure) was an intagible “oh well” sort. For instance, I learned the word “acquiesce” and later used it in a non-nerdy context. I also spoke with some pedantic fool about the book. (this guy liked my girlfriend, and I kinda showed this fool that I wasn’t just an athlete when he started name-dropping NY times bestsellers and I started giving my own synopses).

    And those are just more superficials benefits. Some more benefits are learning about other people’s lives and decisions and mirroring them (or avoiding them) because it may be good for us. I remember Charles, John Adams second son, was a moron and alcoholic. Youngest kid I think. I am the youngest kid, probably the most talented, and I read that book at an age where I needed to compare myself to someone like me, and then NOT end up like Charles (an alcoholic.)

    I’d say those reasons for “pleasure” reading are very tangible. Don’t you think?

  • nugget

    haha. I just called myself a moron. *dies*

  • nugget

    come to think of it, Lori. I think the only place we disagree is the definition of the word “tangible.”

    I believe everything has some sort of tangible outcome. The purpose of the abstract is to imply something and let the tangibility snow ball plow through societical consciousness. In other words, everything has a tangible outcome.

  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/THESAVAGEQUIETSEPTEMBERSUN/ Victor Lana

    “The point is not to memorize a sequence of steps to be regurgitated as needed at a future job.”

    This calls to mind old Gradgrind in Dickens. He was the school master in Hard Times who gave Joe Friday a run for his “just the facts, m’am” attitude.

    Education should not be about grinding the grad (gradgrind) but nurturing, supporting, and enlightening. What’s missing most is meaningful discourse (in and out of the classroom).

    Still, as an educator for the past 22 years, I’ve seen more teachers who are dedicated and wanting to go the extra distance for their students. These are intelligent, qualified, and capable people who have chosen a profession of service to the country.

    The old Henry Adams quotation has never been more true: “A teacher affects eternity.” And then some.

  • SHARK

    Nugget: “Learning for the sake of learning is just so fucking overrated. If you learn something, it must YIELD you some benefit in life. It must be relevant to my safety, wallet, health, understanding of other people (in order to keep myself safe and build friendships), etc.”

    Can’t remember reading a more ignorant, despicable paragraph in a long time.

    =====

    I think a lot of you are missing the point:

    [Personal Anecdote Warning!]

    Back in the early days of AOL, I used to participate in a folder with a number of talented, very successful writers of all sorts. When a discussion of TEACHERS came up, there was an outpouring of PASSIONATE personal testimony which — to a person — included a story about at least one Very Special Teacher who INSPIRED that writer/artist/etc. to pursue quality and creativity.

    You’ll find the same sort of anecdotes in just about ANY field.

    =====

    There.

    Now back to your regulary scheduled hair-splitting arguments.

  • SHARK

    Shark’s List of the What Should Be the Highest Paid Professions In America

    1) Teachers
    2) Nurses
    3) Police
    4) Firemen
    5) Plumbers (no, wait… they already are!)
    6) Satirists

  • SHARK

    Mohjo, I just got to yer comment #10:

    “Most people can trace some profound positive effect on their life from a teacher in their past.”

    BINGO! Well said.

  • http://bacalar.blogspot.com Howard Dratch

    Thank you, Shark, for saying so strongly what I tried to say. Mark and Victor, too, wrote about the fact that the love of learning is not “nutty” and Mohjho added the importance of teachers to many of us.

    Sadly many people choose colleges inappropriately or decide to attend one when they really want a vocationally-oriented school. Colleges are like marriages. The choice is hard and the match must be right.

    Nugget, sadly, chose one where she learned that now famous statement,
    “Learning for the sake of learning is just so fucking overrated. If you learn something, it must YIELD you some benefit…”

    Shark’s list is excellent. The jury is out on policemen and he forgot to put in photographers (just below satirists). But teachers are where they should be.

  • Mark Saleski

    we touched on some of these topics a while back in a hot topic titled A Well-Rounded Education

  • nugget

    haha. shark the typical “i can’t separate my passion and thought” type of artist totally misunderstands what I posted.

    shark: What’s wrong with benefits? If you would have read further on my discussion with Lori, you would see that I include (or implied to include) such things as basic human values and morals as “benefits”. NOW, if that wording offends you, and you need some sort of syntax that makes it more comforting that will assuage your sensibilities….I’ll ….ok nevermiind I’ll just let you look stupid.

    also, I’m a teacher. I have every reason to believe that teachers are great….but I don’t. Parents are great. Teaching is just something you do when you’re grown up to make money. Sure….try very nobly at what you do. TRY to make a difference. Reality says that kid will enjoy you and learn from you if you’re kid. But you’re not saving the fucking kid’s life mk?

    also, nice fantasy land teacher salary scenario. I can’t say I wouldn’t want it to be that way.

    quit abberation to your little “TEACHER SHOUL MAKE TEH MOST DOUGH” fiasco:

    if all little kids were perfect little learners and did what their teachers asked them to, then yes, teachers should make the most money because all kids are making 1600 on the SAT and getting in IVY league schools and supplementing larger incomes than their parents did….

    that’s not how the money really flows. I make money now because I studied, not because of any teacher.

    Lastly, since when is MONEY so important to you sharky shark? I thought artists should look beyond the gross scapegoat of govt. issued paper and not value it as if it should be some sort of REWARD for being a great TEACHER.

    out.

  • nugget

    quick* abberation (not quit)

  • Elena

    I believe that wether you will become well rounded and skilled for life in the real world has to do a lot with the type of college you choose to attend. Typically, Universities dont give a damn about you. Most of the teachers are there for research purposes. In my opinion they are mainly after your money there as they do not assist you in learning. Colleges are very different. First and foremost, they are much cheaper and the professors there differ greatly from the professors in Universities. The teaching style is VERY different and they constantly adjust what they teach in order to better the overall class performance. They don’t believe in memorizing” tons of algebra formulas. Instead they give you a formula sheet during the exams! You know why? Because they believe that memorizing a whole bunch of shit is non sense. Instead, all they want you to know is how to apply those formulas. I believe that that type of teaching style helps students a lot in preparing for the “real world”. You will need skills in learning how to apply things that you learn. Those are the skills you receive from smaller Colleges. In those Colleges they do an amazing job in preparing you to enter the workforce successfuly. Thats what they are all about. People actually go there in order to get a well rounded education AND prepare themselfs for the workforce at the same time. Because teachers at those colleges are not there for research purposes. They have taken specific courses in their education on how to successfully teach and prepare students for the real world.

  • Ryan

    Those who can’t do, teach…….well how could those people that supposedly “do” be able to accomplish this without receiving knowledge and life skills from teachers? This includes parents and the like. People learn from examples and from hands-on experiences. This is the role of the teacher. What is that old saying?….”Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”. Teachers prepare you for life (most of them). It is a true calling and a wonderful profession if you are invested in it.

    Ryan H.

  • Alex

    While agree with some of your statements and comments as a college student I have to speak my mind right now.
    First and outermost you don’t necessarily get a college education JUST to apply it in your carrier so many people don’t work in what they pursued , I’m majoring in a relatively rare major and if I don’t work with it I know how I can pursue my education regardless of what I got my undergraduate degree in. (well actually im a double major, ones rare one isn’t and there not that closely related) anyway, what college does is it also lets you reason stuff better, it lets you see another perspective and most of all it challenges you. No matter how smart or dumb you are college is still a challenge and you meet so many different problems that not attending it is a very poor judgment. If someone told me I could make $1 million right now and I would have to drop out of college and never return I seriously would not take the offer, because its college that has given me so much skills. It gave me many ways to think about stuff, It drastically improves writing (i don’t really care about grammar in this post to bad) but you go through a whole lot of choices in making decisions like drinking , relationships, academics, integrity, time management, and life skills. So you can badger everything but if you didn’t get this in your college education you mist out or you most likely cheated yourself.

    Whether teachers should be paid more. Well yes they should especially professors they really deserve it. There the most educated but some teachers are terrible I recall teachers who could not service past the teachers edition, do they deserve a raise to? and as a side not most teachers major in education and there classes is about teaching so you technically can be a good teacher and know very little by going of topic (how the students wont mind and will tell you there god teachers) so yes teaching is also a skill not just a knowledge but these comments about a liberal education just suck. Some skills must be learned on your own
    I think I left out some stuff I wanted to say but I’ll wait for some replies.

  • GuessWho

    To be fair…hell who cares about being fair…

    I work with hundreds of teachers…and 90% can’t do! Teaching is an over paid profession…in the real world they couldn’t tie their own shoelaces.

    They do well to get what they do from tax payers. I find it shocking we let these idiots teacher our children! Shocking! Might explain the degrading state of society.

  • Westfool

    Teachers are extremely overpaid at some state schools and possible at private, but who cares about the later (that’s known as freedom). I’ve worked very hard my whole life and learned from people who made a living by people WILLINGLY giving them money. Some teachers use what little power they have to punish students who disagree with them. I’ve always figured, “Gee listen to people who came from nothing and pay six figures in taxes or listen to this person who gets paid because the other person is under threat of jail.” I’ve had teachers who I’ve proved to be wrong and had them retaliate when they had a chance to do subjective grading. Sure I could be wrong, but when you ask the teacher to give you an example of what would be correct for what they marked you wrong for and they can’t give you an example… tell me that’s not vindictive? Or even better when you show them in the book they assigned you to read where you were right with your answer, yet they mark you wrong. They are not “teachers” and a lot of “colleges” are not institutes of “higher learning,” but nothing more than institutes for brainwashing.

  • http://magnusonart.blogspot.com magnusonart

    I honestly have observed the dumbing down of America over the past eighteen years, now removed from “public” education, which in my opinion has left most children behind. My interest and concern is in the area of arts education. In this economic crunch time (even before 2001) we see arts programs leaving the curriculum and school boards justifying the arts and humanities by mandating ALL teachers incorporating the ARTS into their subject matter. Therefore, a non-practicing arts person such as a math or English teacher is told they MUST involve the arts in their classroom: suddenly, the following year an art or music or drama teacher loses his/her job due to budget crunching and the state curriculum justifies this because WE TEACH THE ARTS, because it is mandated in the math, science, English and humanities program. The arts remain frills in schools (infotainment?) while non-specialists have to explain the lush quality of oil painting brushtrokes from a handbook. And the current leader of the free world speaks in three-word sentences (or less, “Go shopping”)for us to use as a lead to follow in his example as role model and ultimate promoter of the arts in American education. Or not?

  • RH

    “Those who cannot do, teach” I would argue that this is valid for most teachers (I have had few exceptions in my life). However, I have also found the conjugate to be true: “Those who cannot teach, do”.

    Most doers and shakers of the world (myself included) find it exceedingly difficult to teach others… often frustratingly so. My worst teachers were all “fresh from the industry”.

    I put forth a postulate that the process of teaching is so different from the process of doing that learning one does not help the other at all. Teaching involves getting into others heads – doing involves getting into your own. As you pick one or the other, the paycheck begins dictating which pursuit is worth your time.

    Had I known the significance of an Apple for the Teacher, from the middle ages, I think I’d have bought more apples for them! I hate meaningless traditions, but I appreciate it more now that I know the causes.

  • J. Person

    Re: As an Adjunct Professor with 10 years teaching experience at 6 New York Colleges, I take great exception to the comment that “the only professors worth a damn were the ones holding multiple jobs. If you have ever taught a college class, you would know that teaching on the college level is like holding multiple jobs and in comparison to many jobs, much harder. Somehow, there is a total misconception that teaching college is not actually working in the real world. Teaching college students is one of the hardest jobs I have ever had and I draw upon all my experiences – teaching, jobs in the business world, graduate school etc… to do my job effectively. A college education is a tool, not a guarantee and you only get out of it what you put into it. Whining about how much you didn’t like the experience, dismissing Professors because of the path they took that led them to their current positions (standing in front of you and trying to communicate with you) are only gotten by first getting a B.A., then an M.A., then a doctorate and ending up poor” indicates a truly limited, outdated way of thinking and showcases the ignorance of the writer. If your dissatisfied with the quality of the education you are receiving, then switch schools if you must – but don’t carry on about your out of touch professor – Professors do their best to educate those in their classes. It is a semester by semester relationship that takes work and involved participation on the part of both teacher and student to be successful. If you can learn to work for what you want in college (rather than expect someone to simply hand it to you) it will be one of the most important tools that you can add to your “skill set” to help you out there in the “real world”. Professor J.Person

  • http://www.cafepress.com/ThoseWhoCare Alysia Cosby

    “Those who can, do…Those who CARE, teach!”

    I am a former Mechanical Engineer, current radio station personality & program director, mother of 4 highly educated children – wife of 1 who I own a business with, writer AND performer…I TEACH HIGH SCHOOL MATH BECAUSE I CARE!!!

    I have options, I am educated, and I subject myself to irritations and annoyances throughout the year, because when the light bulbs go on, and my students don’t fear math but RISE to the challenge…I KNOW THEIR LIVES HAVE BEEN CHANGED
    for the BETTER – permanently!

    They decide they LIKE math and feel confidence to succeed in LIFE because they overcame obstacles and solved the “I can’t do this” problems and triumphed…

    WE TEACH BECAUSE WE CARE!!! Check out my site and spread the word!

    Have a peaceful & productive day! :)

  • http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~sternfin/gdavolio/index.html LOL

    I know several former hedge fund managers who, after losing HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in the most irresponsible manner, become assistant adjunct professors at well known universities, like NYU.

    Do you think it is moral that a person who has shown himself unable to manage a portfolio “teaches” young students a subject on “Hedge Fund Strategies”? A person who presents himself as a successful model to imitate?

    Would you expose that person? Or would you allow him to keep earning money by deceiving innocent people who pay for his failed wisdom?

    I find these people disgusting.

  • Dana

    It think what it boils down to is some people like academia and some don’t. In refererence to the business person/teacher in a comment above; my dad is a high school drop out and a very successful business man. He’s gifted with numbers.

    Do what you love and it won’t be work.

  • beth harper

    I think Lori had some strong points. This debate reminds me of the film Art School Confidential. Anyone who has been to art school will relate to this film immediately. It’s about how a nepotist gathering of psuedo intellects depsise anyone who is naturally more gifted, and the point we’re missing here is that human nature, like academia, the law, religion, politics etc, refuses to accept get it wrong.

    I just graduated at photography school, a course where we weren’t shown anything- ie lighting skills. In the real world, employers dont want to hear conceptual talk, they want to SEE if you are the best. Of course education is about self exploration and discovery, but the point is the whole journey felt as if the teachers did nothing other than talk about their own work- which which often looked like it were done by a 5 yr old. Also there were many technically creative guys who scored less grades simply because they refused to conform to this nepotist gathering of psuedo intellects, often left wing starving poets whose parents often paid the rent.

  • V

    I like Shari, you are learning.

  • sands

    I’m truly amazed by the information relayed when enquiring about the quote, ‘those who can-do,those who can’t do-teach.
    I am astounded by the inaccurate information provided, but more astounded by the response to justify a quote which was generic. The person behind this website obviously has missed the point.
    Those who cannot grasp the mettle, think before you speak.

  • Cynic

    Great article, however at this part:

    “The point is not to memorize a sequence of steps to be regurgitated as needed at a future job. Teachers are there to help you learn how to be smart enough to figure out those steps on your own.”

    I just laughed.

  • John

    “also, I’m a teacher. I have every reason to believe that teachers are great….but I don’t. Parents are great. Teaching is just something you do when you’re grown up to make money.”

    Sorry, Nugget, but you’re not a teacher. This statement alone shows that you’re simply a babysitter with a larger than average paycheck.

    True teachers (such as myself and most of my colleagues) are in the profession, nay, the vocation for more than the paycheck. If we truly wanted the pay alone, there are thousands of “better” jobs.

    Heck, as an English major (with M.A. and PhD), I could have stayed with my job as a tech writer/inventory control specialist at a NASA contractor and gotten paid more than twice my current salary doing a job I was pretty darn good at. But I would have been depressed, bored (mind numbingly), extremely unhappy, and certainly not the person I am today.

    In short, I suggest you look for a new profession, Nugget, and quit screwing over the students you deal with.

  • http://www.leavingthelandofwoo.com Bob Lloyd

    Some of those guys who think they can “do”, should try teaching :) What they’ll find out is that their knowledge of their own field is patchy, narrow, probably ill-informed, almost certainly out of date, and based more on opinion and supposedly infallible rules of thumb. Remember that those who “do” are also the very people who run into so many problems (often the same ones) every day. You know the guys, highly successful bankers selling mortgages, people who tell you they have twenty years’ experience when they mean one year repeated twenty times.

    If they put themselves in the classroom, they’d find they were suddenly needing to learn about group dynamics, conflict management, psychology, motivation, resource management, time management, pedagogy, speaking skills, along with on-your-feet fast thinking across a wide range of issues. Most of them would get eaten alive.

    As someone who’s both “done it” and “taught it” I guarantee that doing it is infinitely easier, less stressful, more financially rewarding, and it has the added bonus of not being the butt of criticism.

    That companies want schools to take over the training of the workforce is no reason to assume that that’s the purpose of education. Some things need higher study of more generic skills.

    There’s no harm in looking critically at the content of college courses to make sure they’re useful and we could make a start by clearing out all the nonsense hocus-pocus courses in ayurvedic medicine, reiki, energy healing, and all the other scams. Ah, but then they’re often taught by people who claim they can “do” it, after all they’ve run businesses based on such scams.

  • CFR

    I believe the (“corrupted”) original is by Aristotle: “Those that know, do; those that understand, teach.”

  • Bob

    Teachers should make the most money!

    The most horrible jobs pay well and enjoyable pay poorly.

    Among the low paying jobs:
    a) artist – hey art is fun; try to find someone, if you can, who would refuse to be an artist for the same pay as their current job
    b) teachers – teaching is fun, kids are fun, sort of; at least compared to below

    Among the high paying jobs:
    a) prostitute – hmm, let someone use every part of your body inside and out; not fun
    b) lawyer – study the gory details of the worst interpersonal disputes then try to convince someone that one side should get some money; not fun.
    c) plummer – mess around with the pipes that carry other peoples poop while on your hands and knees; not fun.

  • beth

    the point is liberal art teachers wont ‘teach’ the students anything worthwile, notably as they fear competition.

  • Grant

    I dont think that saying is attacking teachers in general. People who go to school to BE teachers is not what this is directed toward.

    Its more for perhaps a student that goes to school for architecture. Then, once graduated, cant find a job or is not talented enough to make it in his industry so the student decides to teach what he has learned at school instead. Lacking all practical knowledge of the job but teaches just to receive a paycheck.

  • Chuck Rizzo

    Now I suspect that I have my share of qualified competitors out there, but it bothers me to no end how many CONSULTANTS, COACHES, ADVISORS, and best of all MARKETING GURU’s there are… who are selling their “expert support and guidance” in areas that they themselves have really NEVER excelled.

    They say that talk is cheap… but you’d never know it from these guys!

    Shouldn’t there be a rule that says…. “If you have never actually “walked the walk” and successfully taken new products or services to market, you can NOT charge others to lead them down a path that you yourself have never even traveled? That’s fair…isn’t it?

    Have we gotten so caught up with the marketing spin & hype that’s continually put out there, that we’ve now forgotten that we still need to look behind the curtain? Wouldn’t you like to know that the person and/or company you are stroking that check too, has actually faced the marketing fog of war and successfully come out on the other side.

    My question is… How many people hire professional consultants & coaches, only to receive a bunch of meaningless words and useless information?

  • http://intuition.viviti.com/ hrld

    I suppose I like the quote, because education is so not keeping up with education and the breakthroughs in every discipline from its own graduates and others. It’s mired in a quagmire of bureaucracy, governmental and collegiate. College helped me some and retarded me some. We need to go way beyond educations current state.

  • http://gjismyp.wordpress.com Liam

    Great article, I agree and have written something similar. We (teachers and educators) need to stick together and change the attitudes.

  • Liberty

    What would the world be like without teachers? Pretty much the same. There was a time when teaching children was the domain of unmarried women. To believe that teachers should be paid the most is ridiculous. Teachers are a luxury that has become far too expensive. Teachers are repeaters, they deliver current knowledge for those willing to learn. Most, if not all current knowledge will someday be rejected as wrong. A world that valued teachers above all others would be a very dumb world.

  • Annoymous

    Those who wrote this statement wouldn’t last a week teaching.

  • Sleep Happy Grumpy Dopy?

    That closing statement is the exact reason people feel that way. Teachers generally follow a lesson plan, but in real world application, they would be as lost as half of the students they teach. It’s not to say that their job is unimportant, but the actual effort it takes to become say an engineer vs a teacher is vastly different. Following a lesson plan is not the same as following a blue print, or making break through discoveries in science through tedious research. This blog post makes the point even more clear with their general opinion on this matter. With the exception of high level college professors in the sciences, teachers of the basic fundamentals can be replaced with a computer program or a well trained parrot and have the same basic impact.

    • MrTeacherGuy

      First off, those lesson plans you talk about are not pre-written scripts that we read from. Most teachers spend hours formulating those plans. Many teachers have to change and revamp their plans every night. I’ve had to change some between periods because it didn’t work out. How long would it take an engineer to change blueprints to make sure it worked out?

      Also, teachers must be able to deliver that information to 25 or more students who are all on different levels of learning. Some of these students don’t care, some have home problems, some are poor, some are rich, some have ADD/ADHD/ODD/etc., some don’t eat at home so all they think about is lunch.

      A teacher is not only delivering the information, but must be a teacher, counselor, coach, parent, provider, confidant, etc.

      That would be one smart parrot to do all that, my friend…

    • Uh…

      Yeah, so, this ^ is basically the most asinine comment, ever. STFU dude.

  • Robert Hudson

    could we follow the saying “those who can’t do teach,” with those who can’t teach…critique?

  • Aaron Mayhew

    You:”Teachers are there to help you learn how to be SMART enough to figure out those steps on your own”
    Me: No they don’t.
    For your information I have a friend who has a masters in bioengineering and right now he has trouble finding a company to accept him because he has a lack of experience. What good is a general based knowledge if people don’t accept it in the real world?
    What good is teaching general based knowledge when the ones who provide it(aka teachers)
    depend solely on teaching general based knowledge?
    Granted we need teachers to provide the fundamentals of math science english and history regardless if its applicable to the source(source = teacher)
    But the problem is that teachers rely on teaching. It would be better to have people to teach when they don’t need to rather than having teaching their only source of income because
    #1. Having teachers not needing to teach for income shows that they really want to teach.
    #2. They don’t need the money therefore education can potentially be cheaper
    #3. Its a bonus to have a teacher lead by example if they have experience in directly applying the fundamentals especially in college.
    So in conclusion we need teachers that can do as well.

    • Kennedy

      So, it’s the fault of teachers that your friend can’t find a job? Because of his lack of precise knowledge? Surely that is the fault of the system and curriculum and not the teacher?

      I do think it is the fault of your teachers not to have provided you with the skills to put together a well-structured and sound argument, it seems you were not provided with such a base of skills. On that point, yes, your teachers have failed you.

      However, your argument that teachers should not need to be paid and merely work because they want to is flawed on so many levels I could write a lengthy paper on it. What job was ever performed to excellence by people who didn’t need and want it? The need to earn is intrinsic in how we perceive the worth of our jobs and without the need… people often don’t care anymore.

      Education would cost less if teachers did not need the money?ANY sector would cost less if the workers didn’t need the money. What are you going to do? Get Bill Gates to start teaching Computer Science in schools? Yes, I’m sure he’s be more than willing. This is an immature argument. Why on earth should the education sector be given less money because you deem it to not be performing properly? What about other areas, other departments?

      I do not believe that all teachers are brilliant at theirs jobs, but the same can be said for any company. The only reason that teachers get such a hard time is because there’s an audience there to watch their mistakes; an audience who goes home and tells other willing and apparently begrudging listeners.

      • Aaron Mayhew

        First of all you need to calm down. I’m just advocating for teachers who can teach and do. Why is that such a horrible request.

        Second, when did I blame teachers for my friend not getting a job? I merely said teaching is not enough in this day in age. It was a response to the statement: ” Teachers are there to help you learn how to be SMART enough to figure out those steps on your own” (I don’t understand how I wasn’t clear on that).

        Third, I NEVER EVEN IMPLIED THAT TEACHERS SHOULD WORK FOR FREE . I said they don’t need money therefore education can be cheaper and the lesser need for income reveals their desire to teach more than ones who are dependent. I can see you misunderstanding that so I’ll let you off the hook but what I meant was if a person is already well off and he wants to teach then there wouldn’t be any concern about raises or strikes because there is no dependency and more focus on other things then making sure a teacher is well off. So there is no need for you to write a paper on how wrong I was for something I never said.

        Lastly, your argument “ANY sector would cost less if the workers didn’t need the money” I want to say I’m glad you know that but the problem is teaching stems from application unless you are talking about theory (and that’s another story that I wont get into.) People need to apply before they know what they are talking about. I believe a person should experience the workforce first. Usually when people make it to the workforce they should have dominated their careers to where they can retire and then decide to teach having knowledge and experience he can pass down and never having to go hungry even if he had horrible pay which I’m not supporting. I know that’s asking for a lot however what’s wrong with wanting that perfect world?

      • isthisnick valid

        wow I guess that girl had really bad teachers hahhaha

        Certainly we shoudn`t pay teachers a dime so only bored people take some time in their lives to teach ? :O

        As for all the people who can’t get jobs with their brilliant degrees…. wtf where are you living in??

        I got a job right after graduating, full time and without even trying hard…

        All my friends told me my degree was “shitty” coz it wasn’t engineering… well LOL

        As for the engineers…maybe you guys aren’t getting a job coz you are aiming too high on your first year. If you guys need experience there’s something called “graduate trainees” Open your eyes and start working, with one year of experience (even with a lesser salary) you will be good to go.

        What the heck I even know people working in these fields just because they have the required skills and they don’t have the education. The problem is they get paid less than those with the education…

        So all in all:
        Education IS useful and those who fail to appreciate its value are probably quite shortsighted.

        Experience is necessary in any job, and therefore it is good to choose degrees, etc. that facilitate the students some practice in the real world, so they have something to write in their CV!

        And last but not least: Teachers are humans. Humans want to eat. Therefore, they need to get paid, and a decent wage if you don’t want all the bright people to go to other professions!

  • Pissed Off Engineering Grad

    I hold a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from one of the top 100 public schools. I graduate there with honors. I been accepted in highly prestigious honors Fraternities such as Golden Key, Phi Kappa Phi, and Eta Kappa Nu. I a co-author in an academic publication when I was an undergrad for some research as well as got funding and led my own research project while I was an undergraduate student. I did a small job in Japan to see the country, but once I got back to the US no one would hire me at all because I didn’t have the experience. Even McDonalds rejected me when I got so desperate I need any job.

    I went to Korea and taught English. I know the teaching side of things. However, I went back to school from one of the top universities in Korea and got a Masters in Engineering. Guess what. I still cant find a job in the engineering field because I don’t have the experience. This don’t have the experience is pissing me off to no end. I been traveling Asia with what little I have left trying to find work. But the only jobs that keep coming up is teaching jobs, and its teaching English. In the US, I cant even get a job.

    I feel thoroughly insulted as the only jobs I can take is teaching English. What good is an education if you cannot apply it in the real world. I am really insulted because I never wanted to have a profession teaching English, I wanted to be an Engineer. That is why I went to school for, and that is why I bust my butt trying to do. Teaching is something I would like to do for fun in my spare time to share my knowledge not as a profession. Because I want to DO!

    • Pissed Off Engineering Grad

      Some grammar and spelling errors I missed. Sorry, but am pretty angry when I wrote it.

    • nvtro

      That’s really your fault then for not having a plan mate and teaching English in asia doesn’t really give you a full spectrum view… they hire anyone at all. I also have worked in asia; China, Japan and Korea. I am currently living in China (Shanghai) contracting myself to UK and American companies as a software engineer in a relatively hot technology field. I’m on a wage about 15 times that of locals (15 times city wage), whilst my expat friends teaching English here are on local wage… They always moan about it but it was their choice.

      As for “those who can’t do teach”, it really depends on the teacher. There are a lot of teachers for example who can’t find a job in their market, e.g. physicists (not enough research grants or whatever), who supplement a living through teaching. I guarantee that these people can “do”. On the other end some teacher’s (usually in primary or secondary schools) just aren’t as up to date in their field as they should be.

      These people usually say oh but we have a larger skillset (working with children and large groups of people) but I have skills with meeting clients, giving demonstrations and explaining technical details to people within my team. So I don’t find that excuse acceptable. The best teachers are the one’s who are constantly in a process of keeping their own field knowledge up to date and even taking it up as a hobby – if they cannot make a living from it.

      Regardless I usually have a higher opinion of those who “Do”, especially bachelors of science/engineering type jobs as I think these will be the people who will make the most difference to the way we live in the near future.

  • JustSaying

    Instead of arguing…. why not look for a job? Instead of whining… why not consider alternative careers where your skills can be applied? Instead of blaming each other… why not start at the bottom (may not be your field/desired title) and get your foot in the door with a good company. Then work your way to the top. No one will get their dream job in their first year out of college. Or their second. Or their third. Realize the journey to that ‘dream’ job can take 5+ years realistically. This isn’t a message bent on instigating a fight but just calling out the silliness as I see it.