Friday, February 14, 2014

The only profession where non-professionals can tell you how to do your job

Imagine telling a dentist or a doctor how to do a procedure, imagine telling an engineer how to build a building, imagine telling a plumber how to fix a leaky pipe, or imagine telling a farmer how to grow their crops. These people are experts in their field and we go to them for their expertise (I should say in this generation of internet there are some folks who think they are experts because they “Googled” it), they have been trained and certified.

Guess what, teachers are trained and certified; in fact, teachers have to achieve a Master’s degree level of education before being fully certified and that is more schooling than 80% of the population. I am sure many non-teachers are now saying “well teacher training is garbage”, or “there are a lot of bad teachers”, and that is matter of opinion not expertise. Yes teacher training, just like all training needs to be strengthened from time to time, and yes, there are bad players in the profession, just as there are in every profession. Teachers are not perfect, nor have they ever claimed to be perfect; however, teaching is a profession, often a selfless profession, and professionals need to have input on how they do their job from professionals not “arm chair quarterbacks”.

I thought this piece was interesting:

“Yes, I Am a Teacher and No, I Did Not Stay at a Holiday Inn Express Last Night”

“You may recall the popular commercials for the hotel chain in which people justify taking the role of doctor, professor, or pilot because they stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. After attending a recent education policy conference, I reflected that the bulk of policy discourse suffers from this same type of thinking. Call it the Holiday Inn Express syndrome, if you will. Just substitute 'classroom teacher' for pilot from the above excerpt and the premise seems to be just as ridiculous--Hey, I was never actually a teacher, but I am an expert because I did go to school growing up! Unfortunately, there are far too many instances when those who have never taught, or who have not taught for any substantial period of time, claim expertise over those doing the work every day.”

If you do not have faith in your professionals, if you do not start letting your professionals do their job, then I would like to hear your plan on how to educate children, and I want to see your credentials along with your plan.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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