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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Teacher Wanted

Had an interesting discussion last week. The kind where your worldview accidentally gets challenged and leaves you pondering for a bit afterwards.

I met someone suspicious of "spoon-fed private school graduates" because "they don't know what the real world is like." Contrarywise, this person approves of "big university graduates whose teachers couldn't speak English" because "they know how to dig out solutions for themselves."


This person had no idea I'm one of those spoon-fed private school folks, so the conversation was refreshingly frank. Was I spoon-fed? Is my incessant desire to find a mentor in every job and skill I undertake because I'm accustomed to "being taught"?

There is a benefit to being able to problem-solve in less-than-ideal situations. A good grade in a class of 400 may mean more than in a class of 3. I would argue it depends on the quality of the 400 and the 3, especially in this age where we regularly celebrate mediocrity.

However, the conversation started with the ridiculous cost of higher education and how a "bursting bubble" is on the horizon. We Americans can't afford the high price of college anymore, nor the debt incurred in pursuing it.

My minor is in education. I would argue that a teacher who can't speak the language of his students, and doesn't teach them the subject matter that is the whole purpose of his job, isn't worthy of the high wage he gets paid. Getting good grades in such an environment isn't a testimony to the brilliance of the student; it's a condemnation of the inadequacy of the professor. I would also have to wonder at the wisdom of a student who continues paying such a price for such a pitifully inadequate service.

Wow. Am I a snob, or what? 

In the end, my worldview remains much the same but I'm glad I had the conversation. I can be taught. I prefer it, in fact.

Happy Wednesday, dear readers. Enjoy the sun.

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