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The word teacher is pretty darn self-explanatory. Just looking it up in my trusty Webster's, it says "teacher - a person who teaches, especially as a profession." Right there, it says it: a teacher teaches. Must I do other stylized text with this? Bold teaches? Underlined teaches? How about bold, underlined, italicized teaches?

Yes, a teacher should be a teacher. That includes high school teachers. It doesn't necessarily include college instructors, but it includes the term "high school teachers," which is pretty much the word for every person in a high school building employed that has a group of students every day.

You're now wondering why I took up two paragraphs explaining the definition the word "teacher." For a simple reason; I think too many people have forgotten it.

Sorry if I'm blunt here, but I'm spilling the content of my article in a quick sentence. Being a teacher does not mean being a instructor, a law enforcer, a coach, a politician, or an adult. Now that you're angry, I'll attempt to make myself look like less of a jerk to you.

Instructor. Wow, that's good 'n nondescript. You know what? I've read printed pieces of paper that have been better instructors than live, breathing people who have instructed me.

Law enforcer. If you're a teacher, you're getting paid to spend your time teaching things. In my thesaurus, "law enforcement" is not a synonym for "teaching." A teacher should be able to realize if a kid is impeding on the learning of another person, but they shouldn't have to be the one pulling the kid out of the classroom into the principal's office. In fact, we already have people paid separate wages to do just that: police officers!

Coach. Being a coach can be teaching to a kid, yes. But coaching someone on extra-cirricular activities is a totally separate skills set apart from teaching a student in a classroom. If a coach wants to be at a particular school (or if a school wants a particular coach) , here's an idea: let him engross himself in his coaching and just hire him as a coach! If there's nothing for a coach to worry about with students in a classroom, he'll be that much more involved in what activity he's coaching.

Politician. Twisting words with other adults who are either out to get you or want to become your best friend is great for some superficial reason is great fun, I'm sure. However, that's not what you do in a classroom. If you have a politician as a teacher, have him churn out sputters to kids who actually care; namely, poor over-charged college students.

Adult. I know lots of kids who are better teachers than adults. Just because you can drink beer without worrying about being asked for ID doesn't mean you can make someone want to learn something.

And so I end up back at my original point. If you're a teacher, you should be able to teach to kids. In my the word "teach" does not say, "Read from a book orally for hours on end." Nor does it say, "tell a group of people your opinion on why something that can't be explained should just be known this particular way." And the definition sure doesn't say anything about, "not making any attempt to make students interested in a particular subject."

Of course, it doesn't say anywhere a teacher should make an attempt to make something interesting, either. But, to teach, you must make it interesting. Whether that be by humor, unexpected angles of teaching, or sitting in the front of a room and yelling at the top of your lungs for the kid at the back of the room to be quiet, a teacher must make whatever area they're teaching interesting.

Because, if you're a teacher, and your job is to teach, that also involves kids learning, right? Kids need justification for learning. I mean, the only justification a boy needs of learning how to drive is just being able to transport desirable-looking women around...


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Karl Becker, the author of all these articles, uses New Tricks for his writings.



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... The word teacher is pretty darn self-explanato...

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