If You Can’t Do, Don’t Teach

As the old saying goes, “Those who can’t do, teach.” However, not only is this incredibly inaccurate, but it is also taken out of context of its origin. The line, written in 1903 by playwright George Bernard Shaw, was originally referring to revolutionaries, not teachers. If anyone has actually thought about that claim, it doesn’t make sense. Why would we leave the future of each generation in the hands of the incompetent? Contrary to popular belief, being an education major is not easy.

Beginning with the basics, some education majors must be able to teach nearly every subject. Unless the student is focusing on teaching only one topic, according to MSU’s Majors & Degrees site, education majors learn “with a focus on how science, technology, engineering and math interconnect within the language arts, social studies, arts and health enhancement curricula.”

On top of having to be well-versed in most subjects, education majors also have an extensive hands-on component in their undergraduate studies. Unlike many majors, education majors spend a lot of time outside their classrooms, jumping right into real world experiences by their fourth semester in the major. From service learning practices, micro-teachings with the After School Partnership program, practicum teaching semesters and hands-on teaching in a supervised classroom, these education majors are continuously dedicating time not only to their studies, but also to the studies of the children they will one day teach.

Now, all of this is not to say other majors are less dedicated or have easier workloads. But, education majors are often looked down upon for their “easy” work. Their work may be different, but different doesn’t mean easy.

For example, one education major explained that one of the most difficult parts of her major were the math classes. It is different than all the math we’ve been doing growing up, she explained, because as an education major, you have to solve the problem while showing the child why the problem is solved that way, as well as helping them get to the correct answer.

Further, each and every person learns in a unique way. This is especially true of children learning a task for the first time. Education majors must be versatile and flexible, continuously incorporating new ways of teaching into their studies. They must keep an open mind because not all kids learn the same.

MSU offers countless majors and even more major options. Each and every one of these studies is unique, significant, and difficult in its own way. Not everyone can be a successful engineer, just as not everyone can be a successful teacher.