Can Everyone Teach?

An interesting read on The Case of $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers (article here).

How hard can it be to teach preschoolers?

Most people will probably conclude that it can't be difficult at all. It definitely isn't rocket science. 

But can everyone do an equally effective job of coaching and guiding pre-schoolers?

Let's see. 

As long as we are literate, we should be able to coach our little ones in their academic progress. What's more, with the resources freely available on the Internet nowadays, it does empower parents and older siblings alike, hence giving the illusion that everyone can teach. 

I do stress the word 'illusion' for good reasons. 

Everyone can provide answers. But NOT everyone can be an effective teacher. 

Even in formal schools, when teachers are supposedly qualified with the right certification, it doesn't mean they will be effective in delivering the lessons and achieving learning outcomes.

How can we tell if a teacher is effective? 

It isn't straightforward but the easiest way is probably to look at the outcomes delivered (i.e. the children's learning progress over a reasonable period of time). 

Great teachers (like great leaders) do not just provide answers. They should be able to inspire a child to want to learn more by heightening his awareness to his world and teaching him how to inquire, hence cultivating his curiosity and intensifying his thirst for knowledge.

Even with a passion to learn, a child's learning progress can be accelerated only if he has good learning habits and positive attitude, which are definitely qualities that effective teachers should and will take pains to instill in the child. 

Passion for teaching and love for a child alone, are also not enough to make one a great teacher, though they may help to motivate a teacher to put in more efforts. 

So, while all parents should and can play an active role in their children's education and learning journey, not everyone can be an effective teacher in delivering a holistic education to their little ones.

It takes wisdom, courage and honesty on the parents' part to reflect regularly, recognize their shortcomings and be open-minded to learn and adopt better practices.

The mediocre teacher tells. 
The good teacher explains. 
The superior teacher demonstrates. 
Great teachers inspire. 

As parents and educators, the important question to ask ourselves should be this:

How can we become a GREAT teacher who inspire?