Teacher at blackboard

Teachers know stuff.

Teachers usually have what is known in the trade as ‘knowledge, skills and understanding‘. Students often assume that this comes from their degrees, but often they’re mixing up cause and effect. They usually did those degrees because of a genuine interest. For many that is still reflected in wider reading of magazines, books or blogs. They may be members of professional associations, such as the Institute of Physics. They seek out documentary programmes on TV (e.g. Science and Nature programmes via the BBC) or the radio (ibid), or even go to shows such as Uncaged Monkeys.

Teachers are people with lives. They have parents and families, partners and children. They have sports and interests, hobbies and pastimes. They’ve probably lived in several different places, even other countries. They may have had previous careers, and certainly other jobs. All of these things inform what they do in the classroom, whether the students realise it or not.

It’s worth recognising that teachers – whether you like them or not – are both experts and enthusiasts in their particular fields and people in their own right. If you have a genuine question or query, they’ll either be pleased to share what they know or help you to find out the answer for yourself. At some point they were teenagers in classrooms, learning these concepts for the first time. They’re not deliberately making your life difficult by setting homework or asking you to prepare for exams. They are not the enemy. Once you’ve figured that out, the other stages of learning will be much easier.

If you’d be interested in occasionally seeing things from your teachers’ point of view, check out the archive of posts in the ‘teachers’ category.


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