The personal learning network for educators
The majority of the kids I teach are extremely motivated to get into the best college they can possibly get into. The condition does allow me to make the observation that part of my role as teacher has gravitated toward coaching students into grade profiles, which is a much less complicated job than authentic teaching. The result has been that teaching practice rarely, if ever, is the topic of deliberative conversation at my school. We talk a lot about individuals and program and a bit about curriculum. Teaching, though, does not get discussed.
With such kids, it is sometimes discomforting to wonder how much of the kids' success is attributable to us (me). We have teachers who do a fine job in the classroom but they have never studied the practice of teaching. They know all they know from their own experience.
While its possible to build a fifty-year career on such a foundation in such conditions, I really do not know why you would. The intrigue of teaching is that you never can reach the top of your game. I’ve seen plenty of seasoned pros get thrown one day when a certain kind of kid comes around the corner that they’ve never seen before. It is often the harbinger of retirement. Teaching has to be a living thing that changes, grows, breathes, and adapts throughout its lifetime. That is, in part, what makes it worthy of a teacher’s lifetime, or the many bits of students’ lifetimes.