Don’t you just love stupid people?

You know the ones, the type that are so arrogant and full of themselves that they must heap their stupidity on others.  I am not talking about uneducated people.  Because you can have a pile of letters after your name and still be stupid.   These are the people that cannot see shades of grey, everything is black and white.  It has nothing to do with a formal education, it has to do with an informal education.  It has to do with understanding people. 

I think we have all seen good teachers.  I bet you could name a few, some of which may take you back 30+ years.  Ok, so now name a crappy one.  Can you?  Ok, you may because of something memorable.  I will never forget Mr Weitz, the football coach who had to teach a math class in order to justify his paycheck, slapping a kid in class because he was reading his drivers’ ed book during class.  One of the worst teachers I ever had.  I doubt he even knew my name back then.  So what about the good ones?  Did they know your name?  Did they ask you questions?  Did they fall for your line of crap when you didn’t do your homework?  Probably not.  And did you feel bad because you knew that you didn’t pull one over on them?  I know I felt awful when Mrs Rolling was on to my line of BS because she knew I lied to her.  

So if teaching is so easy, why are there so many more Mr Weitz’s out there and fewer Mrs Rollings?  Because teaching is not easy.  Teaching is not just spouting off the curriculum out of the district or department approved textbook.  Teaching is figuring out how to get this stuff into the thick heads of the learners.  It isn’t about knowing all about geometry, its about knowing how to make geometry look somewhat appetizing.  

Seeing a classroom filled with learners about to learn something isn’t just about the topic of the class.  Its about the possibilities.  Its about the next step, what can they do with this knowledge.  Those are the people that we want as teachers.  Or trainers.  They see that the goal is not the final grade, its whats next. 

 Our ol’ friend Wikipedia says that stupidity is distinct from irrationality because stupidity denotes an incapability or unwillingness to properly consider the relevant information.  Love that last part.  An “unwillingness” which means that they are capable but they chose not to.  Teachers and trainers make a decision whenever they step in front of learners.    Will they get involved and hold each student accountable and themselves to make sure that they are delivering 100%?  Or will they coast?  When they choose to coast, they all then placing all of the responsibility on the learner so best of luck to them.  Stupidity is not lack of knowledge.  Its making a choice.  It is refusing to accept any responsibility and point the finger at someone else.  

Its having never stepped foot in front of learners and making a judgement about the profession. Now that is stupid.