So many people think teaching is easy. It's not. But good teachers make it look easy.
I have a student teacher this year. She is in 2 "lower level" classes with another teacher and a relatively "upper level" class with me, and the three of us share a common prep period. She transitioned into teaching the two other classes, but only started actually teaching my class today. Her planning was exceptional, her content knowledge impressive.
When I have a student teacher, I don't just leave. How can I observe, evaluate, and coach, if I'm not there? Sure, eventually I'll leave the class, even all period, but it won't be all period every day. So today, our students' first day of the new semester, she taught while I sat in the back of class.
She's going to be an awesome teacher. I can just tell, she's going to be great at this. But as I sat in the back of the class, I noticed a couple things that she can improve on. Common rookie things.
There is so much more to teaching than just content knowledge. You have to know how to convey that content knowledge to others who don't have your background knowledge and extensive education. You have to convey the content in an understandable, neat, legible manner. You have to interact with the students, not just lecture to or at them. And it's usually better to have some prior planning rather than just try to wing it--counting on your own vast content knowledge and abilities to gloss over an obvious lack of preparation.
For those of you who are not teachers, have you ever had someone try to explain something to you, perhaps at a meeting? Or how about tech support people on the phone? Or presenters? Have you ever seen someone who probably knows their stuff but explains it to you poorly? That person might have plenty of knowledge but is not a good teacher.
And don't even get me started on people who read their PowerPoint slides (yes, I know teachers do that, too, sometimes)!
So as I sat in that back of class during that one class period today, I saw a teacher with tremendous potential. She's already not bad, but she can be so much better.
Good teachers make teaching look easy (just as experts in any field make their work look easy). But it's not. It is a craft that must be learned, practiced, and honed.