As the saying goes, “those who can, do; those who can’t teach.” The intention of this remark is to disparage those who teach. But, in reality, how many of us do actually do? There are three sides to this debate. The first is that doers and teachers are one in the same. Every choice we make (what we do) holds a teachable moment. This follows the “I do, We do, You do” model of teaching. The second is that the world is mostly occupied by those who can’t. There are far fewer that “do” if “success” is really the subliminal message. In this case, 1% of the world’s population are “doers” leaving the remaining 99% of us to be average, living our lives in some form of servitude to those that supposedly “can do”. The third is that there is an incredibly small percentage of people who, through their brilliance and innovation, actually do help to shape the world. The best and brightest so to speak. What the two latter positions share is that a small minority are responsible for how what the vast majority live. The second position seems to speak to the origin of what’s implied in the adage “those who can, do; those who can’t teach.” However, the third position is most intriguing. This idea about the best and brightest. Often, when we look at the minds of the best and brightest, whether it’s in regards to science, technology, music, art, chess, athletics, there’s typically a disconnect between what this population can do versus how well they are able to accurately communicate what makes them great. They are often misfits in this world. They can connect billions of people through their social media platforms, but struggle with personal connection. They can excel physically and believe that everyone else around them is weak and not working to their potential. They can see color, shape and form so beautifully, and be disappointed by the inability of others to comprehend what they see. They can hear and play music so intricate yet fail at being able to find musicians capable enough to execute it for or with them. They can have tremendous insights about the how universe we live in works and yet fail to have others grasp the enormity of their intellect.
Teaching implies learning is happening as part of the mutual reciprocity that coexists by nature of the process. Teachers are those that bridge gaps between the misfits that see and interpret the information of the world around them so uniquely and help relay it to the masses so it’s easily digestible. Teachers help the world make sense and do so by knowing how to communicate complexity to a diverse audience of learners. Teachers are everywhere. Teachers do what the doers can’t.