Photo by Changbok Ko on Unsplash

Those who do

February 2nd, 2021
Photo by Changbok Ko on Unsplash

Every once in a while, I come across the quote from George Bernard Shaw’s “Man and Superman”. The one that goes

Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach

I’ve spent more than 20 years being a student. I’ve had my share of dull, uninspiring, lifeless teachers. The ones that would read from the slides, word for word. The ones that would insist on memorizing instead of on explaining. The ones that literally made me fall asleep in the back of the room. They probably saw me back there. I’m not sure they cared much either way.

I’ve had the privilege to come across a few brilliant teachers. The ones that opened up a whole new world with just a sentence or two. I may not remember their names or their faces. But I remember them. I remember those moments. I remember how they changed my life.

Being good at doing X, whatever that X is, is not the same as being able to teach X to somebody who knows nothing about it. Maybe it’s accounting. Maybe it’s rocket science. Maybe it’s programming. Maybe it’s basketball. Maybe it’s design. Whatever it is, the vast majority of those who are good at doing it, are going to be pretty bad teachers.