Teachers teach because they can’t?

teachers christian lautenschleger
teachers christian lautenschleger
Cue the overly-dramatic stock photo.

Teachers teach, because they can’t.  Right?  Or maybe teachers teach because they want to help others and share their experience and knowledge?  I had something pop into my mind: maybe teachers can do, but want to help other humans because teaching fits their personality.

Recently, I read Give and Take — which is a phenomenal book I highly recommend — and learned in depth about “givers” and “takers”.  It’s one of those epiphanies that we kind of already knew about, but all the dots are connected when someone spells it out for us.

Some people have the “givers” personality.  Givers want to give, more than they want to take (and some have a very hard time “taking” anything from anyone).  It is second nature to lend out a helping hand, but completely foreign to want to take something and ask for something.  Those givers may be perfectly capable, but they just don’t have that sort of personality.

Ergo, my thesis states that those givers who are perfectly capable of doing, but whose personality may preclude them from succeeding, would rather teach other people than do it themselves. They don’t necessarily teach because they can’t, but rather they don’t want to.

(I’m going to exclude people who “teach”, but rather are in industries where the industry is teaching, not learning or doing.  For example, there’s a multitude of information about “internet marketing”, but the industry of internet marketing mainly comes from teaching people, not doing it.  We have to be careful with real estate, because some “gurus” legitimately want to help and teach, and others only do so to make money — the takers of the educational world.)

Teachers can make a living, but it’s not enough to be livin’ large.  (Academics can make more, but it’s disproportional to the amount of education and work they put in.) People don’t go into teaching to become rich, but rather they care much more about giving back and making a difference in people’s lives.

Teachers teach because they can’t?  Maybe teachers teach because they care.  Money is not everything in the world, and perhaps they can more about making a difference in other people’s lives more than they care about making more in “the real world”, which isn’t all puppies and lollipops.


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