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Motivation to teach

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Those who can’t do, teach. What happens when there is nothing a teacher can do when he is trying to teach?

Picture: MATTHEW JORDAAN, INLSA
There is a saying that those who can’t do, teach.
Last week, a video of a pupil fondling a male teacher’s bum became one of the most viewed clips on YouTube and got me thinking about this good old rule of thumb.
Every school staffroom has its “has-beens”, “wannabes” and “never weres”, who are only too happy to share their tales of would’ve, should’ve could’ve … but didn’t.
There will also always be those teachers who finished school on paper alone but never in mind, body or spirit.
To many who work a “9 to 5”, the prospect of a bell to mark home time before 2pm is simply too good to resist. 
Let’s not forget school, public and religious holidays, not to mention all those Fridays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays that are just given off to schools to manufacture a long weekend where there wasn’t one before. 
Sounds good. Doesn’t it? 
Well, if time not teaching is your motivation to teach, you shouldn’t be a teacher. 
We don’t need any more bad teachers. There are enough out there who do the bare minimum, until it comes to demanding more or doing less.
I recall many a textbook where the habitual strokes of highlighters, commanded by teachers too “busy” to prepare, had ripped pages and blackened out words. 
Occasionally, I was accused, even unjustly punished, for things I played no part in and distinctly remember teachers committing physical and verbal atrocities that would offend the sense back into Penny Sparrow.   
However, I can’t really blame our current public school system for these failings.
After all, I am the product of a private school, in a different era, back when I was far too entitled and stupid to consider myself lucky.
Many others were not nearly as fortunate when it came to their experience with “bad teachers”. 
Teachers are supposed to be the type of “grown-ups” children go to when they have a problem and schools should be a place where children feel safe. 
The problem is that bad teachers are often just bad, in general and sometimes manipulate, mislead, misuse and manhandle the vulnerable. 
Granted, this may be the exception, not the rule but there are more than enough “exceptions” to warrant a child’s apprehension when it comes to divulging their most intimate and painful secrets.
As with half-days and holidays, if being an “exception” is even among your reasons for wanting to teach, you shouldn’t be a teacher.
These are but some of the reasons that shouldn’t be considered when deciding to become a teacher but there are many, many more.
The pay sucks, that 2pm quitting-time bell also signals that it’s time to summit a mountain of marking and entitled parents are bound to let you know that you are too useless to do anything but spend more time raising their kids than they do. Why else would you teach?
This is what teachers have to deal with, the good, the bad, the exceptionally good and the exceptionally bad. 
And then, some little snot grabs your bum while his giggling little co-snot films for posterity.
I have no idea whether this teacher was good or bad but I do know there is a video which looks like pretty good proof that a sexual offence was committed in that classroom that day.
Those who can’t do, teach. What happens when there is nothing a teacher can do when he is trying to teach?