Skill Mastery vs. Teaching Mastery
Boluo School | 2022-07-20 | 5 min read

Mastery of A Skill Does not Make Someone A Great Teacher

I struggled hard with my subtraction as a young student.  My dad practiced it with me late into the evenings at home every night but, despite the practice, I still struggled.  During this time, my uncle came for a visit.  He was a seasoned professor, head of the engineering department UMass Dartmouth and a mathematical master.  Confidently, he intervened. He began by telling me subtraction was simply “solving for unknown variables.” I looked puzzled.  He continued. I listened, bewildered, as he started introducing the concepts of X and Y in mathematical equations. I nodded and told him I understood just so he’d stop talking. 

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My father is a master carpenter and handyman.  He can build or fix almost anything.  I have learned a great deal from him throughout my life, but he hasn’t always been the best teacher.  He believes that demonstration alone is enough for understanding and often refuses to let me “do it myself.” 6 months later he expects me to remember exactly how to do it, since he had, after all, ‘showed me how.’ 

There’s a reason that in grades K-12 a teacher is required to not only understand their subject matter, but hold a teaching certification.  Teaching is a skill.  Like any skill, it must be learned, honed and practiced before it is mastered.  

Teachers go through approximately 150 hours of on the job training and observation to get their teaching credentials.  Most  educators “student teach,” meaning they have to practice being teachers before they get their own classes. None of this is training in what they’re teaching-it’s training in how to teach. Once teachers are in the classroom they do about 130 hours of mandatory professional development PER YEAR. Medical doctors require 24 hours. 

Teaching is a valuable skill and should be treated as such.  That’s why we hire only certified classroom educators and thoroughly vet everyone we bring in to join Boluo School. Everyone needs a great teacher in the corner and we’ve got you covered!

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