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Letter to the editor: What's best -- expertise or skill at teaching?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 12:01 am

An editorial I assume Leo Morris to have either written or approved stated that students would benefit if college graduates with a 3.6 GPA are allowed to teach, since expertise in a subject is more important than knowledge of how to teach.

Is there any evidence that this is true? I learned Spanish in college and became a licensed teacher of it. I taught with teachers of Spanish who were native speakers and had not acquired a license. I don’t want to boast, but hundreds of my students told me that they learned much more from me than the native speakers.

I can aver that those natives certainly knew more vocabulary than I. But they did not have as firm a grasp of how teens learn or how to establish a rapport with them. Since Morris thinks licenses do not matter, I can recommend to him a brilliant man with a Ph.D. in molecular biology. He would certainly be cheaper if Morris is ill and needs medical care. Why should he need an M.D. to cure him?

Finally, Morris is quite knowledgeable in English. I recommend that he take a long-term substitute position in Fort Wayne Community Schools for an English teacher that has perhaps taken a leave of absence for a pregnancy. He would then certainly be much more qualified to write about education. And since I have a master’s degree in English, I’d be happy to edit for him, since one need no experience in an enterprise to run one, as currently superintendents do.

Kerry A. Miller