Return to I am a teacher, and I don't know what your pancreas does (personal)

I am a teacher, and I don't know what your pancreas does. I have a degree in education, neither [primary] or [secondary], but in the rather niche field of [adult education]. Something that I am not [job creation|currently employed] in, but something that I find to be a [vocation]. As for the [pancreas], I shouldn't say that I am totally unaware of its function. It is an [endocrine organ], or maybe an [exocrine organ|exocrine] one, depending on how you want to view the [topology] of it. It is right below the [stomach], and releases enzymes into the [small intestine] that help digest food. One of the most important of these being [insulin]. So I don't know much about the pancreas. Don't ask me for advice on it.

A [Medical Doctor] can tell you all about your pancreas, using complicated [latin] and [biochemistry], and about even more obscure parts of your body, little invisible [organelle|organnelles] deep within your cells. They can tell you how little things you don't know existed can change your life. Somewhere there is an enzyme that adds or removes a [methyl] group from a [cholesterol] molecule, and that can determine whether you will be healthy or very sick.

The other great professional fraternity, [lawyer|lawyers] have a similar advantage. Sometime back in the 1930s or 1830s, someone's horse kicked over a barrel of [herring], causing someone's oxen to plow through a fence, and because your lawyer knows that, when you hit a shopping cart full of 50 dollar bottles of wine with your [Geo Metro], you aren't legally responsible. I just made that case up: I know much less about [case law] than I do about the pancreas.

As a teacher, I know lots of things, but they are certainly more [prosaic]. I know when to be sympathetic to a student, and when to tell them they need to try harder. I know the difference between a [learning disability] and underexposure to language and math. I know three different ways to explain the principle of cube/area relationship. I know that if someone says they are "not good at math", that they probably don't have a learning disability, but just a culturally-sanctioned aversion to math. I know that emotional and cognitive development are often not at the same stage. I know that even a dedicated student is going to watch the clock on a [Friday].

All of these (and many others) are important skills to know. They take context, perception, empathy, theoretical knowledge and [common sense]. They are not, however, skills that are in anyway [esoteric]. I can claim to have these skills, but so can just about anyone. I can not demonstrate my membership in some fraternity of [cognoscenti] based on specific, technical knowledge.

There are all sorts of political and social implications of this, although I don't want to get into them, anymore than I quite want to go into quite [My Fascinatingly Detailed Teen Angst Bullshit Day Log - Part 1|how depressing my own life is right now]. I do think that teaching and education, as a profession, gets less respect from society than the medical and legal professions (although the legal profession gets a very [backhanded] respect). I think that teachers and other educational professionals don't even treat each other with respect, and I think that all of this is due to the fact that while teaching takes much skill and subtlety, and much education and practice, it is also a [vocation] that takes more "[soft skills]" than many other professions. While I could make many arguments and implications about this, right now I will just leave this as an [observation].

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