So, a colleague wrote this really insightful piece last week about whether educators are more like:
- Doctors: trying to cure things that have societal causes of which most are out of their control
- Surgeons: acting with precision and purpose to achieve an end and required to review outcome data to better inform future practices.
I can’t recap it and do it justice, so please read it.
Go on. I’ll wait.
Good stuff, right?
Anyway, usually I’d eat this kind of comparative metaphorical analysis up with a spoon. As some who follow this blog may know, I’ve discussed similar concepts myself.
However, I surprised myself by reacting in an entirely different, non-serious way. Perhaps it’s due to the current state of education, particularly in my own state of North Carolina, where we have to laugh or we’d cry, but my husband and I just kept riffing (and laughing) on all the ways teachers are soooo not either of these professions.
I thought others may also get a chuckle from what we came up with…and maybe add a few more in the comments.
So, I present to you:
Ten Ways Teachers are Soooo NOT Doctors or Surgeons
- Our. Paychecks.
You knew it was coming. Let’s just get it out of the way, shall we? I made an infographic on easel.ly to see what the difference was in my own city.
I was curious.
- Credibility. Even in the face of death of a loved one, “I did everything I could.” actually means something coming from a surgeon.
- Concrete data. A heart attack presents like a heart attack and cancer is treated like cancer, regardless of a patient’s ability, motivation, or intelligence. This makes quite a difference if you are expected to act on the information with the certainty and confidence demanded of all three professions.
- Help. Doctors and surgeons have nurses. Physician’s assistants. EMTs. Those people that check you in and out. Orderlies…etc. A very small, ever-shrinking percentage of teachers have teachers’ assistants. (And anyone who thinks they don’t desperately need them should come teach a class of 24 kindergarteners solo.)
- Teachers can’t excise a tumor of laziness or ignorance…though a girl can dream, can’t she?
- Doctors don’t have to write plans for a substitute doctor to try to see all the patients in their care in a day. They can simply reschedule their appointments for the day if they’re out. (Actually, someone else probably does that for them.)
- Please show me the surgeon who has 35 people on operating tables…at once.
- Rarely is a patient unconscious on the table and still able to hurl obscenities at the surgeon or threaten them with bodily harm. (Of course, I’m just guessing.)
- I’m pretty sure there are very few doctors buying their own tongue depressors out-of-pocket.
- No one ever criticizes a doctor or surgeon for the appointment not being engaging or entertaining enough.
3 thoughts on “Vol.#53: Ten Ways Teachers are Soooo Not Doctors OR Surgeons”
Laughing out loud (um, I’m sorry but that laziness tumor really has to go)! I have one more for the list. TESTS!!! I am thinking specifically of our third graders and read to achieve. Sure some kids need to be monitored frequently, but every third grader (at least in Wake County) being required to take a weekly reading test? This includes students who have already shown proficiency to a level higher than the read to achieve test requires at the end of the year. Not to mention you are trading 30 minutes of instruction to give tests for which you can easily predict the outcome (because you’re still using your regular classroom assessments as well).
Now imagine you just had a physical and the doctor tells you that you are perfectly healthy. However, they would like you to come in and have your blood pressure and cholesterol tested weekly. What’s worse is they expect you to skip a trip to the gym to make time for these tests. Crazy!
I’m just imagining all the unnecessary data that that would provide. We would know the children’s blood pressure every week, and none of it would be very surprising to the doctor, nor would it give them any new information on how best to serve their health. And think of the wasted costs. Great addition!
Excellent and being a retired teacher I know your hopes, dreams and frustrations…