I am a life-learner snob. I am not a true education snob though. Having a higher degree does not make one smarter; does not make one “king or queen of the hill;” doesn’t mean you can teach. But I am not perfect. I do have disdain for those who think their higher degree means they know all, are all, win all. Humility is not their choice.
I left the public school classroom to earn my Ph. D. Not my Ed. D. nor another M.S./M.A. Why? Because I always wanted the challenge of a Ph. D.; I couldn’t decide to do my “final” degree in a specific content area since I had so many diverse and equally interesting disciplines. After 28 years of teaching, education seemed a good fit and I was recruited with funding to pursue my doctorate in science education, well education, but it will be in science education.
What I have found much to my dismay, that higher education teachers are not all teachers. They teach, but they do so out of necessity; they were told they had to. They lecture just as they were lectured to and see no reason to parcel out knowledge any other way. There are some incredible teachers at the college level. They are few and far between and not all of them are tenured professors or even have their Ph. D.
When asked what am I going to do when I am finished or where do you see your self in 10 years, I flippantly respond, anything I want. Yet that is true. With my teaching experience and the diversity of my previous degrees, I am very “marketable.” Seriously, where do I want to be though?
I want to help other learners-students definitely. Teachers? If that is the way it turns out. I know great teachers who work in the shadows of narcissist principals or colleagues. Occasionally you will find a great teacher with charisma with just the right marketing skills to be beloved. But they are few and far between. Most teachers are far too humble. I want to sing their praises. I want to promote all of the great teachers–well all of the great science teachers first, then the others, who don’t sing their own praises but the praises of their students. I also want to help those teachers who mean well but do not quite get it due to the demands on their lives-professionally and personally. Help them see an easier way to teach, although it doesn’t mean less work, just more loving work with far greater outcomes. Success for every student. No you cannot save all of your students but even the ones who think have given up when you haven’t. Their success may be later in life and they will come back and tell you thank you because you were the only teacher that believed in them. THAT is why I teach. To give EVERY student support to follow their dreams–every student.
So my educational snobbery does not exist. Yet I intimidate or put off colleagues because I am ALWAYS willing to learn. I KNOW I can learn from my students and colleagues, I KNOW I can improve my teaching; I still have much to learn. Until the day I draw my last breath, I will be learning. THAT is my snobbery. The joy I have in learning. What a great way to spend my life.