OpinionsWhy do people who have never been in education, feel like they can tell you how to teach, how to manage your class, and critize everything you do in the classroom?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My feeling is that it's because education is something, unlike medicine or nuclear physics, that seems accessible (and really is to a large degree) to laypeople.  Everyone has spent time in a classroom, everyone with children going to school has ideas about childrearing.  Therefore, they feel qualified to have opinions about education.

In addition, education is a subject that is near and dear to the hearts of just about everyone with a kid in school.  There are few things in life that are more important than your own child's education, so it would seem like such people ought to have opinions rather than just sitting back and letting themselves be told what to do.

I think that when one is in education, one just has to take all the input from other people and let it slide off.  BTW, it's the same way when you coach sports, and I think for the same reasons I articulated above.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Learning to teach is not easy.  Anyone can be a teacher, but not everyone can teach WELL.  Some have a natural gift for it, and others have to work at every bit of the process--planning, delivery, people skills, and motivation of unwilling students.  I find that most people who try to tell me how to do my job don't have a clue regarding how much time and effort goes into effective lesson plans and knowing each student's capabilities and limitations or learning styles.  I would suggest that these people try substitute teaching to see if they really know what they're talking about or if they're just blowing steam.  As with anything, teaching looks easy and the best teachers make it seem effortless...that's the trick.  There is so much that occurred before that "effortless" lesson took place.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I feel your pain.  It's frustrating that people feel they know everything about how to run a class, teach a child, construct a lesson, when they have often spent little or no time in a classroom.  They also seem to know exactly how much money we need to do this job.  I have found that people always interpret schools and education based on their own experiences in school, even if that was 50 years ago.  It's the only reference point they have, so they hang on to it as an absolute truth.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I just take it with a grain of salt and try not to let it bother me. It is important to know as an individual that teaching takes a lot of work and a lot of practice. People will always feel like putting their two cents in-it is just a part of human nature. The educational system is very complex and sometimes people just do not understand that.

Just keep a positive attitude and be confident. Don't let what other people say bother you-it's not worth the energy.

jcsmith eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In response to post #4, I agree that teaching isn't always easy. When the lessons go smoothly and everything falls into place, all is well!

There are those well-meaning parents who feel that they have better ideas for classroom lessons and management. I knew of a substitute teacher who admitted she was one of those parents, but found out how things really were when she came to work!

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In response to the cooking analogy, we must also recognize that just because someone knows what s/he likes does not mean s/he can cook it. Nor does it mean that s/he can recognize all the essential elements necessary in making the recipe successful. Perhaps it was someone who thought s/he knew how to cook that served the poorly cooked cutletsJ

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is an idea called the apprenticeship of observation.  It means that all people have gone to school for about 13 years, so they think they are experts on school.  Since they have spent so much time in classrooms, they feel like they know what teachers should and should not do.

parama9000 | Student

Education for children is important to the parents themselves, and so something that is relevant to you does give you the right to make an opinion on it.

They feel they need to question, because the kid ultimately is theirs, so they are naturally more distrusting or more wary as they want the best.

Moreover, it is human's nature to comment or in a negative sense, criticize something that they know of, or on a greater level, feel a level of involvement with, in this case, with their child.

Therefore, such things do happen but take it with a pinch of salt.

krishna-agrawala | Student

One need not be a cook to be able to judge the quality of food, and to make suggestion for improving the taste, flavour, nutrition, consistency, or so many other aspects of food. I cannot make a cutlet, but when I am given a cutlet to eat I can say that it is over done or under done. I can also talk about increasing or decreasing the quantity of some of the ingredients. IN the same way I believe any one who has been a student is well qualified to give many types of suggestion to improve teaching effectiveness.

mk5211 | Student

I have thought the same thing in the past about education. I am assuming that this person would be someone that has had an education.  The people that are micromanaging education are people who have sat in a classroom and who might have possibly learned skills to advise or help teachers educate. If you go to college for 4 years, I would say that you would have opinions about how a classroom should run. These opinions might not be based on research or the current trend but based on what has or has not worked for that individual.  I feel as a teacher that the person assessing my teaching should have an education background and knowledge of classroom management however that is rarely the case.

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