Should people not trained in teaching be allowed to teach?  I have a debate about this topic and I cannot find any information. Please, I want to know why an untrained teacher should not be...

Should people not trained in teaching be allowed to teach?


I have a debate about this topic and I cannot find any information. Please, I want to know why an untrained teacher should not be allowed to teach?


Please I want somebody to help me.

Asked on by hamda

34 Answers

besure77's profile pic

besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

I totally agree that teachers must be properly trained to teach in the classroom. If they are not, then they should not be teaching. Keep in mind that there are lots of different ways that people get the experience they need in order to become great teachers.

Teachers need to be prepared for many different scenarios. It is not an easy job and every day brings new, and sometimes unexpected things.

kapokkid's profile pic

kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I never went to school for teaching.  I've gotten a masters degree in education now but I will admit that it has done nothing to really help my teaching in the classroom.  I had loads of experience teaching, but not in formal settings, prior to getting the job I have now and I think I am actually better off not having gone through a teacher training program.

I think schools should be allowed to decide who they think is qualified to teach.  Ideally parents would be making these decisions along with students, but they don't currently have that option in most places.

The stranglehold on teacher certification maintained by most collegs is simply one of monetary interest, they provide nearly 30% of the revenue of universities in this country.  Some people who go through them can teach and some people can't and I don't believe that they improve those abilities (though student teaching is a very valuable experience).

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daisydharma | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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As a successful product of my district's ACP (Alternate Certification Program), I have to argue on the positive side of placing degreed professionals into the classroom without having an education degree.  I have a BA in Theater Arts and a BA in Literature.  I've always known that I was born to teach, but I chose to not get a degree in education.  After comparing the required classes for Literature vs. Education, I made the decision that Literature was going to be a better program for me.  Now, I have almost three times the amount of education in my content area as colleagues who have completed Education degrees.  I am not in any way devaluing teachers who persue Education degrees.  I am just saying that it worked best for me to use my formal education to learn content area information and to learn my Education skills through a more informal method.  Plus, I was able to learn my classroom skills through practice rather than theory.  Many districts provide excellent training and support for "non-traditional" teachers.  Good teachers know how to find and use their resources. As with any field that a person chooses to work, it is the person and not the training program that makes the difference between a qualified and an unqualified employee.

readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I think the answer to that question should be yes and no.

1. If a person has little training or no training, but a complete natural. Let that person teach. There should be an exception clause to allow for this. But ordinarily, a person should get training.

2. If a person has training and can't teach, make that person an administrator.


jseligmann's profile pic

jseligmann | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Before I could be put in the position of contributing to forums and answering Questions as an Editor here at, I was asked to submit three sample answers for review. Then some person or group of people read my answers and decided, based on those answers, that I was fit to contribute. They decided that I probably knew what I was talking about and also knew how to appropriately get my point across. They acted as a kind of filter... a board of approval.

I think such a filtering system is highly appropriate when it comes to deciding who is fit to stand in front of a class of children for the purpose of teaching them and guiding them. Yes I do.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There are any number of teachers nowadays working in schools without teacher certification.  In California, for instance, may business people have been hired as well as in big cities throughout the nation because of shortages.  (You should be able to find data on this situation.)  While many of these people without teacher certification have learned "people skills" and have great sales skills, they are successful teachers in many cases. 

However, it seems that those without experience working with people may need those methods classes, etc. to assist them.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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As a teacher, there are some observations that I would like to make. I spent 5 years of my life on an undergraduate degree to pursue my vocation. This education developed a very broad base of knowledge in the subject area in which I teach. Business professionals have been similarly trained in their field and have a broad base of knowledge that would translate well into the classroom.

Where the two groups diverge is the education and strategies that teachers who go through a teacher education program receive with regard to how students learn--their behavior, their psychology, their maturity, their gender, their SES, and etc. That is why you will find that many state institutions have developed programs that will enable people of other professions to become certified after they have taken and passed courses in those above mentioned areas. Our state (or some of our universities) offers a Masters in Teaching or a MAT degree. It certifies professionals as teachers after they have completed a program that offers courses essential to quality teaching. After all, let's face it, simply being good at doing something does not mean you will be successful at teaching someone else how to do it. 

mshurn's profile pic

Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

For the purposes of your argument, you might also point out that most businesses and corporations provide specific training for their employees once they are hired, after they have completed college to master the knowledge in their particular field. The argument can be made that teachers really learn how to teach, not in education courses, but in the classroom. (That's why education majors spend a semester away from campus completing student teaching.)

Individuals whose education and experience have made them very knowledgable and more than competent in their fields of study can learn the art and science of teaching (learning strategies and classroom management) by being on the job in the classroom and by completing district-sponsored professional development classes and workshops. Continuing education classes, which are now required for most licensed teachers, would also develop teaching skills for these individuals. The desire to teach well and to help students, with the proper support, is more important than having jumped through all the university education department hoops.

enotechris's profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Are parents teachers to their children?  Should people not trained in parenting be allowed to parent?  In both cases, the questions imply some sort of authority who can grant or revoke  abilities that people already have.  Some teachers are better than others, and the better ones by definition would seek to find the best methods to instruct.  A key reason the public school system in the US is in shambles is because it is the purview of many teachers who have become licensed and "paid their dues" to secure a job, and the position is treated as such.  The process to become "trained" is such that it may benefit financially the institution claiming to instruct teachers to teach, but appears to be only a gateway to secure state recognition. Having endured that process, many teachers then treat teaching as a job, to the detriment of their students.  The best teachers, "untrained" or not, inspire students to want to learn, regardless of whatever outside agency proposes or insists upon.

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Here in New Zealand we have a system whereby an individual whom the school considers qualified in terms of experience can be given a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT). This system is particularly useful when recruiting in areas where business and trade skills are important. This has worked well with recruiting teachers into Hospitality and Catering courses for example, where experienced chefs can give a realistic outline to students and have a clear knowledge of the requirements of industry when formulating and offering a course. I have also had experience of an LAT in my English Department who was brought in to assist during a colleague’s sick leave. The LAT was a former soldier who had seen active service in East Timor. She was extremely well equipped to engage, motivate and (where necessary) discipline students. With support and guidance on the curriculum content she became one of the best teachers I have ever worked with. Of course we need to ensure that anyone working in a classroom has an appropriate level of education, a police check and the required support. However we can ignore a wealth of untapped resources in our communities if we do not take a more creative and forward thinking approach to education. We have curriculum areas worldwide where we struggle to recruit ‘trained’ teachers. There is a great benefit in reviewing by what we mean by ‘trained’, and what ‘training’ best facilitates the development of our students.
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crystaltu001 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Teaching comes natural for some people. As a baby and a child your parents taught you a lot of things. Some people do not need to be trained or have a degree to be a teacher. If they like teaching people and spreading more knowledge than let them do what they want.

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Wiggin42 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Valedictorian

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Teaching is a part and parcel of  a human being. Children first learn from their parent. After teaching is an  inborn talent. Some of the best mentors in the history are not educated or trained but they can be a best teacher in their field. Teaching is a passion and spreads the knowledge among people,so it should not be bottled up.

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caramlized00 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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I agree. Teachers who have not been trained to teach should not be in the classroom. Its important that you go through college and have some experience with student teaching experience under your belt. If a teacher has not been trained, I think they will be more likely to quit. Many people think that teaching is such an easy job, but as a teacher myself it definetly is not so. There is so much you have to remember and so many responsibilites including: paperwork, filing, communcation with parents (who sometimes don't care about their child's education), trainings on your off-days (like Saturdays) dealing with administration, grading, testing, and relationships with coworkers, are only a few things you have to deal with. It's just not as easy as some people think.

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lroderick | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Should people not trained in teaching be allowed to teach?


I have a debate about this topic and I cannot find any information. Please, I want to know why an untrained teacher should not be allowed to teach?


Please I want somebody to help me.

The topic of not allowing individuals who are not trained in teaching is one that has been debated in all 50 states. Here in the US we allow alternative routes to teaching but the argument is that some of these people have no methods (ways to teach the material) for the classroom. It is proven that one bad year with a teacher who is not fulfilling their duties takes the students 3 years to make that up. This is why there is the argument. It is also very hard for untrained teachers to to learn how to manage a classroom of students it is not like managing a company of employees. This can create chaos for the students and the teacher. I believe with the right training untrained teachers can be successful but there needs to be certain items in place. These individuals should need to take a methods class, have a mentor, and work on classroom management. Also, many times these individuals quit in the middle or sooner of the school year because they did not understand what they really have to do as a teacher. This is a problem for students and the school also. It is never good to start with a teacher learn his or her ways and then they "give up" on the job. Many times students see this as someone else giving up on them.

I hope this helps you with your debate.

tey's profile pic

tey | High School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

With ACP (Alternative Teaching Programs) programs, anyone who has a degree in the U.S. can parlay that into a teaching job. From a Special Education stand point, I don't feel an unqualified person should be allowed teach. I work in a behavior class and when ,for example, a sub comes in there that has never been in that environment, they can do more damage that good.

Those classes are very difficult classes with the individual students personalities and most students in the class being coded with an "Emotional Disturbance" label. Any new situation is potientially cause for problems. Without any training someone could walk in and set-off a student and be completely unaware of what they have done. This prospect has caused me to be very careful about absences.  

Another simualr case can be seen in a autism unit. Autism is a very difficult disorder to deal with. Introducing a stranger to a student with autism and pica, and eating disorder where the person cannot physically stop eating, without training could possibly harm the student. Not knowing that the student has their problems this person could simply set a cup of tea down on their desk with a plastic spoon and straw and turn away for an instant and that drink, straw and spoon be eaten. This really happens - I know of a student that got to a pound of coffee and ate it all. The parent sent them to school and they were throwing up black stuff from the bus. Not knowing the student; how would you react. 

It takes special people to teach special people! However, these special people are not made in a college course! Your response seems to segway from the original question. I agree that it takes special understanding to work with Autistic children. However, I know people who do so without a degree. The text book does not know Johnny or Sally. The text book knows of conditions and based on studies, some of what can happen if... Hence, what you are truly talking about is relationship, intuition and personality.

As far as substitute teachers. I started as one. I walked into a Special Education class of eight 5th grade boys who were labeled with severe issues. After my first week on the job I could not handle all of the requests from the staff to substitute in their room. At that time, and to this day, I do not have a teaching degree from any College. I am eduated with Degrees, however none of them in Special Ed, Reading or otherwise. I am in year twelve and going strong as a State Certified Teacher. I have had numerous other career situations and I am an example to my students that you can do anything you are purposed to do!

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