What if Doctors Were Treated Like Teachers: The Sequel #CCK11 #ELTchat #education #edu #edreform #edchat #ukedchat #edtech #Obama #elt #esl #efl #TED #technology #connectivism #Teachers #professionalism

Dr. Nicholas Christakis (TED Talks)

Doctors aren’t treated like teachers. Doctors are special people. They save lives. Again and again, day after day, routinely, somewhere on the planet, a doctor is saving someone’s life.

Another routine event in the day of a doctor is bringing life into this world.

They are there to give the little baby boy his first spank on the ass, and cause him to reflectively draw in all the air he can in his little baby boy lungs, and cry for some milk to appease his injured pride.

(Get over it baby boy – life is tough) 🙂

Teachers, let’s face it. That kind of drama just doesn’t play out in a classroom.

There will never be a TV Show called ER that takes place in a classroom. On our most hectic days, we have little to compare with even 5 minutes of what happens in an ER.

Dr. House? You want to be treated like Dr. House? Can you tell jokes? 🙂

OK, you follow me. We teachers just aren’t sexy enough, metaphorically speaking. Preparing people to meet the challenges of a lifetime just isn’t very dramatical. No drama. Zero. Zilch.

Teacher, what was your most exciting moment, in the classroom, last year?

Again, we just don’t compare with doctors. Let’s get over it and move on.

Now, there is something that we can do, though.

We can be treated like doctors, even though we are not out there saving lives, bringing baby boys and baby girls into the world, even though we are not telling jokes, even though we don’t have our own TV shows.

“What’s that?”, you ask. “What can we do?”

Be professional.

“Could I explain my point?”, you ask. What exactly do I mean?

Yes, I can. I brought you a video. But it’s a long one. 18 minutes. One of those TED talks.

You know, where they give some really cool person 18 minutes to amaze us with something really extraordinary.

Well, I’m a connectivist. I think being connected makes me and my students capable of learning in incredibly new and fascinating ways. It’s engaging and lots of FUN.

Let me repeat that: FUN. Fun for me and my students.

Well, anyway, TED Talks gave this doctor an opportunity to talk about why being connected is important.

Turns out, it’s more than just a powerful way to learn in a digital age.

You have to see the video to really understand the beauty of connectivism. I do not exaggerate.

For me, connectivism is beautiful. I embrace it as an excellent way to teach the children of the digital age who are students in my classroom.

But I digress. Forgive me. Where were we? Doctors and teachers being treated differently by society. OK.

The video (18 minutes is a long time isn’t it Teacher?) which is 18 minutes long (18 minutes is enough time to do a lot of things, isn’t it – dear reader) well, anyway, this 18 minute long video shows a Doctor talking about how connectivism can save your life.

That’s powerful.

In addition to telling us how to save lives with connectivism, he also demonstrates to the world, why doctors are not treated like teachers.

One word: Professionalism.

You get a rare opportunity to see a professional, being professional, for 18 golden minutes.

When I see a teacher on TED Talks, giving a similar presentation, with the similar professionalism on display, then I will demand, vociferously, vigorously, rigorously, and energetically, that Teachers be treated like Ddoctors.

In the meantime, I’ll keep trying to be the best teacher I can be for my students, and in some small measure, do my part in this great march to equality with doctors.

Being a second-class professional simply isn’t good enough for me.

For my brothers and sisters who are teachers like me, in every school, in every classroom, in every nation on the planet, it also isn’t good enough.


My friend Scott Thornbury asked the question: Is teaching a profession?

Nine million people said, “Yes”. Teaching is a profession.

Then let’s look at a professional, in the act of being professional, and ask ourselves: “What do teachers have to do, to be like this doctor in the video, to be as professional as he is?

Best regards,
Thomas Baker

Enjoy the video…


About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
This entry was posted in Connectivism, Education, EFL and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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