Steve Heisler

Teacher Author Speaker


"Every single child wants to be successful. The problem is, if they can't be successful at being successful, they'll be successful at screwing up. Our job as educators is to change the latter to the former."    

- from the The Missing Link by Steve Heisler

They're Right: Teaching is not Rocket Science

Ever heard the expression: teaching is not rocket science? I wholeheartedly agree. Survey responses to few simple questions reveal the unarguable, definitive truth.

How many rockets do you deal with at any one time? Scientists - 1; teachers - 20 (minimum).

How many propulsion systems? Scientists - 1; teachers - 20 (minimum).

How many trajectories? Scientists - 1; teachers - 20 (minimum).

How many destinations? Scientists - 1; teachers - 1 .

So, if my data is correct (which it is), at any one time rocket scientists deal with one rocket that has one propulsion system moving on a single trajectory toward a single location. Difficult? Sure, of course!

But, on any given day, teachers handle a minimum of 20 rockets (often more), with at least 20 propulsion systems (depends on the time of day) all moving on sometimes wildly different trajectories. And (this is the fun part) teachers must get every single rocket, every single one of them, to the same exact location in roughly the same time frame.

Yeah, I'd definitely say teaching is not rocket science. Looks to me like teaching is one whole hell of a lot more difficult.