4 Reasons Why Teaching is So Important

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William Arthur Ward

Teaching helps make the world a better place. Sometimes teaching is done through words, and other times it may be through an experience or the teacher’s example. As William Arthur Ward wrote in the above quote, a great teacher goes beyond merely talking, and helps a person to clearly see the reasons behind knowledge and in some way touches students in a deeper way.

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Teaching has been a huge part of my life. I have been the recipient of great teachers and have also had the privilege to be the person teaching. It has been a blessing to teach students in classrooms from the age of 4th grade all the way up to people in their 60s. Some of the subjects I’ve taught include English, Math, and Theology, as well as helping teach college classes in investing and the stock market. In addition, the consulting and coaching I get the privilege to do also includes an element of teaching.

An integral part of my life has included the good teachers I’ve had, as well as the more informal teaching I’ve received from others including coaches, youth ministers, other church members, my parents, and other mentors. Amidst the rapid development of technology, I want to write this article to express my deep belief in the power and importance of good teaching. Note that in this article that teaching will refer to both those who are teachers by trade and those who take on the role of a teacher (coaches, mentors, etc.).

Here are four reasons why I believe teaching is so important for our world:

1. Teachers Have Made a Huge Difference in My Life

The first reason is based solely on my personal experience. One example of an intelligent teacher in my life was a middle school teacher that went the extra mile to help me feel important by how she would greet me before and after class. She liked to joke (or maybe she was serious) that I would be her future son-in-law to her daughter that was 7 years younger; looking back on what she said helped make me feel important and more a part of the school community. Secondly, there were a few teachers I had in post-graduate courses that spent extra time helping me learn more about properly researching and piecing together a well-written paper. The best college and post-graduate teachers helped reinforce critical thinking and also had a way of connecting with students.

There are also several people that have made an impact on my life that were teachers not by trade, but still played the role of a teacher. Most recently, there have been several people that have helped me learn more about online entrepreneurship. At the risk of leaving so many other good teachers out, one person that helped inspire me to get into doing work online through creating a website, blogging, coaching, and more was Stefan James of Project Life Mastery. One class of his that I found helpful was Morning Ritual Mastery. Starting the day off on the right foot (no pun intended) is so important, and this course contains some good reminders and strategies that have helped form my morning routine.

Another person who similarly taught me more about internet entrepreneurship was John Lee Dumas (as well as Kate Erickson who closely works with John). John and Kate have an online course and membership called Podcaster’s Paradise. My experience as a member of the group helped me to grow in knowledge of how to create a podcast (and YouTube channel) and perhaps even more importantly connected me with others who are doing the same.

2. Teaching is Vital to How People Learn

Whether we are talking about a teacher, coach, or mentor that occasionally takes on the role of a teacher, teaching is crucial for the development of people.

Some might say we won’t need teachers in the future because technology is advancing. However, a human teacher can do things that machines cannot; a teacher can ask thought-provoking questions, understand the many levels of a human person, and know the right strategy of how to teach a particular individual. For example, a person may need some extra encouragement or patience when learning how to write a paper or how to grow their business. A human being is far more advanced than any technology because they can share their own experience, know when to offer extra encouragement, and consider which unique teaching strategy would be helpful for each individual. People have abilities that are more complex than any technology can perform which is why having a human teacher is so essential.

3. Some of the Best and Brightest People Benefited from Teachers

Sometimes it may be easy to forget that some of the most talented people did not learn everything they know on their own. Alexander the Great, one of the most successful military generals in history, was taught by Aristotle, the Greek philosopher who inspired Alexander’s interest in philosophy, medicine, and scientific investigation. Among Artistole’s many works, one was the Nicomachean Ethics, which I was fortunate to study in a philosophy class I took in college. 

The well-known investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathway, Warren Buffet is no exception here. “At 19, Buffett accidentally bought The Intelligent Investor by investor Benjamin Graham, who would later become Buffet’s hero and mentor. Buffett re-read Graham’s book about half a dozen times, he says, inspiring Buffett’s investment philosophy and strategy to this very day.” Later, Graham would be one of Buffett’s professors at Columbia Business School. More of Buffett’s life and story can be found in the book he co-authored: The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America.

Finally, Martin Luther King, Jr. was inspired by Howard Thurman to understand the concept of nonviolence and civil disobedience which was so fundamental to King’s mission of the civil rights movement.  Another notable teacher was Saint Thomas Aquinas who was taught by Saint Albert the Great. Also, Oprah Winfrey has said that Mayo Angelo was a mentor of hers. And, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson, was taught and mentored by the Jesuit Priest, Fr. Edward Dowling. The list goes on of historically significant men and women that have benefited from the teaching of others.

4. Teaching Provides Meaningful Work

Although I currently only teach part-time now, I can confidently say that when I have been in the right environment with proper support from the school administration, teaching is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. In fact, teaching is not really a job to me, but more like a calling or hobby. Also, teaching has been a way for me to pay it forward for all the good teachers I’ve been fortunate to have in my own life. This was one of the biggest factors of why I decided to get into teaching. Although I think there are some systemic problems in education, including teachers being underpaid which makes it more difficult for it to be a career, teaching provides work that is very meaningful. When I’ve worked with a student that is willing to persevere and work hard, it is very rewarding to have gotten to be that person who helped them understand something that they were initially struggling with.

Teaching is an important aspect of society and the growth and proper development of people is dependent on quality teaching. I will say that teaching is easier when students and parents of my students, as well as the school administration, slow down enough to show gratitude for the sacrifices I’ve made to teach. If there are teachers or other mentors that play the role of a teacher in your life, don’t forget to take the time to share your gratitude for what they have done for you or your children. They just might need that extra bit of encouragement to continue to teach. If we want our world to develop and experience peace and happiness, good teachers and mentors are necessary for this to happen.

About Nicholas Cook

Nicholas is a Financial Coach. He previously worked as a Financial Advisor for five years and helped teach college classes on investing and the stock market. Nicholas has over ten years of experience running his own business.

Nicholas completed the Ramsey Solutions Financial Master Coach training. He has a Master’s Degree in Education and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance.

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