YouTubers are not Teachers

Book writers, magazine writers and YouTubers are not teachers. And if you think that as a creator/consumer that you/they are then you’re doing a massive disservice to all the great teachers out there. Granted if you take those creators out of those realms they might be great teachers. But in their chosen mediums it’s impossible.

I say this as a YouTuber/writer whose stated goal is to become a great, teacher.

No parent or student would think a teacher proficient at their profession if on day one of a sixth grade class then plopped a two inch thick textbook on every student’s desks, maybe memorized names, then sat behind their desk for the school year and took role. Nor would they be good if they focused on only a few kids in a large classroom because those where the ones that “got it”. There is so much more than passing along information to teaching.

For one you have to check for understanding during the presentation for if you lose a student a third of the way in the rest of the lesson is mute. This can be as simple as reading body language, seeing exercise results, or watching their process. This continuous back and forth lets a teacher adjust the presentation of information to account for understanding, perception, and pacing. This requires constant refinement, adjustment and reorganization of the presentation. Sometimes it means stopping and starting over to progress on an entirely different tangent.

Then there’s the interpretation of that understanding. You see a student’s entire life experience comes into play for they might understand the words coming from a teacher’s mouth, recognize the theories the teacher but the interpretation is based upon that plus developed prejudices both positive and negative. A teacher exploits the personality, morals and history of a student to ensure the exact lesson they want conveyed is understood. This involves one on one time. Perhaps through the accumulation of seconds or minutes here and there but time nonetheless.

When you take away the immediate two way communication, the personal history and the understanding checks then all you are left with is a static message, a demonstration. While demonstrations, presentations, exercises, and articles are all tools a teacher will use. They are singular tools. Michelangelo could never have carved David or called himself an artist if the only tool he used was a mallet.

YouTube is nothing more than a textbook in motion. YouTubers and writers put our work in front of students then take roll (views). YouTube is not teaching. It’s a resource for a teacher.

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2 Responses to YouTubers are not Teachers

  1. Jeff Mansfield says:

    Fair point. But hey, you come closer than most. Great resource.

  2. Lindsey Golubosky says:

    I think some YouTubers are as you say, not teachers. They demonstrate their wood working skills and than expect viewers to just pick it up. And then there are YouTubers like you at Worth effort Woodworking that demonstrate various techniques and give the what’s and whys and how’s that make good teachers. All in all it’s a format that you are very good at. I would definitely call you a good wood working teacher.