Originally Posted by boozehound
Because teachers arent paid enough (or really considered an important job), many of the best potential teachers do not go into the field. Just looking at my HS class through facebook, all of the people who are now teachers were the middling and average kids in the school. None of them expressed a great aptitude or passion for the subject they now teach. Essentially, they went into education because there are jobs in the field. All of the top students from my class and the ones with a passion for a certain subject do something else now (professor, lawyers, doctors, architects, business). So, what do we expect when very few of our best and brightest go on to engage our youth in education.
I understand the position, but I honestly don't see this as a problem. I don't want our best and brightest chemists teaching high school kids, I want them doing actual chemistry...stuff, for example. Public school teachers aren't exactly teaching even 300 level courses or anything, they don't need to be masters of a field. Would it help? Clearly, but it's not anywhere near necessary or feasible really.
I think it's a helluva lot more important to have an actual interest in educating the unknowing on a general subject than it is to have mastered the subject in regards to k-12 education. I'm sure we all had profs that were insanely learned in a field, published multiple times, well respected, all that jazz, and couldn't teach for shit. It's like the young DeuceWallaces in the video was saying, it's about engaging kids and making them want to learn, that's the hard part, not some basic understanding of covalent bonds or whatever. You coulda been as average a HS student as you want, your education didn't end after 12th grade, but if you do that I'll be happy to send my nonexistent kids to your classroom.
Just the general structure of American education is a major problem as well, but that's a whole other thread and doesn't even have an actual answer since it's pretty community specific.