Can teachers every really get a student ready for the “real world?”

I often question my ability to get students ready for the “real world.” Now don’t start getting all teacherish on me and start saying that the real world is now, or we all live in the real world, etc… I mean that first true experience in the business world, or as an entrepreneur. How many teachers have ever had a job other than teaching? How many teachers have a second job in the “real world” that takes their mind out of academia and into finance, construction, government, sales, or running a restaurant.

I have often joked with folks that every five years teachers should have to work as something other than a teacher for a year.

Many teachers I know went to school, worked as the camp counselor, and now teach. School is not the real world. We segregate people by age, ability, stay on task for 45 minutes at a time, do work that is for the garbage can, rarely get to talk freely, etc…

Just like you can never figure out what it is like being a teacher by just being a student in a school, you don’t know what it’s like to be a doctor by being a patient, or what it’s like being chef by eating in a restaurant. How can teachers get kids ready for the real world if they are simply consumers and observers? Do you have to be apart of the “real world” in order to properly prepare someone else for it?

Be nice…Just thinkin’…

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