Teachers are Everywhere

According to the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States has 3.7 million K-12 teachers and 1.3 million teachers in higher education. That’s 2% of the US adult population, and I think it’s a vast underestimate of the number of people that teach as a regular part of their job.

Last summer, I met a kid on the plane to California who regularly gives presentations during class–He’s teaching his fellow students. I also met a guy who sells industrial stethoscopes and has to train his customers how to use them-That’s teaching too. A friend I hung out with in San Francisco was about to give a big presentation at work. He taught his colleagues about Swift, Apple’s new programming language. The woman who cuts my hair teaches classes several times a year on fancy ways to do hair. She uses a lot of the same methods I do: changing up her lecturing style every 10-15 minutes, incorporating small group discussions, and making her students actually use what they’ve been taught while she gives them feedback.

Even if we don’t consider parents (who try to teach their kids useful skills every single day), there are a tremendous number of folks out there teaching. As a teacher myself, I find it very exciting that there are so many people out there to learn from and share ideas with. Keep that in mind as you travel outside your bubble this holiday season.