On teachers and teaching expectations
Recently I had a depressing conversation with someone who went back to school, with the goal of getting a new job in a different field.
She was saying how she felt like it wasn't worth the money at all, and the quality of teaching at her school was very disappointing.
She came from a background in an education field, so although I've never seen her teach, I could understand her frustration. It's always hard when you've put a lot of effort into learning how to do something, like teaching, and then you're stuck in a situation where you're paying for someone to do it to you, and badly.
I imagine this must be what it's like for former hairdressers to get a bad haircut.
At the same time, I was struck by how she didn't seem to have any skills for self-instruction. She wasn't good at searching the internet, or reading example material that I thought was very clear, and she didn't seem to make good use of other people who had offered to help her.
I was thinking back to how I learned all of these skills, mostly during grad school. In some ways, self-teaching is the most valuable thing I got out of doing research.