Apologies if the title implies another top 10 list, since the intention was to comment about what makes the best doctors, lawyers, and educators. I’m honored to see medical doctors practicing in underdeveloped countries, helping the sick, instead of scheduling dates in opulent offices reached by appointment only.
They’re the best doctors: bringing medicine to the sick. Same with lawyers, when they offer legal advice or represent a client ‘for the good’ of the profession and legal system. But what makes the best educators? In the case of medical doctors, how good would they be, if they only cared for the healthy; the same with lawyers, if their only clients were those who knew the law well.
It follows that the best educators are those who provide education to the ones who need it. I caution to say uneducated, because unlike the sick or poorly represented, being uneducated assumes that a ‘fully’ educated exists.
It is probably this point, among others, that distinguishes the three professions. While medical doctors can make us healthier, if a patient dies, the doctor doesn’t die too. If the client is sentenced to jail, the lawyer doesn’t serve the same sentence. But if the learner fails, the educator fails as well. Not just because of poor practices, doctors and lawyers can do that also, but in preparing learners to become the teachers of educators now and continuing.
In a way, the best educators are investors with a portfolio of healthy, law-abiding, and troubled assets; from grade school to retirement home; rural and urban, and having scheduled appointments or not.