When people are skilled, they make the things they are able to do look so easy.
My son in law solves complex computer mysteries with a few clicks of his mouse. Olympic sprinters break speed records without breaking a sweat. And Jerry and Sergio consistently–and seemingly effortlessly–serve up the best polenta and osso bucco this side of the Atlantic.
Their complete competence makes you think you can do what they do. Except that you really can’t.
They do their work with ease. What don’t we see? Years of practice, training, and experience come together seamlessly–and often, invisibly– for success.
Take teaching. To the casual observer, an accomplished teacher makes it look simple to wrangle twenty first graders to the carpet or to get middle school kids excited about the Age of Exploration or guide sophomores through the steps in a science lab. Students seem to shuttle from station to station independently. Group work is focused. Hands are up and discussion is rich. It all looks, well, so easy.
Good teachers can make an outsider believe that this teaching business is a piece of cake. Hell, a good teacher can make anyone think,”I can do this.” Except that they really can’t.
Classroom feng shui creates lanes for traffic to the trash basket, minimizing distractions, keeping kids focused on instruction. There are high expectations for every learner and multiple routes toward achievement. Monitored group work is designed to promote discovery and fuel enthusiasm. Carefully crafted, differentiated lessons flow seamlessly into one another toward tangible culminations. Students and their families get timely feedback on assignments.
And that is just the beginning of what goes into teaching. Every. Single. Day.
So, even though I can dig deep for the computer skills to publish a blog, even though I can jog a 5K, even though I can whip up a pretty tasty grilled cheese, and even though the pros make their work in these fields look easy, I know I cannot do what they do.