What’s harder—brain surgery or teaching?

I heard Commissioner Morath speak to the special education directors of Texas at the recent TCASE Conference.  He did a great job. The man is not only smart—he is thoughtful, insightful, respectful, humble.  I can just about get over the fact that he apparently does not own a necktie.

I especially liked the way he compared teaching to brain surgery.  He pointed out that the surgeon scrubs up prepared to operate on a human brain. While this is a complex process, the surgeon will be working on only one brain. Moreover, that brain is attached to a body that is strapped down and completely unconscious.  He might have added that the brain surgeon will be assisted by a swarm of highly qualified assistants operating whiz bang, state of the art equipment.

Compare that with a second grade teacher, who enters the classroom to operate on over 20 brains, none of which are attached to bodies that are strapped down and unconscious. Au contraire!  They are attached to wiggly, energetic, wide awake bodies. The equipment in the classroom was provided by the low bidder, and there is no there one to help out.

Who has the harder job? Which job requires greater expertise?


Tomorrow: the superintendent is headed to the Super Bowl, courtesy of the Acme Widget Company!