The full quote is: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” In other words, if you are not able to run a successful business, then you should teach business. That makes sense, doesn’t it? I wrote a post a couple of years ago about me discovering I am a student and a teacher. Thinking about the quote above, what did I really mean when I stated that? At the time, my life mirrored the above quote. I had never “done” most of the things I have been learning so how could I possibly be qualified to teach?
So, when should learning stop and doing begin? I want to write but am I doing it correctly? Shouldn’t I know more about not only the subject but the method of writing? I will never know if I do not write. At this point, I am pretty much willing to write about anything that pops in my head since I can never learn from my successes (and failures) if I do nothing.
I have been an avid hoarder of educational materials since I got my first computer (a computer that a friend built me and if I remember correctly, ran on Windows 95). I can’t even begin to tell you how many .pdfs I have of old, out of print books that were wonderful sources of knowledge. In addition to those out of print books, I even have printed up entire websites (most of them posthumously, thanks to Internet Archive: Wayback Machine) but what good is all of that knowledge if none of it is practiced?
When I lived in Arizona I attended a (now defunct) career college. Despite the fact that my diploma in Small Business Management isn’t worth the paper it was printed on (I wish I would have known what accreditation was and how important it is), what I loved about the school was all of the instructors were from the real world. My marketing instructor left to work for the first soaker hose company that solely used recycled tires, my accounting instructor was an actual accountant, and my computer instructor ran a small tech support company (they were all teaching part-time). These instructors are my definition of a teachers. They do, therefore they teach.
I have information on just about every subject out there but my main love has always been all things relating to herbal medicine. I love the fact that the majority of ingredients contained within the various Pharmacopeia from the early 1900s and older are plants I can grow or purchase (and I do not need any special license or permit for those purchases). I have considered taking some courses related to herbal medicine but why spend the money if I have all this information at my fingertips?
That WAS my thinking until I actually tried to make an herbal salve. No matter how many times I tried, I could not manage to make a salve without it being too hard, too soft, too lumpy or having it separate over time. As much as I adore You Tube, there are too many people out there who know less than I do “teaching.” I knew I needed some actual instruction if I was ever going to do this right. So, in January of this year, I began taking an online herbal course: Herbal Skills Intensive offered by Cat Ellis. When I first heard she was developing this course, I knew I had to take it because, unlike so many teachers I have come across online, she actually does this in real life (this is the online version of the classes she gives in person). It’s a wonderful class and I highly recommend it.
So, this is my long-term project: to physically do everything that I have been learning about. There are way too many subjects I have no way of learning (like raising livestock) since I live in the city but I am making a conscious effort to “practice what I preach” (or, really, “practice what I share”).