The smell of celebrity

Jose-

One of the reasons I enjoy working with you on this blog is that you are always pushing my thinking in novel directions. Your last post left a taste in mouth I was having trouble enjoying. It seemed like an acquired taste. When you said,

Jose-

One of the reasons I enjoy working with you on this blog is that you are always pushing my thinking in novel directions. Your last post left a taste in mouth I was having trouble enjoying. It seemed like an acquired taste. When you said,

The term “celebrity teacher” is such a difficult one too, because it presumes that the spotlight should focus strictly on the teacher and not on the ways in which that teacher helps students. The profession doesn’t lend itself to alpha dogs and sunbathers of the egoistic type. Yet, I have a hard time with the idea that, in a landscape with people so replete with opinions about our profession, that we shouldn’t have the same viability when we speak about it ourselves.

It seems like your question is, “Why can’t our voices be heard like that of a celebrity chef when it comes to what we do in our classrooms?” I started thinking about the celebrity chef idea and I realized that, even though, as Maureen Devlin pointed out in her comments, the dispositions of a successful teacher and a celebrity teacher might seem contrary the idea of the influence of celebrity does not. Then I started thinking about the effect that the celebrity chef phenom has had on our culture and I thought, maybe it is time for the root of the word to be heard. It is time to celebrate great teaching.

Here is a brief list of pros and cons that seem to have been the result of the Celebrity Chef phenomena.

Pros

Cons

People you might not think would be into food are excited about great cooking If you are a celebrity chef cooking can become secondary
More people are interested in becoming chefs and enrolling in culinary schools Everyone thinks they are a celebrity chef because they have an app for that.
Increased attention has led to increased innovation Celebrity chefs begin to move outside of what they know, cooking
Local, sustainable, and organic foods have become more common Sometimes celebrity chefs create recipes that are less healthy than pre-packaged foods

The pros seem to mostly describe the overall good affects of the celebrity chef phenom while the cons have more to do with the foibles and fallibility that losing focus can have on any profession. Most importantly though, the pros column has a lot of the same changes I want to see in education.

I want people to be interested in great teaching.

I want people to want to become a great teacher.

I want there to be more innovation in teaching.

And possibly most importantly, I want great teachers to be able to create the local, sustainable, and organically evolved education that students deserve.

From this analysis, it would seem some celebration of teaching would be a good thing, as long as the focus remains on the food and not the chef. Bon ape’teach.

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