Back in the old days, we used to argue, my costume design colleagues and I. Can you teach creativity? Can you teach some one to be artistic? We were learning all sorts of skills in grad school--draping, millinery, drawing, conducting fittings, sweet-talking actors; but it seemed some talents that makes one a Master of Fine Arts were to be picked up by osmosis--taste, a sense of proportion, successful color combining, communicating character through clothing.
Some of us "got it" (or, maybe we already had it) and some of us didn't, but I'm not sure the fault was with our education. Maybe there are some things that can't be taught...
I wonder if this isn't the same thing with teaching, itself. I often think of the teachers that have most inspired me and the qualities they possess--it seems to boil down to their "energy," whatever that is. Are they engaged with their students? In the present moment? Not married to the lesson plan? Can roll with the energy of the room? Passionate? Funny?
Of course you can learn subject matter and classroom management. You can learn how to structure class time and explain the important information. But can you learn how to convey a sense of calm authority and compassion, of dedication and deep interest? Some of it just comes with experience but, I think, some of it is innate. Either you have it or you don't.
Presumably, most people who go into teaching do it because they love it (it certainly can't be for the money). Of course, it's a way to support a more esoteric area of interest--probably the case with a lot of college professors and artists--but, to stick with it, you have to find something compelling about the profession.
So, if some one thinks, "I want to teach," is that enough? Can they really learn to be effective? Affective? To inspire students? To transcend the subject matter? What qualities do you need to truly wear the mantle of "teacher" and can some one else give you that information? Or are you born with it...
I have my opinions, but I'd love to hear yours--all you teachers and students out there.