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I've had a number of different people tell me I should become a teacher, that I'm really good at explaining things, and I'm still skeptical of the impact of teaching in general. I don't know how we're supposed to measure it. Controlling for the individual variation of the students themselves is a non-trivial problem. The best schools tend to be highly selective in their admissions and the worst students seem mostly unteachable.

I challenge anyone to take the best teacher they've ever met and put them in charge of a class full of students from the first percentile of test scores.

Not everything can be quantified, and I think it's a dangerous line of thinking to equate impact with measurability. Particularly in education, the focus on standardized testing has had real negative impact in the fuzzier areas like critical thinking and the joy of learning. Of course I can't quantify this, but that doesn't mean it's not true.

I get that standardized tests are necessary to some extent, but I would not equate the things that led me to do well on them as the most impactful events of my education. One-on-one human interaction and empathy has been what elevated me past the hoop-jumping to a higher level of agency and self-motivated productivity.

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