A comment by a well known tango teacher recently astounded me: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." Ouch!
His point was that teachers are best at teaching what they are not good at. Also, a problem here in logic? What a terrible "truism" that too many people believe! This phrase is an assault on excellent teachers all over the world.
I like this T-shirt below: "Those who can, do. Those who can do more, teach!"
But let's say just for fun that there is some validity to this idea (that those who can't, teach). Well, then! Let's go out and find the teachers out there who cannot dance that well, but they will teach us a lot. The majority of us go out teacher shopping, looking for great dancers. But where are the great teachers hiding? Surely they are out there. Are you taking lessons from them? As for me, I want a teacher who can teach and has results over the teacher who can perform, but cannot impart how to emulate what they do.
Teaching is a calling, and many who are good teachers, are also experts in their fields of endeavor. Yet, having both of these qualities is still rather rare. I would rather have someone who painstakingly acquired tango than one who is naturally talented but cannot see how difficult it is for the average person.
The problem with poor teachers in language schools demonstrates this problem with the misguided attraction that school directors and students alike have for those who can (speak fluently) but cannot teach. Just because you can speak Italian from birth, does not prove that you can teach it. Those who have struggled to learn a language as an adult and are fluent know what it takes to acquire a language, but language learners look for the native speaker. Language students gladly sit in classes, enduring hours of poor instruction just because the person is a native speaker. So is it in tango: We tend to look for the great dancer and look the other way when they do not have the best results in imparting what they know.
That's a good New Year's resolution: Find a tango coach who can do more -- someone who can teach.