Compare and Contrast Essay Example – Teaching versus Acting

Teachers have always been respected for the work that they do. They do not only teach children facts and concepts, but they also nurture students’ growth along the way. Teachers foster in young people a desire to help others, work together, and to form own opinion. They help children to become life-long learners and think critically. Indeed, not all teachers are brilliant ones. There are specific skills that good teachers should have. For instance, the true teacher knows how to engage the audience and turn class into an interesting demonstration of knowledge. In other words, a good teacher understands that it is not enough to know the subject, one has to know how to make this subject interesting and attractive to the audience – students. So, teaching and acting are two sides of the same coin.

Though the connection between teaching and acting might not seem like an obvious thing, the more one thinks about it, the easier it is to see the similarities between these two jobs. A good teacher is described by people like Silvana Richardson and Alex Moore as a “charismatic performer”. But how do these two careers relate? For one, teachers and actors both have audiences that they need to address a message. This audience needs to be ‘read’ so that the teacher/performer knows where to direct attention, how to engage, and also how to communicate effectively. A good actor is much like a good teacher. They both need energy, enthusiasm, and a gift of expression. Vocal inflection is preferred to a monotone voice and gestures are required too. Spacing to the students/audience needs to be sensed and the use of humor, empathy, and other emotions is needed for both careers.

Teachers spend a great deal of time preparing for class each day. They read background material, gather supplies and even memorize bits of information or speeches. Actors do the same by learning scripts and developing character backgrounds, creating or finding props, and memorizing lines. Both careers require a great deal of prep time to get ready for a class or performance. And while actors take classes to become better, teachers spend their spare time engaging in professional development activities that help them develop their craft.

No doubts, there are notable differences between these professions. Teachers are held to a different standard than actors. A teacher is given a higher pay and is generally viewed with more respect. Teachers use technology in different ways than actors do and while both actors and teachers may work for similar amounts of time during a day, they do not work during the same period. Teachers work from morning to mid-afternoon, while actors start their day later and perform later at night. Actors and teachers can cover similar themes, such as envy, justice, and generosity, but there are certain topics, jokes, and images that it would be inappropriate for a teacher to show in a classroom.

In the end, there are more similarities between teaching and acting than differences. A good teacher understands that to be good at expressing ideas and communicating with students, one needs to have energy and skill at a conversation that needs to be used to engage with the audience. In essence, teaching is like acting.

Thesis statement
This compare and contrast essay shows that there are far more similarities between teaching and acting than differences. In fact, the premise of the essay is good teachers are also good actors as stated by the thesis, “In other words, a good teacher understands that it is not enough to know the subject, one has to know how to make this subject interesting and attractive to the audience – students. So, teaching and acting are two sides of the same coin.” The author of this essay explains that the two professions are similar due to the amount of preparatory work that goes into each class/performance. Also, many of the same skills are used in both professions.