Created By: piemanpie24 on October 30, 2012 Last Edited By: piemanpie24 on April 19, 2017

Those Who Can't Do, Teach

When a mentor is physically unable to do the things that they teach

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When a mentor or teacher is physically unable to do the things that they teach due to a disability or lack of powers, etc.
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • October 30, 2012
    • In Paolini's Inheritance Cycle both of Eragon's mentors are unable to help him fully. The first had his dragon die, rendering his incapable of fighting with his dragon. The second, has both himself and his dragon crippled.
  • October 31, 2012
    Aahz the Pervect from Asprin's Myth series of books. By the start of Skeeve's adventures, Aahz has lost his ability to do magic. Instead, he opts to teach Skeeve magic.
  • October 31, 2012
    May be justified in some cases. Imagine a disabled veteran teaching how to fight. If he can't be active in the military anymore, it's just fair to give him a job as a teacher.
  • October 31, 2012
    Compare Obsolete Mentor, who can do what they teach but is a bit behind in the field. May also invoke I Coulda Been A Contender.
  • October 31, 2012
    The title is clever but since its a Take That against teachers it's probably not acceptable.

    Cant Teach By Example maybe?
  • October 31, 2012
    In Harry Potter, Gilderoy Lockhart teaches Defense Against The Dark Arts while all his experience has been manufactured. He also tries to teach Harry Expelliarmus In Dueling Club, when he is unable to perform the spell himself.
  • November 2, 2012
    Ranger Andy in Fallout New Vegas. Forced to retire from the NCR Rangers after being severely wounded by a grenade, but still able to teach a martial arts technique which he calls the 'Ranger Takedown' to the courier.
  • November 2, 2012
    Isocrates, a famous Athenian rhetoric teacher, was that:

    He was an utter stranger to ostentation, insomuch that, when there came at one time three persons to hear him declaim, he admitted but two of them, desiring the third to come the next day, for that two at once were to him as a full theatre. He used to tell his scholars that he taught his art for ten minas; but he would give any man ten thousand, that could teach him to be bold and give him a good utterance. And being once asked how he, who was not very eloquent himself, could make others so, he answered, Just as a whetstone cannot cut, yet it will sharpen knives for that purpose.
  • November 2, 2012
    In Assassins Creed III, Achilles is an old Assassin who needs a cane to move around in any amount and can't really do much assassinating or Le Parkour. He's also the mentor figure for the main character, Connor.
  • November 2, 2012
    Doesn't quite apply to Bazie in Take a Thief. His hands are still nimble enough to pick pockets and locks, but a man with no legs would be caught easily if he stole directly. So, he teaches several boys (including Skif) to steal instead.
  • November 2, 2012
    I'd shorten the title to "Those Who Can't, Teach", which is more in line with the common saying.
  • November 2, 2012
    • Master Splinter alludes to this as he trains Keno in Ninja Turtles 2 Secret Of The Ooze. "I have experience, you have youth. Only those who now fight possess both."
  • November 3, 2012
    ^^ Yes, came here to say this. The saying is "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach". Rather than "Those who can do, do; those who can't do, teach". Do do.
  • November 4, 2012
    • Mystery Science Theater 3000: While watching a short film about Home Economics, one of the protagonists states that she wants to become a teacher. Joel immediately chimes in to finish her sentence: "Because I can't do!"
  • November 4, 2012
    Legend Of Korra: The father of Amon and his brother was formerly a bloodbender but had his bending taken away.
  • November 4, 2012
    Please don't use any part of that saying for the trope name. The saying is unrelated to this trope, and is used to abuse teachers, implying that they tried but failed to be a highly-paid professional in some white-collar job.
  • December 28, 2012
    In an episode of MASH Charles encourages an infantryman/pianist who has lost the full use of one hand to continue with his musical gift via teaching.
  • April 19, 2017
    This is where the student surpasses the master in raw talent from day one, but the student can still learn from the master. It's common in the arts, and in high fantasy stories can apply to situations where a muggle has knowledge or skills that can be beneficial to a wizard. One example from real life is when Joe Satriani took Steve Vai as a student to improve his technique, even though Vai was already a gifted guitarist. In the MASH episode mentioned above, Charles notes that while his hands are great with a scalpel, they're barely adequate for playing Schubert, making him the pianist's teacher as well.
  • April 19, 2017
    So the title is part of a pejorative saying? That should change then.

    As I've seen the examples here, I see there are 2 ways this can happen: 1) the teacher used to be able to do stuff but either they got crippled, or age has caught up with them, 2) the teacher is actually bluffing and acting as if they know a lot of things.
  • April 19, 2017
    Ok, how does this have two hats already? It's agreed upon that the name is bad, and there's one sentence to the draft. Reminder that hats are an effective hover on the launch button, not a good idea nod.