John August’s advice to new, improving
My advice for you is to dedicate one day a week to disassembling good movies. Take existing films (and one-hour dramas) and break them down to cards. Think of yourself as an ordinary mechanic given the task of reverse-engineering a spaceship. Figure out what the pieces do, and why they were put together in that way.
What was that thing you were saying about the intangible art of teaching?
Whatever I am as a teacher, I am a hyper-observant hack, stitching together the best I see around me, trimming back the brush. None of what you see here comes naturally.
To be fair to the teaching-as-calling crowd, August also writes:
If you were writing in for advice about how to be funnier or more charismatic, I would have probably let your email sit in the growing folder of unanswerable questions, because those are pretty much inherent qualities. [emph. added]
Which begs the question: what qualities of a teacher are inherent?