“See how a teacher’s task, to my discomfort, is many sided. Never, unless compelled by a teacher, does a boy take a book into his hands. When he receives it, his eyes and mind wander off. A teacher explains something, presently sleep creeps up on the spoilt boy, and carefree he sleeps on one of his ears, while the teacher shatters himself by teaching.” Philip Melanchthon, “A Speech Concerning the Miseries of Teachers,” cited by Thomas Korcok, Lutheran Education: From Wittenberg to the Future (St Louis 2011), p. 1.
What a comforting quote for any modern teacher or professor to read! Philip Melanchthon, “the teacher of Germany” and Martin Luther’s colleague, experienced what every teacher has experienced, that is, student apathy.