I have the utmost respect for teachers. They willingly work with children (forever!) and are actually responsible for making them learn. Terrifying.
While I never studied to be a teacher (there were a few years where I wanted to be a teacher but that was before grade books became electronic and I realized I could use felt tip pens without being a teacher...) I have found myself in the position a few times. Like the summer I was head of Arts & Crafts/Nature at a summer camp, I had to make up art projects and nature projects almost daily. Of course this was more of a testament to my creative genius rather than my artistic/teaching abilities because I usually just grabbed items from the camp supplies and made up a project on the spot (they were great, I swear!). I also did a "teaching internship" when I studied in Vienna which consisted of me, teaching four classes of six-nine year olds English--now that was terrifying. But I survived and have yet again found myself in the position of teacher.
I have taught Boy a few things, namely how not to be such a wimp. For instance he was lollygagging on the high dive at the pool this summer (thus infuriating the kids waiting behind him) so I told him to just jump, the longer he stands over looking down, the more afraid he's going to become. Also, whenever he starts to cry about how much less homework Girl has (he is in grade 3, she in kindergarten) I explained that he will always have more homework than her until he graduates college and she's still in school, so suck it up, stop crying, and do your homework. (Tough love by Jill.) Lastly, and perhaps most importantly in my anti-wimp training: Boy loves to dance. That's fine, good even. But what he loves to dance to? ABBA, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga... and that's fine, but the kid is asking to get beat up. So I'm trying to steer him towards more listener (i.e. me) friendly music like Lupe Fiasco and A Tribe Called Quest. We're still working on that last one...
What I've taught Girl I'm even more proud of. I have taught her to read. Well, sort of. She was perusing my iPod the other day and she said, "No not Womanizer, no not this song from Glee, ah! Taylor Swift!" (Note: This was Boy's playlist.) I looked at her and said, "G! You just read those!" Followed closely by, "Oh god the music on my poor iPod!"
I'm still working on the wave with T.B. but the other morning I taught her something of equal importance. I'll classify it under "social skills." I taught her how to stick out her tongue at some one who has stuck their tongue out at her. I sent Kristen this text message after achieving such a feat: "I just taught TB to stick her tongue out, I think my work here is done." But seriously, now she can stick up for herself because, nobody puts That Baby in a corner. (Sorry, cheesy Dirty Dancing reference, I apologize.)
Lastly and perhaps most importantly I've taught Boy & Girl history. Back in the summer we had to pet-sit for this [grossdisgustingrodent] guinea pig named Lola. So now, whenever I sing, "Her name was Lola!" They respond, "She was a showgirl!" Exposing them to the history that is Barry Manilow, now that's what makes a good teacher.