Much if not most work in the scholarship of teaching and learning is focused on measuring student learning and improving teaching quality. This is valuable, but a careful reading of foundational texts in the field shows that from the beginning another guiding motivation in SoTL went beyond the “didactic” yet is less apparent today: a commitment to addressing the urgent needs of the world. In this article, we trace how over time this second focus became less important as the professionalization of SoTL, likewise present from the beginning, became emphasized more and more. We then ask, how can we reconfigure SoTL theory and practice to retain the benefits of the didactic yet recover—or perhaps rediscover—SoTL’s purposes and potential to contribute to the great challenges facing students, communities, and the world? We propose that Edward Said’s argument for the worldly orientation of the public intellectual as “amateur” reveals how SoTL might resist his four pressures of professionalization: narrow specialization, certification of expertise, co-option by power, and intellectual conformity. Being alert to these pressures can help us to do SoTL with what Kasturi Behari-Leak calls a “situational ethos” that integrates the curiosity and passions of academics with the goals of students and the needs of the world.