Sunday, January 13, 2008

What Teachers Make

Got this in an e-mail today. I like it.

Alexandra DeVere

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher? "He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."
To stress his point he said to another guest; "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"
Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make? (She paused for a second, then began...)
"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.
You want to know what I make?" (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.)
''I make kids wonder.
I make them question.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.
I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.
I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.
I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.
Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life."
(Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)
"Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant... You want to know what I make?I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make Mr. CEO?"
His jaw dropped, he went silent.

"I touch the future. I teach." --- Christa McCauliff


david mcmahon said...

Great perspective - and I could not agree more. Among the many people I constantly honour as my life progresses are the people who taught me at school and university. They even get a mention in the dedication page of my first novel.

Lee said...

As I start a semester of student teaching I find this post wonderfully inspiring. Thank you for sharing that email.

Peace! Hope! & Joy!

lime said...

amen!!! thanks for this. sharing it with my husband and cousins who are all teachers as soon as i leave here....

San said...

Hi. David sent me over here.

Yes, to make a difference in the lives of kids--that is simply priceless.

Jeff B said...

Here by way of David's site.

What a brilliant response to an egotistical @$%*.

Even if this was written as fiction is qualifies as fact.

Jeni said...

To determine what's worth more - a CEO or a teacher (or any other professional compared to a teacher, for that matter) is like determining which came first - the chicken or the egg. If it weren't for those people who can't do, so they teach (so sayth many), how would those who "Can do" ever have learned the basics to do if it hadn't first been for the efforts of a teacher?
Great post - great lesson. I came by from David McMahon's place and have learned to trust his judgment when he says "go here, read this," I do and I always enjoy the trip too!