Thursday, November 4, 2010

What do I make?

I wanted to share this story because it hits home for me:

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?"
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 winner. I make
kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make
them sit for 5 minutes 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 them 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 about English while preserving their unique cultural
identity. I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.
I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say
the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we
live in the United States of America. 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, when I know money isn't
everything, I can hold my head 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.


  1. BRAVO! I'm totally going to repost this on my blog. I'm not a teacher, but I want to post it as a tribute to all those who taught me. Love you! :o)

  2. Applause! Applause! We are all BETTER because of the teachers we have encountered in our youth.