Monday, June 7, 2010

What teachers make

My roommate just reminded me of this:

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 criticize. 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. I make them read, read, read. I make them show all their work in math. 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. I make my students stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, 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, 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?"

7 comments:

Joanne said...

You will be a teacher who will MAKE a difference!

Chelsea said...

I hope so Mom :)

Tamara Robertson Turner said...

Can you believe your semester is almost over? Hope you've enjoyed your classes!

Jocelyn said...

Have you seen the video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpog1_NFd2Q

lumen said...

I work in the education field...and this is a brilliant response to an often asked sort of question.Especially in this poor economic climate, there's a lot of resentment in my area because of the so-called "perks" of teaching: weekends off, summers off, etc. People are inclined to think teachers are overpaid and barely do much. They might want to shadow a teacher for a week or so. They come in at 6:00AM to get things ready. Some nights they don't leave until 6, 7, or even 8PM. They spend their own money to buy special little treats and craft supplies. They bring clothes from home (or buy them) for kids who come to school wearing the same thing they wore the previous day because the parents never came home and they have no clean clothes. They take continuing education courses, many on their own time. They attend Parent meetings, cheer their students at sporting events, and chaperone dances. I could go on and on, but I won't. I have two favorite stickers: One says "I touch the future...I teach". The other one says "You don't scare me. I teach." :-)

Jocelyn the elder said...

Chelsea, I am so pleased you will and do make a positive difference in so many lives--including me extended family. G'ma C

Jenny R said...

I love this!!! You will make a difference, Chelsea, you always have. :)