From an email I received today:

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 Sates of America. And 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?"


Anonymous said...

I read this when I was in grad school on my way to becoming a teacher and it made me confident about my career choice. Reading it again makes me remember why I chose it. I'm going to print it out and put it by my desk so I don't forget again. Thanks.

(I came across your blog the other day by way of a teaching community on LiveJournal.)

Tracy said...

It's good hearing from you! I'm glad you ran across my blog somewhere else. I was afraid that only my mom and bestfriend read this silly thing.

Having that email sent to me was really helpful. It made me stop and concentrate on all the kids who DON'T cause problems are who really do want to learn. Some days (like this whole week) I'm not that confident in my own career choice, but then there's that one moment that seems to make it worthwhile.

If you return to read this again--where do you work?