|Thursday, March 1st, 2007|
7:17a - Useless Information
God Bless Our Teachers!
I got this in an email and wanted to share it.
WHAT TEACHERS MAKE
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?
"Teachers make every other profession."
(Personal note: This reminds me of one of the best "praise" comments I ever got. Paul Hokestra, then DOE head for foreign languages, had been sitting every afternoon for a week in my Spanish I class in Corydon as part of the evaluation process. All week, a bright, but totally unmotivated student had been bending his ear, telling him how horrid the experience of having to learn a foreign language was. Paul listened attentively until the last day, when he shut Joe up quite succinctly by saying, "Oh, I don't know. I think you're lucky to have her."
I was constantly reminding the students that life was strange and they never knew what they'd find a use for in the future. Joe went on to "NEVER NEED TO KNOW THIS STUFF ANYWAY" by working in Brazil [Portuguese] for an Iowa company, Pioneer Seed Corn. He was assured that he'd never have to learn Portuguese -- there'd always be a native speaker to do that. One lunchtime, however, he was alone when a farmer came in and began to talk about the weather. Joe, who'd learned SPANISH WEATHER PHRASES to distraction in Spanish I, discovered he could follow what was being said, and when he answered in Spanish, the farmer could follow him. He knew the numbers, and Pioneer Seed corn is sold by numbers, the prices are numbers, and so he did the order. When the boss returned, he said, "Who took this order?" Was he ever surprised to find it was a "worthless" American, one of those conceited people who would always expect the world to learn their language while they never bother with learning anyone else's, who had done it.
Joe did FINE in that job. He wrote to his mother and told her to be SURE I got that message.)
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