This excerpt is taken from a school principal‘s speech at a graduation, “… A doctor wants his child to become a doctor. An engineer wants his child to become engineer. A businessman wants his ward to become a CEO. But a teacher also wants his child to become one of them! Nobody wants to become a teacher by choice!”
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?” To stress his point he said to another guest, “You’re a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?”
Teacher Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, “You want to know what I make?” She paused for a second and 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 min. without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental. And 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 how 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. 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 do, with me knowing money isn’t everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant. And you want to what I make. I make a difference in all your lives, educating kids and preparing them to become CEOs and doctor and engineers. What do you make Mr. CEO?”
His jaw dropped; he went silent.