What does a teacher make?

What does a teacher make?

By Taylor Mali

He says the problem with teachers is, “What’s a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?” He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true what they say about teachers, that:
Those who can, do; and those who can’t, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his and resist the urge to remind the other dinner guests that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.

Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite conversation.

“I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor,” he says.
“Be honest. What do you make?”

And I wish he hadn’t done that (asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy about honesty and butt-kicking, which is:
if you ask for it, then I have to let you have it.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you can not work in groups.
No, you can’t ask a question.
Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom?
Because you’re bored and you don’t really have to go, do you?

You want to know what I make?
I make parents tremble in fear when I call home at around dinnertime:
I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something that your son did today.
Billy said, “Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?”
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are and who they can be.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.
And then hide it on their final drafts in English.

Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a difference! What about you?


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