A profound answer from an Educator

This is an email that I got from my Brother-in-Law.

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?”

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 winner.

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 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.. 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 make, with me knowing money isn’t everything, 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 Mr. CEO?

His jaw dropped, he went silent.


Even all your personal teachers like mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, coaches and your spiritual leaders/teachers.

A truly profound answer!!!

Teaching is…the profession that makes all other professions possible!

Photo: From Flickr
Postscript: Here is a more dramatic video

11 thoughts on “A profound answer from an Educator

  1. Pingback: A profound answer from an Educator | Suifaijohnmak’s Weblog « The Sharing Tree

  2. You are welcome!

    I hope you check out his other videos too. I have used them in professional learning opportunities with colleagues.

    Keep writing!! 🙂


  3. While a sweet sentiment, this never actually happened. It’s a story made up by someone who may have came across the situation and then sat down afterwards to write down a few poetic statements. If the money that they made wasn’t an issue and all teachers were as altruistic and good at their job as this one purports to be, we wouldn’t have teachers striking because they didn’t get this year’s pay raise and we certainly wouldn’t have a drop-out rate of more than 50% in many inner-city schools.

    I had great teachers “back in the day”. They knew how to teach and they knew their subject. Our teachers now don’t learn a particular subject and become experts in it. All that matters to most schools now is how well their students can do on the standardized tests. The teachers don’t teach a subject any more. They teach kids how to take a test.

  4. Thanks for your comments.
    I share your concerns. Good food for thoughts and reflection. Should teachers teach a subject? How to help and support kids in learning, rather than just doing well on standardized tests?

  5. Pingback: 2010 in review | Suifaijohnmak's Weblog

  6. I would love to know who actually wrote “A Profound Answer”. Is there any way to find out? If so, please contact me at the email address above. I am a retired teacher-turned-writer and my novel about 4 elementary school teachers is due to be published by mid-June.

  7. Hi Chloe,
    Not sure if it was just a make up story, but what makes it profound is – it resonates with many of us 🙂
    So you would like to publish this in your novel, right? Good to share!

  8. Pingback: What should be the relationship between teacher and students? | Learner Weblog

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