Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Response to Union Leader Post - An Oldie But Goodie From Jim

Jim responded to the below post with the following.

At a five-star dinner party, one woman, a chief executive officer, wondered how a teacher could afford $200 per plate. She decided to confront this contradiction to the "underpaid teacher" myth.

She argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who thinks a six-figure salary for nine months work is 'underpaid'?" To stress the point, she said to another guest: "You're a teacher, Susan. Be honest, what do you make?" (Looking for income.)

Susan, an unusually frank teacher, asked "You want to know what we make?"

"We make parents work harder than they ever thought they could. We make one-income households become two-income households to pay ever-increasing property taxes for schools.

"We make kids wonder why they should bother with homework. We make kids who can't read at age 16 feel like they've won the Congressional Medal of Honor because self-esteem is more important than learning fundamentals.

"We make bad teachers earn more than good teachers. We make legislators pass laws to strengthen our education monopoly. We make New Hampshire bankrupt with a Ponzi-retirement scheme.

"We make friendly neighbors into enemies by running tax increase every few months.

"We make the elderly choose between food and medicine because they can no longer afford both.

"We make America less competitive in the Information Age."

Susan paused, then continued: "You want to know what we make? We make ourselves out to be secular saints using silly stories like Derick's. We make our union bosses richer. What do you make?"

The chief executive officer replied: "We make medicine to save the lives of millions. If we take public money without delivering results, I can go to jail. What happens to you?"

Susan replied: "Nothing. I have tenure."

The following was posted on the

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
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation 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 company.

"I mean, you¹re 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 ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, 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 may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven't called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said 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 what they can be.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids wonder,
I make them 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
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 hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this (the finger).

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

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