Friday, June 4, 2010

You can finally stop asking me why I want to teach kids...

A coursemate and a co-teacher sent me this poem about what teachers make (or what teachers are all about)... So for those who are wondering why I decided to become a teacher despite the "supposedly" better opportunities offered to me, then you can definitely stop wondering and read this poem.

Link: What Teachers Make (in YouTube)

What Teachers Make
or Objection Overruled, or
If things don't work out, you can always go to law school

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? 

I remember growing up when I'd always ask my mom to buy me a blackboard and I'd pretend I had students around who were listening to me. There was no specific subject I would constantly pretend teaching, but I remember that Math was one of the easiest to teach. I don't know why, I guess I just had really good Math teachers who were worth remembering and imitating. Remembering the best teachers I had makes me wonder if I can be as influential as them 5 years from now. I can only hope...

And the next thing you might ask me is "why a PRESCHOOL teacher?" ... Well, I already wrote about this in my OJT journal entries, and here's why...

I like the lifestyle that a teacher lives. I could not imagine myself behind a desk all day; I love to be around children and to be a part of their maturation. Children are so uncanny and naïve that it helps me to remember that life does not have to be completely serious. I cannot imagine another job that would keep me young at heart. Not only do I like the fact that children keep you young, but a career in teaching does not end your education.


  1. it is really nice to be a teacher!:) when you your students and feel the happiness they bring to you.. and vice versa!:) PRICELESS!:D --28

  2. sorry, typo.. when you see your students and feel the happiness they bring to you and vice versa!:) --28

  3. TRUE. :) Especially when you feel they're really learning from you! I really hope I can be a really influential teacher someday.