A poem by: Taylor Mali

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?"

He reminded the other dinner guests that it's true
what they say about teachers: "Those who can...do.
Those who can't ... teach."

To corroborate, he said to another guest: "You're a
teacher, Susan," he said. "Be honest. What do you

Susan, who had a reputation of honesty and frankness,
replied, "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 if the
student did not do his or her very best."

"I can make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence."

"I can make parents tremble in fear when I call home"

"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."

"I make them read, read, read."

"I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely
beautiful, and 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 hide it
all on their final drafts in English."

"I make them understand that if you have the brains,
then follow your heart...and if someone ever tries to
judge you by what you make, you pay them no

"You want to know what I make?"

"I make a difference."

"And you? What do you make?"