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What do teachers make?


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Oct 30 2002 - 19:55:38 PST

> "Those who can,
> do. Those who can't, teach."
> To corroborate, he said to another guest, "You're a teacher, Susan. Be
> honest. What do you make?"
> 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."....
> "You want to know what I make?"
> "I make a difference. What about you?"

The message from Bunki really struck me because I feel like I bring these
thoughts home with me every night, with little relief or gratification.
Sometimes, I think, I beat myself up needlessly wondering what I did or did
not do. Sometimes, I think, I'm going to have a stroke because of the
tension and stress the responsibilities I impose on myself as a teacher.
Sometimes I don't know what the difference is that I make because I'm so
caught up in making the difference.

The stresses of this job come across constantly on this list. We are always
looking for new solutions and inspirations. We are on this list in the
middle of the night asking questions and looking for answers.

I've been in business. I've been in charge of multi-million dollar accounts.
It was stressful, but I could leave it in the office. There were no faces
connected to those dollars. When I come home from school there is always
the face of that child that I haven't connected to yet the one that
isn't succeeding the one that I wonder if I can make a difference. I'm
not unreasonable. I know I can't reach them all. But it doesn't keep me
from trying, wondering, hoping. And there is the difference.... we talk
to human beings, not accounts not dollar signs. And isn't so much of the
ill of our society that the dollar sign, not the face, has caused too many
to go home wondering and wandering... and scheming and cheating .

We should always feel proud of what we do and uphold the notion that
teaching is the noblest profession and perhaps the most selfless.
Unfortunately we are not always regarded so nobly. But we bear the disregard
and go on making the difference.

Make a difference.