Art is contagious. I teach children art and their enthusiasm has infected me. I also have come to learn that my own children would benefit from seeing me follow my passions; painting, collage, photography and cooking. I created a painting this past week and as expected my kids wanted to paint too. I had long feared this scenario, yet it went pretty smooth. They painted for 20 minutes then went on to another activity and allowed me to finish my painting without any disruptions. So all this time of not painting fearing the constant disruption and unpredictable mess, I had no idea it would only last for a few minutes. Now my 2 year-old knows what a canvas is and my son sees that colors can be layered when the paint is dry or wet. It's a win-win situation all around. I get to paint, and they learn and get inspired.
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 what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do.. Those who can't, teach."
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.
I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in the United States of America.
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.