He argued: "What can a kid 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, which is "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."
To get affirmation, he said to another guest: "You're a teacher, Susan," he said. "Be honest. What do you make?"
Susan, who has 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 the Medal of Honor when the student has tried his hardest, and an A- feel like a slap in the face if the student did not do his best."
"I can make kids sit through 40 minutes of self study in absolute silence."
"I can make parents beam with pride 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 "catastrophe & acknowledgement" 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 elevate them to experience music and art and joy in the performance, so their lives are rich, full of kindness and culture, and they take pride in themselves and their accomplishments."
"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 attention.
"You want to know what I make? I make a difference. What do you make?"
Source: Forwarded by Fellow Educator (31 August 2010)
There are several versions of this story... some known as Broken Pot, Cracked Vessel, etc... but they refer to the same context...
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on an end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the masters house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his masters house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
"I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts." the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the Pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."