teachersThe dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO proud of being a professional, decided to explain what was wrong 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, Vidya. Be honest. What do you make?” 

Vidya, 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+ student feel like he’s won the Padma Shri.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can’t make them sit for five minutes without an I-Pod, mobile phone or TV.” 

Vidya paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.

“You want to know what I make?

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 and texting isn’t everything.

I make them read, read, read – that too real books.

I make them show all their work in maths. They use their God-given brains, not man-made calculators.

I make my students from all states learn everything they need to know in English, while preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

I make my students stand and sing our National Anthem with pride in their hearts, because we are all citizens of India.

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.” 

Vidya 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?


And what do you make, Mr. CEO?”

His mouth was shut tight and his eyes were lowered – the only answer he had was a deafening silence…

happy reflecting!!


8 thoughts on “WHAT TEACHERS MAKE

  1. This is a beautiful piece of writing and so true. Students remember the teachers who made a difference in their school years. It is usually that idealogy that helps students believe in themselves and succeed in life or atleast get them to a level where they can make a place for themselves.

  2. Very well written Vikram. Teaching is not a easy Job.

    As said,”Children are like wet cement, whatever falls on them makes an impression”. So teachers play a very important role in any child’s life !

  3. I have some fond memories of a teacher, who is not in this world any more but has made a huge difference to my life. He was our Principal, our dear Father Anthony who continues to be my role model in many ways.
    Our school had a 2 tier system of appointing the student council, first in Class 10 and then in Class 12, led by a Head Girl and a Head Boy. It was very prestigious to get to the 1st tier as that would determine the prospective Heads later.
    Fortunately, I was nominated, assessed and interviewed by the Jury and made my way thru to the Tier 1. Later, I was given to understand that I was backed up by our dear Principal, Father Anthony, despite having odds against me due to incompetency in sports.
    I decided not to let him down. I started with basketball which I used to play sporadically and after 2 years of rigorous practice during and after school hours, made my way to my school team in Class 12. Mind you, this was against my parents wishes as they wanted me to concentrate on my IIT entrance exam single mindedly. This was a big resentment for them. By God’s grace, I maintained my grades, got selected as a Head Girl in Class 12 and cleared my entrance exam.
    How did it happen? A mere confidence entrusted in me motivated me to deliver extraordinary results. Have that confidence in people (children, colleagues, teams etc.) and see the miracles happen.
    I still cant forget the difference he made to my life, FOR EVER………..

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