Video: What Do Teachers Make by Taylor Mali General by Joel Wagner - October 24, 2009June 30, 20100 By Taylor Maliwww.taylormali.com He says the problem with teachers is, “What’s a kid going to learnfrom someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true what they say aboutteachers:Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. I decide to bite my tongue instead of hisand resist the temptation to remind the other dinner gueststhat it’s also true what they say about lawyers. Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite company. “I mean, you¹re a teacher, Taylor,” he says.“Be honest. What do you make?” And I wish he hadn’t done that(asked me to be honest)because, you see, I have a policyabout honesty and ass-kicking:if you ask for it, I have to let you have it. 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 honorand an A- feel like a slap in the face.How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hallin absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.No, you may not ask a question.Why won’t I let you get a drink of water?Because you’re not thirsty, you’re bored, that’s why. I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.Billy said, “Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?”And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen. I make parents see their children for who they areand what they can be. 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, write, write.And then I make them read.I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitelybeautifulover and over and over again until they will never misspelleither one of those words again.I make them show all their work in math.And hide it on their final drafts in English.I make them understand that if you got this (brains)then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge youby what you make, you give them this (the finger). Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:I make a goddamn difference! What about you? I’m sure this transcript has made the rounds of educational institutions worldwide, but when I saw it, the passion that Taylor Mali emits during the presentation is awesome. Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.