No. 1307



There is a special group of people in our nation today to whom I would like to pay tribute -- our school teachers.
In fact, I appreciate them so much that I have developed a unique presentation that I have presented to our local school superintendent and the director of the Arkansas Department of Education with the focus on our teachers. The large heading says, “The Greatest Profession of them All,” and when you stop to think about it, I believe you will agree that this is true.
You cannot think of a single individual who achieved great success that did not owe a debt of gratitude to one of more of his teachers. Personally, I give most of the credit to administrators and teachers for my career that has now lasted more than 50 years. Back in 1970 when I started selling attitude motivation programs, it did not take long to realize that our schools were my best prospects, as “attitude” had become a buzz word among our educators. They welcomed me with open arms, and during the decade of the 1970s, I spoke to more than 500 educational groups, was the commencement speaker for many high schools, and conducted more than 50 six-hour life and career planning seminars with high school seniors.
During this time as I traveled the state -- more than 50,000 miles each year! -- I listened to the “wisdom of the ages” on the cassettes I was selling. This became the foundation for my daily radio show, the column you are now reading, more than 1,700 speeches, and my 10 books. And it all started working with administrators and teachers in our schools.
This all came to my mind when I read something that is included in my latest book, available in 2021, titled “Your Future Begins Today.” Here is the story I mentioned, and it really sets the record straight. One time a man, a company CEO, was at a dinner party and he 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 guests of the old saying, “Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach.” To emphasize his point he said to one of his guests, “You’re a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest, what do you make?”
Bonnie, who had a reputation for frankness, replied, “You want to know what I make? Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ student feel like one who has just been given the Congressional Medal of Honor. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can’t make them sit for five minutes without an IPad, game cube or movie rental. (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 make them 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.”
She continued, “I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe. I make my students stand, place their hand over their heart and say the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag, and make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life. You want to know what I make, I MAKE A DIFFERENCE, so what do you make Mr. CEO?”
His jaw dropped and he went silent. Everyone around the table applauded. Teaching really is the greatest profession of them all.
(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and Founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)