"What Teachers Make"
On today's show, we speak by phone with the noted performance poet, former middle-school teacher, and current teachers' advocate Taylor Mali. His new book --- "What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World" --- is based on a poem that he wrote several years ago, a spirited and encouraging defense of the teaching profession that has, by now, been seen and forwarded millions of times on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and elsewhere. It's a poem that gave heart to an entire movement --- and in this book we get the story of what drove Mali to compose that poem in the first place. Mali's book also offers an informed appreciation of teachers --- and a declaration of why our society needs them now more than ever. As a reviewer of "What Teachers Make" has noted in the pages of Kirkus: "Big, bright life-lessons in a pocket-sized package.... Delivers a powerfully positive message.... A valentine to teachers everywhere. Mali proves himself a dedicated, caring teacher within what he considers a hobbled American education system."