What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World

What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World

4.2 9
by Taylor Mali
     
 

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The right book at the right time: an impassioned defense of teachers and why our society needs them now more than ever.

Former middle-school teacher and teachers' advocate Taylor Mali struck a chord with his passionate response to a man at a dinner party who asked him what kind of salary teachers make-a poetic rant that has been seen and forwarded millions of

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Overview

The right book at the right time: an impassioned defense of teachers and why our society needs them now more than ever.

Former middle-school teacher and teachers' advocate Taylor Mali struck a chord with his passionate response to a man at a dinner party who asked him what kind of salary teachers make-a poetic rant that has been seen and forwarded millions of times on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Based on the poem that inspired a movement, What Teachers Make is Mali's sharp, funny, reflective, critical call to arms about the joys of teaching and why teachers are so vital to America today. It's a book that will be treasured and shared by every teacher in America-and everyone who's ever loved or learned from one.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An insult from “an arrogant young lawyer” delivered to a prize-winning slam poet led to a work that was “copied and pasted and e-mailed around the world” and watched on YouTube by millions; this led Mali to become “a poet with a plan to improve the world one teacher at a time.” In vignettes from his peripatetic career as a middle school teacher (teaching variously English, history, and math, in locations as widespread as New York, London, Kansas, and Maine), and in interspersed poems, Mali recounts his experiences as teacher and pays tribute to those who taught him. Thoroughly anecdotal, his examples of lessons, activities, and projects are offered, not as patterns to be followed but modes of liberation for teachers. Part memoir, part encomium, this prose extension of the slam “What Teachers Make” keeps an eye on pedagogical usefulness, while eschewing a manual tone. Although occasionally treacly, the slammer in Mali keeps the work straightforward, fast-paced, and trenchant. Mali’s goal, “to convince one thousand people to become teachers,” formalized in his the New Teacher Project, finds an effective boost in this evocative small book bulging with a big idea—“to remind teachers that they are dearly loved.” (Apr.)
From the Publisher
 “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.”

Kirkus Reviews

 “Straightforward, fast-paced, and trenchant. … [An] evocative, small book bulging with a big idea—“to remind teachers that they are dearly loved.” ”

Publishers Weekly

 “A heartfelt plea never to give up… An inspirational tribute to teaching and learning.”

Booklist

Library Journal
A former middle school teacher and now a teacher advocate, Mali wrote a poem, "What Teachers Make," that has been viewed more than five million times on YouTube and was read at Yale's commencement by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times. The essays here, on teaching hard work and reaching a difficult student, for instance, were inspired by the poem. With everyone debating the real value of what teachers do, here's a heartfelt explanation. A crucial book on a crucial subject; get it for believers and doubters alike.
Kirkus Reviews
A longtime educational advocate and public speaker praises the noble art of teaching. Incensed by a flippant remark from a young attorney at a party, teacher and poetry scholar Mali channeled his anger into a poem on the virtuosity of teachers. He posted it on his website, and the verse has been circulating ever since. The author has become a renowned public speaker in recent years with podcasts, a blog and a flashy website. He also undertook an unprecedented journey from standardized classroom instruction to launch his ambitious "New Teacher Project," an initiative seeking to direct 1,000 people into becoming teachers. In channeling their ability to "see a child's potential objectively, untainted by family history and parental expectations," Mali believes teachers energize their students to excel beyond what's routinely called for; starting this reinforcement process at a young age is imperative, he writes. Obviously passionate about his career as an educator, the author extols the importance of routine calls to parents when children shine. He also encourages a "question authority" mindset in his students while personally remaining humble and progressive with electronic grade books. Through anecdotes, poetry and classroom examples, Mali proves himself a dedicated, caring teacher within what he considers a hobbled American education system. The author's slim, appealing book delivers a powerfully positive message, but it's also a valentine to teachers everywhere, as well as a healthy dose of reality to parents who may misguidedly consider their child's teachers as little more than educational stepping stones. Big, bright life lessons in a pocket-sized package.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399158544
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/29/2012
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
711,956
Product dimensions:
5.34(w) x 7.14(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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From the Publisher
"It's a breezy listen, with Mali's writing and Verner's delivery often taking on poetic qualities." —-AudioFile

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