Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Like, Definitely Beautiful, You Know?

You're probably familiar with slam poetry.  These poets deliver their poems with a bit more oomph, shall we say. My friend, Diane, sent me a link to one of Taylor Mali's poems on youtube and I really liked it. He's a former teacher whose poetry has led him down a new path. Advocating for teachers is one of the things on that path. I went exploring a bit and found another one that jumped out at me. It's been around for several years, but it's new to me. Perhaps it will be for you, too. If not, forgive me for being slightly behind the curve.

Things have changed a great deal since Norman Rockwell painted, "Teacher's Birthday."  But, about this time every year, teachers still return to school for another attempt at teaching young people how to spell and think, among other things. So, this is for teachers everywhere, both former and present, and for anyone else who is considering what to do with the rest of their lives.

First, a link to the one Diane sent. It's called, "Totally Like Whatever, You Know?"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEBZkWkkdZA

And,  "What Teachers Make."  There are several versions of Mali performing this, but I chose this one because I like his delivery. It jumps right in, so in case you're wondering if you missed anything when it starts, you didn't. And even if you're not a teacher, I think you'll appreciate them both.


23 comments:

  1. Hello Teresa:
    We are firm believers that teaching is a noble profession and, also, tremendous hard work. But, from our own experiences in education we can say that there is nothing so satisfying as seeing young people ignited with the spark of learning and striving to succeed.

    After many many years in the classroom, however, we now look forward to September as a most beautiful month to be enjoyed outdoors!!

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  2. ...aggressively inarticulate generation. I like it (she declared with conviction)!

    Roxanne

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  3. My older daughter and her husband are school teachers. Great job for people with kids of their own. Love the hours and frequent breaks.

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  4. What a fabulous post. I put the poem on my FB page. Everyone over 40 who reads it will laugh and nod, with tears in their eyes. Under 40s will think it's, you know, lame?

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  5. Jane and Lance, What were your areas of teaching and what level? I find that interesting, and would love to know. It is a noble profession when done well, and very hard work. It is not a "job" one leaves behind them when they go home at the end of the day.



    Roxi, One must speak with conviction. Yes. Absolutely.



    Gigi, I can see why it's a good profession to share with your children due to the same hours and such. I'm sure they are both wonderful teachers.



    Linda M, Glad you liked this. It's fun, joining in the spirit of it, isn't it?

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  6. My grandnephew called today for help with his grammar and I felt the old rush. I chose the right career for myself and never regretted the choice. I was pretty good.

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  7. I've never heard him before Teresa, but very much enjoyed his style and presentation and message. It really is pathetic that we no longer honor teachers, nor pay them their just due.
    Also, I've never seen this Rockwell before. Nice.
    Yelp, the times have certainly changed.

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  8. I will add that we remember great teachers far longer than wealthy lawyers. I often heard that I was too bright to have chosen education and should have been a lawyer or doctor. On these occasions, I made Mr. Mali proud. Thanks for this post. Bittersweet it is.

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  9. Cletis, I have no doubt that you were/are a wonderful teacher. Your students were blessed.


    Towanda, I do like your new "name." Our pay system, here in the U.S., is really backwards. Celebrities and athletes make millions, and those who make a real difference make a pittance in comparison. It's not right, but apparently that's not relevant.

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  10. Love both of these, like, ya know. Really. totally..for sure!

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  11. Definitely beautiful.

    Teachers, I think, have a harder row to hoe these days than ever before, and most do a phenomenal job of it.

    These were wonderful and fun to watch as well.

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  12. This was a great post Teresa, thanks! I'm actually excited to be going back to school - the summer was nice (and I do sub a little for summer classes) but I missed the kids. I feel blessed that I have a job that I love, and though it can be really stressful, it's also very rewarding.

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  13. LadyCat, They're like, really cool, ya know?




    Penny, I agree. It's a tough job. No doubt about it. Glad you enjoyed these.




    Li, How have I missed that you're a teacher? How very blessed they are. Your creativity must be a wonderful addition to your classroom.

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  14. Loved these...thanks for some much needed giggles.

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  15. Brilliant! I make five-year-olds love school and cry because it's a weekend or holiday :)

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  16. Thanks for the link, it's a great poem, and a fantastic use of graphics too

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  17. Pogonip, Welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting. How fortunate they are! The world needs more teachers who are capable of this. It's great when kids love school. It can make all the difference in life for many.

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  18. Jenny, I think the graphics added to the words and gave them a bit of oomph. Glad you enjoyed these.

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  19. Do teachers still teach
    I mean do they put it out ?
    Or is it just show?
    Tell me teach so that I know
    If you all still teach or no ?

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  20. Paul, Well, I used to be a teacher, a long time ago, and I know that most do teach, whatever the level or subject. I think the bad apples, shall we say, are very few and far between. Most teachers teach, and their students love them for it. They sure aren't in it for the money.

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  21. I always hope I made a few stars, and did a few times.I have one family I stayed friends with for the last 30 years from our initial experience.

    I used to go to a few poetry sessions at a Borders, and the presentations were fun.I was thinking of one type of poem where you added or subtracted a line from each verse,up to 10 I thought. I have played with a few thoughts with this.

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  22. Steve, It's good when you know you've made a difference. Poetry is very open-ended. It can take so many different forms, which is what makes it fun, and meaningful.

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