Taylor Mali, Slam Poet, Is My New Favorite Hero

Known for his tirade defending the teaching profession, Taylor Mali is my new favorite hero. I love the Youtube video that has gone viral. I love him more when I read his comment about how his What Teacher’s Make poem has been copied and sent and referred to over and over that it is now known, in some circles, to be written by anonymous.

Mali said, “National Public Radio did a story about the adventures of the poem in 2004. Am I disappointed not to have received credit for writing this poem that has inspired so many? Used to be. But the truth will always come out in the end. And if I had to choose between inspiring teachers anonymously or not inspiring them at all, I would choose anonymous inspiration every time.”

Yep. My hero.

When asked at a dinner party what did he make as a teacher he replied…

“What do I make? Teachers make a difference. Now, what about you?”

But do you need a laugh? I mean, a really good belly laugh? Enjoy this. (Mommy alert! Adult language is used. Turn down the volume, please.)


Filed under Teaching

13 responses to “Taylor Mali, Slam Poet, Is My New Favorite Hero

  1. I love both of those videos (have seen them before). As a teacher, I too consider him a “hero” – defending my choice of profession against those who would say: “Those who can, do, and those who cannot, teach”. I can – and do – make a difference EVERY day!

  2. Thanks for sharing these, Jane…sending to my teacher friends!


  3. Very inspiring. I can see why it’s gone viral. 🙂

    (Sorry, my comments aren’t witty today. Must be an off day….)

  4. I found a typo in that second video. 🙂

  5. I’d never heard of him. Thanks!

    Oh, that laugh!!!!

  6. It’s totally viral. That guy rocks.

  7. The first video is my favorite. I watch it on days when teaching is so hard that I think I cannot go on. It inspires me to know that I am making a difference. That I am working at a job that pays nothing but is worth the world. Thank you for calling attention to the noblest of professions!

  8. This is great. Thanks Jane. I had never heard of him before (I’m sad to admit this).

  9. LOL That made my night.

  10. Mr. Mali, where have you been all my life? Thanks for sharing, Jane!

  11. I had never heard of Mali until I watched the videos you provide and he’s a howl! I like that he’s rather gritty as opposed to distinguished and that’s what worked for me. I wouldn’t have enjoyed what he had to say as much if he were a gentle reminder of what he did.

    Good choice for a new hero!

  12. I always proofread my comments, but, after I’ve published them, they always turn out to have some flaw that makes me look like an imbecile. If the blog owner was a Blogger blogger, I can remove the imbecilic comment, but then there’s a statement next to my icon that reads,”This comment removed by author,” which doesn’t makes me look either sneaky or sheepish. If the blogger is a WordPress writer, I can’t even manage to look sneeky or sheapish. I wonder what this one will be.

  13. I worry about education. I worry that teachers have lost the passion – not through any fault of their own, but because it has been driven out of them by the requirement to teach kids to pass tests instead of giving them an education.
    This is not the fault of the teachers – the fault here lies with the lawmakers and politicians who think that the way to solve problems is to put more rules and tests in place. One of my favorite quotes – if you put fences around people you get sheep.
    Those teachers that manage to maintain the desire and passion to educate – and there are many of them out there – deserve the highest praise, because that is not easy to do in the teaching environment today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s