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July 23, 2013

Taylor Mali - What Teachers Make and The Viking Warrior

I've been wanting to write a post about Taylor Mali for a while now.  This post on Mrs. Brosseau's blog encouraged me to write it today.  I looooooove Taylor Mali.  I'm sure you've heard of him (and if you haven't, you're in for a treat!).  "He is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement and one of the few people in the world to have no job other than of a poet." (David Moody) Mali is a very vocal advocate for teachers and the nobility of teaching, as he was himself a teacher.  He says it like it is when it comes to our wonderful, amazing profession.  One of his most popular poems is "What Teachers Make".  This poem makes me so incredibly proud to be a teacher.  I get goosebumps, I smile, laugh, and tear-up every single time I watch/listen/read it.  (***WARNING! some strong language)

This is a cartoon version of this poem and I think it's brilliant!  (By the way, Zen Pencils is a great website! You'll want to check it out!)  I'll be one of the first people to buy this print if it ever becomes available!

This is also one of my absolute favourite Mali poems.  It's about an amazing student who has left our world way too soon and I can somehow relate to it.  This poem absolutely breaks my heart and usually leaves me sobbing, because of the experience of tragically losing a 12 yr old student of our school to suicide a couple of years ago.  It was one of the worse things I've ever had to go through.  Seeing her classmates and the school come together to support each other was also an experience that will haunt me forever. The site of a group of 30 12 and 13 year old students dressed up, heads bowed, holding hands, holding each other while crying, talking and laughing while they remembered her was striking.  She was our Viking Warrior.

For more on Taylor Mali, please visit his website, http://www.taylormali.com.  There is tons of great stuff on his site.

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