May 9, 2013

What Learning Leaves by Taylor Mali

Description: YouTube search “What Teachers Make” and witness almost 5 million views. It’s not a video about teacher’s salaries; it’s a poem performed by New York City poet and four-time National Poetry Slam champion Taylor Mali, the world’s most popular, passionate teacher turned full-time poet. His new spring release, What Learning Leaves, is an eloquent and entertaining poetry collection centering on his experiences as a middle school teacher.

My Review: It's Teacher Appreciation Week, so I thought I would highlight a teaching-related title I read recently and really enjoyed. During my previous career as a teacher, I remember watching Taylor Mali recite his poetry on YouTube, and I even purchased some audio versions of my favorites. I saw this title on NetGalley and couldn't resist requesting it and reading it right away.

This collection includes several of my favorite poems: 
"Like Lilly Like Wilson" 
"What teachers make" 
"The the impotence of proofreading" 
"Totally like whatever, you know?" 
"Falling in love is like owning a dog" 

Mali is one of the few writers who can make me laugh on one page and cry on the next.  He really has a gift for capturing the experience of being a teacher, and he writes beautiful poems about love, life, and grief as well. I definitely recommend picking this one up, especially if you are a teacher (or if you need a gift for a teacher!). To learn more about Mali or purchase his work, visit his website,


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