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Taylor Malis List of 1,000 Teachers

Here is the list of the teachers I have created through poetry, persuasion, and perseverance. Does your name belong here? If so, click the link above that says What About You? and fill out the form at the bottom of that page.

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1000. Mary Ann E. (TN)

Friday, October 28, 2011

I am the youngest of 14 children and the only one to attend college. I went to college because that was one thing that I could do that a brother or sister had not beat me to! My father was so proud that his baby girl got the education that he never had. I got a BS from APSU in 2006. I had my first child, Araya Hope in 2007. After seeing the "light bulb" go off when she was learning things for the first time, I knew that I wanted to see that expression on the faces of other people. I toyed with the idea of going back to college (again) and getting another degree - one in teaching. When I told this to a dear friend, he sent me a link of you: "what teachers make" I was hooked .... and here I am two semesters from graduating to be a teacher! Thank you, Taylor Mali for you encouragement, support and laughs! P.S. I'm working on a follow up to "what teachers make"

999. Dominic W. (United Kingdom)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Watching 'What Teachers Make' made me question exactly what contribution I was making in my PR career. It was the first in a chain of events that made me revisit the idea of becoming a teacher and affirmed that the idea was a good one. Having been a teacher since September this year, nothing I have done before or since has felt so natural or important. I look forward to doing this for the rest of my working life. Thanks Taylor.

998. Griffin P. (NV)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

I am not a teacher yet. I am, however, an Education Major at the University of Nevada, Reno. I wasn't always an education major; I was a criminal justice before that. I was going to be a public defender. It was always my goal to help people, and I always thought that public defender was the best way to do that. Until I came across your piece, "What Teachers make." From the moment the recording ended, I had it in mind to track down all of the teachers I had ever had and talk to them about teaching. Ultimately, I decided I had a greater potential to help as a teacher than as any kind of lawyer. I credit you with the change in my career path, so your name became a dirty word in my family's house. Every single time someone asks me why I gave up law for Education, I tell them about YOU, and what teachers make.

997. Ryan V. (AZ)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I never knew what I really wanted to be when I finally grew up. I was bouncing around from dead end job to dead end job and really going nowhere in life. Then I saw "What Teachers Make." Your words really put into focus something that had been fuzzy in my head. I always volunteered in my mother's class and I always had a blast, but I always believed that being a male elementary school teacher would be seen as ... weird. I think you know what I mean by "weird". That was until I saw you say "If you have this, and you follow this." I decided to go for it and I am happy to say that I graduate May 5th. Thank you Mr. Mali, your words inspired me to better myself. On May 5th, I will be the second person in the Vaughan family to graduate college with a degree in Elementary Education. I always share your poems to anyone going into the teaching profession in the hopes that they will feel what I did. The image I selected is the chess pawn. In case anyone reading this doesn't play chess, the pawn is the weakest piece. In fact, good chess players will kill off their pawns for tactical purposes. If the pawn can make it all the way to the other side of the board it can become the most powerful piece on the board. I am going through that journey right now and if I can graduate then I myself become a powerful piece, a teacher. Then my job becomes to take a classroom full of pawns and help them make the journey across the board so they can realize their potential in the world and seize that potential. I hope that I can do for my kids what you have done for me. The best to you and yours, Mr. Mali.

996. Katrina Z. (CO)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I first saw "What Teachers Make" while I was still in high school. I can't remember if it was shown to me or if I stumbled upon it on my own. But, at that time, I knew I definitely did NOT want to teach. "What Teachers Make" made me see teaching in a new light. I had only thought of jobs as a source of money, but it helped me to understand working is so much more than that. Throughout my undergrad career I've been a volunteer teacher for K-12 in both the US and Japan and I've loved it! This fall I'll start working toward my teaching license and I feel my future is bright. This picture is at an elementary school in Japan while I was being mobbed by students eager to practice their English with me! Seeing students' excitement to learn is the best pay of all.

995. Gustaf N. (Sweden)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I have always expected that I would be a teacher but never really dared. Taylor\'s inspiration gave me the nerve to do it (teaching in library and information science).

994. Lara C. (Canada)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I am a second generation teacher, who swore up and down she would never, NEVER, enter the teaching profession. In my early 20s that began to change and I altered my course towards teaching. During my second practicum of student teaching I was ready to quit. I thought I'd made a mistake and I was not cut out for this profession. In March of 2001, I was in tears after another hard day of what I believed to be failure and separately "What Teachers Make" came from 2 different sources: my faculty advisor and the school's vice-principal. Both mentors using this poem as a means of inspiring me to keep going because they believed in me. It worked. I've been a teacher in my district since May 2001, and I'm currently finishing up my M.Ed and settling in for what I hope will be a long career in education.

993. Audri S. (TX)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

It was definitely the "What Teachers Make" youtube video that a friend posted on my Facebook page that helped me make the decision. At the time, I was seemingly a career student. I had jumped from major to major, and I was running out of both time and student loans. The problem was that I couldn't find any real meaning in any of my previous career choices. I have never been motivated by money. My goal in life is to make a difference somehow, to leave the world in a better state than when I entered it. The "What Teachers Make" video was a lightbulb moment. Living in Texas, I have been very disappointed in the piss poor state of education. My children struggle every single day against the pressure to conform in a "sit down and shut up" environment. I hope to change that. I am currently in my second-to-last semester toward earning my degree in special education, the part of the field I can see myself making the most impact in. I've also spent the past year teaching in daycare, something I would never have seen myself doing a few years ago. Talk about lousy pay! So, anyway, thank you. People do listen.

992. Vidia P. (Indonesia)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I graduated as a Chemical Engineer from the US, but I have always had great respect for the profession of teacher. I saw Taylor's work on youtube and fell in love with it. I posted it on the Facebook wall of all my friends who were teachers. When I went back to Indonesia I got a job as a lecturer in a new university. But we are in a unique position as we take our students from West Papua, students who never had the opportunity to get a good education before. So for most of the time, we teach them junior high and high school level materials. Sometimes people ask me why did I choose to be a lecturer and work with people from West Papua when I can work as an engineer. And when people ask that I remember Taylor's poem, and I remember why.

991. Jo Dee B. (IN)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I really did want to be a teacher when I was growing up but circumstances led me to a 20-year career where my most recent position was a senior developer (computer programmer). Then the company for which I worked decided to close the facility where I was located. So, I decided to take my degree in math and get certified to teach. After some student teaching, a certification, substituting and adjunct work at a local community college, I finally landed a job teaching in a local middle/high school. Believe me when I say there were a few times I wanted to give up the idea of teaching and just go find a job pounding keys because it seemed like no opportunities would open for me. Youtube reruns of "What Teachers Make" kept me going when I wanted to give up. When I'm feeling discouraged by politics, a couple of difficult students, or the inevitable loneliness that sometimes comes from my career choice, I watch reruns of that video. I walk around and tell myself, "I make a goddamn difference". And when I see light bulbs go on in the classroom, when a student says, "thanks to you", or my principal says, "you belong here" I am reminded why I do what I do - because I followed my heart. Was this an itch I had without you, Taylor? Sure. But you kept me motivated to follow my dream and to continue to strive to be the best teacher I can be. I think that counts. Thank you.

990. Shelby S. (FL)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In my last year of working on my English degree, I was unsure of what I wanted to do after graduation. It was around that time I first saw a video of "What Teachers Make." Teaching was always something I had resisted when I was younger, but something started to change in me, and Taylor's worked definitely influenced that change. I decided to apply to a M.S. Teaching program, and here I am about to graduate again, but this time I know exactly what I'm doing after graduation.

989. Morgan C. (KS)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Even if this doesn't count, I'd like you to know how you impacted me. I always thought I wanted to be a teacher, but in college I got discouraged and wound up heading of to get my MA in English, hoping for a publishing or copy-editing job eventually. After graduation, I searched for such jobs, but ended up taking the only one I could find - teaching English at a state university. Then, I stumbled across your poetry. I stopped applying for editing jobs and instead enrolled in a PhD program in Curriculum and Instruction. Teaching, both students and teachers, will be my life now. And when I get frustrated, I just turn on a video of "What Teachers Make" and it reminds me that I am making a difference and that it is all worth it in the end.

988. Tracy T. (VT)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

When I first watched your video on what teachers make, I was sitting in a classroom full of other teachers-to-be in our very first education class. The video was not only a blessing and inspirational, but we all felt so much pride. A few weeks prior to viewing your video, a custodial worker came into the classroom that I work in ( as an aide) he looked at me, smirked, and said " Didjah ever think you'd be workin' in a day care?". He grunted, feeling proud of himself for insulting my chosen profession and went on his way. 1. It is called EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION. I do not care for days. I care for children. 2. Did YOU ever think you would be cleaning toilets?? At first I was furious and sad. This was my first encounter with someone who bluntly pointed out that my work was less than important. I knew that there was a bias around teachers, specifically those in Early Ed, but it was never a reality to me. I spoke to my professor about what happened. She said to me- I have something special to show the class tomorrow- hang tight. Before viewing your video I felt lost, confused, angry...ready to give up my idea of becoming a teacher. After watching your video, I had enough courage that I went to the custodial man at the school and said to him " As far as I am concerned, I have the most important job in the world. And I love it." Other people in the classroom who at first were just taking the class as a filler ended up taking additional edu classes. THANK YOU!

987. Evan J. P. (WA)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

During my sophomore year of undergrad at Florida State University, my fiction technique professor, Mark Canter (Ember from the Sun), used to play tracks from Taylor's cd. These included "What Teachers Make" and the spell check poem. When I decided to become a writing teacher, I thought about Taylor's work and how I would rather be happy than wealthy. I'd rather feel like my work is meaningful than consider my work to be inconsequential. Now, teaching is a wonderful day job while I also write and publish. Thanks, Taylor!

986. Tony B. (CA)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My inspiration for pursuing teaching as a career began when I discovered Tupac Shakur's poetry collection titled, "A Rose That Grew from Concrete". Shakur's poetry impacted me so much in its meaningful messages that I was compelled to find out Shakur's take on what languages can do. I found out that Shakur knew from age 8 how powerful language was in its potential to energize people to change society for the better. When I was exposed to the slam poetry scene during high school, Taylor Mali just happened to come along in my research of good slam poets. As I did with Shakur, I also looked in Taylor Mali and all that he encompassed. Malis influence was extraordinary in what I found out via the SlamNation documentary, his works of poetry my English teachers brought up, and the video clips of him performing his various pieces all over the internet. Mali, similarly to Shakur, said that, I want to remind people of the potential of this language we have and what we can do with it. Both Mali and Shakur have inspired me to pursue teaching because they are 2 role models I look up to; Mali and Shakur are empowering teachers because they are both influential artists and visionaries. I have been working youth since I can remember; teaching elementary school kids in my youth groups, tutoring math during high school, and formally teaching my first class at the University of California, Irvine in July 2011 as a discussion leader. I plan joining TeachForAmerica after I graduate in 2012.

985. Victoria C. (NC)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I grew up in New Jersey. I took a class called Creative Writing in high school with the most influential teacher I probably ever had, Ms. Strout. She had us listen to Taylor Mali, she even got us "Like free zone" stickers and pencils. I always wanted to be a teacher, ever since I was little. Instead, I went to Culinary School in North Carolina. I will graduate this year with my Bachelors in Food Service Managment at the age of 22. At 23, I will begin my quest in becoming the Elementary school teacher I have always wanted to become. Listening to "What teachers make" gives me inspiration to change the lives of many children.

984. Robert v. (Netherlands)

Monday, March 26, 2012

I had been told on numerous occasions that I had a talent for teaching. Although I considered it as a career, the financial aspect of it put me off. What pushed me back to teaching was the assembly where Taylor Mali came to speak at my high school, and the YouTube search for his work that followed. Taylor's poems about teaching (such as "What Teachers Make" and "Miracle Workers") made me realize that the benefits to myself and to society are much greater and more important than my potential salary. The picture of me was taken at my high school graduation. Now I'm in college, and I'm teaching math to high school kids on the side. I plan to continue teaching when I finish my degrees. Thanks Taylor!

983. Sarah P. (CA)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I am an eighteen-year-old senior, aiming to major in Humanities for Teaching at Seattle University. Although I have had mixed feelings about following my dream to become a high school teacher, your spoken word has definitely motivated me even more to achieve that dream. Everything Taylor Mali had said was absolutely true, and I know that I want to BE a difference and make a difference in a youth's life. I want to inspire them to always think critically for themselves. I want to be a role model for them. I want to challenge them to be the best person they can be, and to inspire them to accomplish their goals, too. I want to do all of this, despite the criticism I get for even thinking of this career. I have experienced many forms of teaching throughout high school already. For example, I have taught English lessons to native Spanish speakers at a Day Workers' center; algebra to junior high students at low-income schools; and bible study to youth at my local parish. I am aware of the eye rolling and ridiculing and the questioning I will get for my desire to become a teacher, but I know that this is meant for me. After watching your video as it came up on my Tumblr dashboard, I have been ultimately inspired to pursue this passion of mine. Thank you, Mr. Mali!

982. Stella B. (OR)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In 2005, I attended the New England Young Writers Conference at Middlebury College in Vermont. Taylor Mali entered my universe like a bat out of some hilarious and painfully honest hell realm. In the years since, I have traveled and dabbled and wandered and wondered and, finally, I have decided that no profession suits me as perfectly as teaching. I have been writing poems for as long as I can remember, but it was not until I beheld Mr. Mali in all of his crazy majesty that I realized the profound power of words to transform minds, if wielded skillfully. Teaching is, in my opinion, the most compassionate profession whose myriad benefits radiate out indefinitely. There are many ways of teaching, but the way that comes most naturally to me is through poetry. I did not realize the potential for spoken word as a teaching tool until I met Taylor Mali. His poems distill complex ideas and shoot them right into the hearts of his listeners, who at that very instant become his students. Moreover, he understands this power, and uses his words to benefit this world which desperately needs more teachers like himself. With this in mind I vow to follow in his footsteps, and use poetry as a skillful and compassionate means to teach, uplift, and enlighten.

981. Justin M. (PA)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Throughout my junior year in college I began to stray away from the thought of teaching even though it is what I thought I wanted to do. With each day, the drive for becoming a teacher inside me grew less and less. On one fine day in April, my teacher showed us a poem called "Speak with Conviction." This poem forced me to research more of this Taylor Mali character. After I did my research and found "What Teachers Make" and "Miracle Workers," the thought became clear, teaching was the right place for me. Thanks to Mr. Mali, the thought that once began its decent, had returned. Thanks to Mr. Mali, I graduated from my perspective university and now I am currently holding a substitute teaching position. Without him, I find it hard to believe that I would have continued the career path of teaching. A final cheer gladly goes out to Mr. Mali for putting me back on the teaching path and for that, I thank thee. Sincerely, Justin Magistro P.S. My image is of my mother and I because she has been the greatest teacher that I have ever known.

980. Patrick V. (Germany)

Friday, March 23, 2012

I just started studying this thing that could be called nursing education, so it's a long way to go until I reach me goal and become an official "teacher". Make a change, change the world - piece by piece. First I thought about Management to change things but after the insparation of my own definition of taylorism I get serious to be a Pro-"teacher". As a (male) nurse you teach differnt things almost on your whole shift. Right now just after a few weeks of study I got teached so much and realized what curious work it is to teach, break complecated things down to a easy level, make people critisize and ask for more knowledge. Taylor Mali inspires me every single day to do my very best if I ever want to open minds and help other people to do their very best. Thx you Mr. Mali! I make a difference! - if you want correct gramma, spelling etc feel free to do it and teach me so I can be (better).

979. Rasha K. (NY)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

In my third year of college, I watched Def Poetry Jam religiously-- like my life depended on it. Odd enough, the rest of my life really did depend on seeing Taylor Mali for the first time, perform "What Teachers Make". Poetry was also my oxygen at the time and I remember thinking to myself "wow, what was that...i just felt electricity through my mind, chills down my body and a heaviness in heart" I now identify that feeling as inspiration; inspiration to become something I never dreamed or anticipated becoming--a teacher. I'm finishing up my first year teaching at an alternative High School in Brooklyn, NY and ....get ready for the corny is both the most rewarding and exquisitely draining thing I have ever experienced. Looking forward to year 2! Thank you Taylor!

978. Maddie D. (Australia)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Last year I was Just this 20 year old in Australia deciding randomly to study an education degree because "hey, that could be a fun job, ya know?" Then, 3 minutes later, some dude named Taylor taught me that I can choose to make a commitment - so I did: These kids are the next in line to save the world, so I better make them awesome. I don't want to understand them or even know their names. I just want to make them happy, and I want to make them good. Do you know what it is like to be charged with moulding the beings that will populate our society? Or to model the morals that will be considered and copied forever? Ah, it is not challenging or even work. It is learning and it is a blessing. These videos helped me figure out how to make myself happy - I'm going to be a teacher and that's what I'll do.

977. Peter S. (PA)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. But when I got to college I had several experiences that made me consider changing paths. When I had class with Dr. Cardoni at Marywood I was reassured when she brought in the poem "Like Lily Like Wilson". It inspired me to continue. Whenever I have doubts about my teaching career, when I have difficulty in my student teaching placements, I watch a YouTube clip of you and I am inspired to keep going,because I know it will be worth the journey. I have been very discouraged about my life path lately, but when you were at Marywood, on Monday, March 19 I remembered all that you stand for, and the values that I share with you. I can't wait until I have my own classroom when I may share inspiration and encouragement with children who are our future.

976. Julia M. (ID)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

You have inspired me time and time again! I just love your poem, my favorite, on pens. Everytime I think this task is too huge I pause and reflect... What would Taylor Mali do? So, if you ever doubt have I made a mark just remember the people and how you've spoken to their hearts. I tear up when I think of all the teachers you've made become better than they were yesterday. I better stop now I'm taking up too much space, but just know because of you this world is a better place.

975. Jon N. (MA)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I saw Taylor Mali perform at Marywood University on March 19th, 2012. I was familiar with Mr. Mali's poetry, as we had watched some of his performances via YouTube in one of my English classes. I have been preparing to enter a PhD program in English Literature, and will indeed begin my program in the Fall of 2012. Mr. Mali's performance encouraging, exciting, and uplifting; his performance of his poetry, and his his passion for teaching, has sparked an interest in me. Before Mr. Mali's performance, I was not necessarily excited about teaching. I was aware that, most likely, it would be my profession, though I was more excited about the prospect of working at a Research 1 university, where my primary responsibilities would be conducting research and getting my work published. Since Mr. Mali's reading, I have abandoned those plans; while I will still be attending a PhD program, I will be doing so with the end goal of becoming a full time professor, rather than a full time researcher. Taylor Mali has inspired me to become a teacher.

974. Faith R. (PA)

Monday, March 19, 2012

I honestly have always wanted to become a teacher. Yet, there were always things that has daunted me about the teaching profession. What if what they say is true and I will burn out after 5 years? How will I ever face hecklers or people who belittle teachers and say that teaching must have been my "back up" or that I'm not worthy of their social approval? After watching Mali perform "What Teachers Make" youtube, I soon began to realize I was not the only one who had been faced with these challenging questions. Taylor Mali has taken the very act of teaching and has been able to glorify it in a way that I can say that my decision to become a teacher has not only been influenced, but also reinforced by Mali's words. After watching this one video I sought out more and upon watching a few other poems, purchasing "The Last Time As We Are", reading more poems and actually meeting Mali in person, I was convinced that teaching was no longer something I should shy away from or be afraid to embrace. It is something that I will use to define who I am and what I do and I will never allow anyone to belittle me based on my paycheck or what they think I may not be able to do. Thanks to Taylor Mali, I will never be afriad to respond to the question: "What do you make?" With: "I make a difference, How about you?"

973. Colleen W. (PA)

Monday, March 19, 2012

I have been attending Marywood University for 4 years now and I'll be starting my student teaching in the fall. I have sat through class after class and asked "Why do you want to be a teacher? What made you want to become a teacher?" I would give my answers, "Well, I've worked with kids since I was in 8th grade by babysitting and the Summer Rec program at my school." It wasn't until recently when I really truly looked at what made me want to stay in this major. I love the light students get when they get that answer and you know that you've taught them something meaningful. Then I went and listened to Taylor Mali's poetry and it just reinforced everything that I've discovered about myself. It's not about loving working with kids, it's about that spark you give to students who say they won't need this in life or they just don't get it. That is why I want to be a teacher.

972. Amanda A. (PA)

Monday, March 19, 2012

I was already pursuing my career in English Secondary Education when I came across Taylor's poem "What Teachers Make". The poem solidifies why I want to be a teacher. In reality it is not about how much money I make it is about what I make students create and learn. I know I chose the perfect career because everyday I love what I am doing.

971. Katie J. (PA)

Monday, March 19, 2012

In high school, I never wanted to be a teacher. I hated even the suggestion of it, but as graduation loomed, I realized I wanted to do everything. And nothing. I had hated school, but my parents forced me into college. I eventually wound up majoring in Philosophy. What could I possibly do with that? Then, a professor from college posted a video in defense of teachers on Facebook. It struck me so deeply I literally had chills. And, as all philosophers do when presented with something that profound, I reflected. Deeply. And realized, it wasn't school or teaching that I hated. It was the indifference of high schoolers just like me toward learning in general. I thought about the few great teachers in my life-the ones that DID make a difference, and realized, there's nothing more euphoric than knowing I made the same difference.

970. Kelly R. (PA)

Monday, March 19, 2012

I was always on the fence deciding whether or not to pursue a career in teaching. When I finally decided, it was thanks to "What Teachers Make". The poem never fails to bring tears to my eyes and make me realize that I can be the difference in a child's life, the way Mr. Mali has been the difference in mine. I am happy to say that I will be graduating next year with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish, and through all the toils and wondering about what my future holds, I can credit some of my love of learning continuously and finding teachable moments in everyday to Mr. Mali.

969. Briana S. (PA)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Taylor Mali has influenced me to pursue and continue a path in Secondary English Education. I am now in my final weeks before graduation and I have spent the semester teaching in the classroom. It is definitely the path I am meant to take, and being so close to the finish line, I want nothing more than to share it with the world.

968. Carrie W. (PA)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

After viewing "What Teacher's Make", a fire was ignited deep within me. It started in a room that had long since been forgotten. It was a room where I had long since stored all the things I had never been able to do, because I was too...afraid. It burned slowly at first, when I received paperwork from my son's school that said they couldn't meet his needs. It grew when I began to look at the alternatives online, because little did I know that I *was* a teacher. I had no credentials or paperwork bestowed upon me, and yet I was a teacher. I accumulated the tools I would need, and the fire grew. It burned up everything around me: the doubt, the fear, the unknown. I became a homeschool teacher. I dared to "meet my son's needs". I had the audacity to never give up, regardless of the difficulty and frustration. I am a teacher. It was because of you, sir. I now homeschool our 4 children, and the fifth has gone back to public school. I feel that he is better prepared to ask the tough questions, and to infuriate the other teachers by constantly challenging the status quo. Thank you!

967. Corinn K. (NY)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My mom teaches high school chorus. My dad used to teach high school math. And now I want to teach theater. Growing up, I went through countless career phases. I wanted to be a vet, a firefighter, a pop star, you name it, I thought about it. But teaching was always sort of...there. Hovering at the back of my mind. As I got older, I began to see the difference my mother made in the lives of her students. It was amazing and I thought, "I want to do that." I never thought seriously about becoming a teacher, I just knew I wanted to make a difference. Then my boyfriend showed me "What Do Teachers Make," and suddenly it clicked. I had to be a teacher. I had no other choice. To Mr. Mali, thank you for opening my eyes. If I want to make the biggest difference in someone's life, I must teach.

966. Virginia B. (KS)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

During my second year of conservation biology studies at Kansas State I had a slight panic attack when I realized that I didn't actually enjoy the field that much or know what I wanted to with my degree (and my life). Not only was the material dry, but I realized that I missed the classroom environment with the challenges and interactions fostered by my teachers that made life exciting. I worried about this issue to the point of considering leaving college because I didn't know if I had what it took to jump in and see things from the instructor's viewpoint. One night, a friend referred me to a Youtube clip of "What Teachers Make" and, after much deliberation and discussion with family and old teachers, I made the switch from biology to Secondary Education in English. I'm now finishing up my second year in the graduate program at KSU and having the time of my life teaching Expos 2. Every week I get to have awesome conversations with my students while helping them to navigate forms of argumentation and audience values/concerns, evaluating and critiquing current issues, and convincing others of their positions. Through teaching, I get to see students problem solve issues in class and then apply these ideas to their own careers, reason through problems with each other, and challenge myself to think about my own beliefs in new ways.

965. Patricia H. (AL)

Monday, March 12, 2012

I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher. However, upon working at an Elementary school, and experiencing the joys of teaching first hand, I realized that I wanted to teach differently. Your poem, "I Make a Different Kind of Difference" which I stumbled upon while reading your blog archives, may not have spoken to me directly, but it allowed me to feel like my career choice is still teaching, just in a different way. I am choosing to pursue a degree in Speech-Language Pathology to become a speech therapist at an elementary school. I discovered this while working with a girl who had trouble speaking. I know that it is not considered the traditional "teaching", but I will be teaching kids everyday. No, I will not teach them math, reading, writing, etc... but I will help kids to overcome obstacles that could effect them the rest of their lives. Thank you, Mr. Mali for helping me realize that I will be a teacher, no matter what form I choose.

964. Maggie S. (VT)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My life has always been surrounded by words. For as long as I can remember, I grew up thinking that I was going to be a writer. I didn't know what type of writer, but I just knew that the English language would play some role in my future. It wasn't until I was in seventh grade that I first heard of your work when a group of local slam poets came to my school for a workshop. I fell in love with your words and your passion; I fell in love with the profession that you so adamantly pushed to receive proper recognition from society. After hearing "What Teachers Make," other pieces of teaching began to trickle into my life. It wasn't until two years later when I was in ninth grade that I realized what all of these clues meant, which all stemmed from the first time I heard your poem: I needed to become a teacher. Going back to talk to all of my old teachers, I remember telling them of my new plans to not be a writer, but instead be an English teacher, and they all nodded their heads knowingly. "I always knew you'd end up teaching someday," they all told me. Apparently I have had this desire to teach just as long as I have had my desire to write, but I was completely unaware of it until I first discovered your poetry. So thank you, Taylor, for opening my eyes. I am now finishing up my first year at St. Lawrence University where I will one day receive my degree in education. Thank you for leading me down this path that I never realized would feel so right.

963. Taylor M. (Canada)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mr. Mali you've always been an inspiration! Keep up the excellent work. Your poem "What Teachers Make" has impacted me incredibly and is a constant motivator when things get discouraging. :)

962. Jill W. (CA)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The first time I heard "What Teachers Make," I think the universe shifted a little bit. You know the feeling--something very definite settles into place and your future looks a little bit righter. Before that, I thought teaching would be vaguely cool, something I'd maybe someday be a little bit interested in. But Taylor put words and a shape to the thing I really wanted: to raise up the next generation of students, and to show them the world. "Miracle Workers" was as much a nail in the coffin as "What Teachers Make." Loved it. And I am so going to be a teacher. Thanks Taylor. :)

961. Jennifer H. (OH)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I have been lurking on the edge of the education field, in one way or another, since 2001, tho I have yet to get my teaching credentials. I have pushed, for 10 years, to figure out my own way to make a difference for children. In 2001, I went to the near east side of Cleveland to help a boy get set up for state-supported home schooling, since he was afraid of going to school for fear of being shot, AGAIN. His parents had a 9th-grade education. Helping that 9 year-old boy, with a glass eye and a brain injury, achieve his first A sealed the deal. I HAD to work with kids. While teaching Waldorf pre-school, tutoring teen boys in math and managing an organic farm, in Colorado, I saw the light. I wrote a business model for a farm/group home facility for at-risk and foster kids. I want to help them find their way, positively in the world through; giving them a stable and positive home, giving them a way to earn money until they graduate from high school, teaching them basic life skills, picking a trade or going to college...or not..and inspiring them to be the best that they can possibly be at all times. I have been working on this business model since 2007, when I went to India to volunteer teach English to Tibetan refugees, nuns and monks. When I feel hopeless because of lack of funding for this foster facility, I think of Taylor. He reminds me that I don't have a choice but to keep trying. Thanks Taylor.

960. Ethan R. (AL)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Eversince I was a little boy, I always knew that I wanted to teach. My grandmother always told me that I needed to choose a career that would earn me a decent pay. Your "What a Teacher Makes" poem has inspired me. Despite what my grandmother or anyone else says, I will teach. It is not about the money. It is about the children. It's about doing something with my life that I know in my heart that I will be passionate about and love doing. Thank you Mr. Mali for the inspiration to take a stand for what I'm passionate about. Thanks to you, and my teachers both past and present, I have chosen to major in English with the sole intention of motivating and inspiring my future students to go far and beyond their limit and show them not only who they are but who and what they can be. The sky is the limit.

959. Megan F. (Trinidad)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Teaching was only a fond consideration but never an actual goal...until the job fell into my lap. I have no regrets and I love my job, but on the days when the kids seem to be fresh out of Crazytown and the Administrators are really being awful, you help my to remember that what we make is definitely beautiful. Thanks. Happy to be fighting the good fight.

958. Danielle S. (CT)

Monday, March 05, 2012

I began teaching Freshman Seminar and Composition at Quinnipiac University when I was 19-years-old. At this same time, Taylor Mali visited my school, but I was unable to attend his performance because I had night class. Horribly disappointed, I rolled around the Interwebs to YouTube to get my Taylor fix. It was there that I first saw "What Teachers Make," and realized that what I was doing inside the classroom did not remain there, but rather transcended into the lives of my students as they walked out of my classroom and around campus. "What Teachers Make" reminded me that what I do really does make a difference, even through the complaints of a "too-long" essay or reading assignment. Every day, I walk into class with the ambition to push my students harder and harder until they realize why I'm doing it. And regardless of whether or not "those that can't do, teach," the sad truth is that there are those who can't do, but they're a hell of a lot better than those who don't even try.

957. Kristen M. (NC)

Monday, March 05, 2012

I didn't always know I was going to be a teacher like some educators today did. In fact, up until my senior year of high school, my plan was to major in pre-veterinarian medicine when I went to school the following year. But during my senior year, in one of the classes I was taking to help me on my way to become a vet, I had a teacher that made me love learning and inspired me to become a teacher. Now four years later, I am finally student teaching and on my way to graduating in May and have had days where I questioned whether or not I want to be a teacher. You know, those days where everything about teaching just gets to you. I started to wonder, "Is this really what I want to do for the rest of my life?" That was until a friend shared with me the video, "What Teachers Make." I don't know how I have went four years in an education program without seeing this video, but it has confirmed my career choice as a teacher. I want to challenge students, I want to inspire students, I want to make them think for themselves... I want to make a difference.

956. Brandon D. (IN)

Saturday, March 03, 2012

A major direction A minor mistake A huge decision That I must make Throughout my life, Ive desired to speak Amongst hundreds Thousands, A podium I seek. I must make a difference In any way I can, I must change America, I must be the man Political ambitions Pecuniary greed Now heres my senior year, And NOW a new option to heed? A career in education, A Taylored suit for me? Possibly not, I remind myself, For fortune I dont foresee. After all, what does a teacher make? A figure I wasnt sure I knew A teacher makes a Goddamn difference, Now what about you? I was supposed to be researching where I would go, Not what I would go FOR, UChicago or Wabash? Neither nor It isnt where I go, That will impact my life the greatest But rather, my occupation Occupies me latest Though a concrete decision has yet to have been made This I must insist My story of sudden indecision Be enshrined in your list. Though I have yet to decide where I should be next fall, let alone the next 20 years, I thank you for taking the time to consider me for your list. I am a huge proponent of the value of teaching, but I am currently unsure of where I can make the biggest difference. I have always had an interest in politics, but I also see the value in teaching. I encourage everyone to consider teaching as a career path, but I myself have yet to decide how I want to aid the educational system as one of the many (a teacher) or as one of the few (an empathetic ear in Washington.)

955. Breanna B. (OH)

Friday, March 02, 2012

Taylor Mali has encouraged me to continue my pursuit of becoming a teacher. I decided to switch my major in college about six months ago from Speech Pathology to Special Education. The switch has been tough and exhausting. Ive been jumping through hoops, and even had to switch colleges. At times, its hard to stay focused on my goal and the reasons why I want to become a teacher. Its all about the kids, but when youre in a stuffy college classroom focusing is hard. The humor and poetry of Taylor Mali has kept me looking forward to the future. He makes me laugh, and fills up with passion for teaching that sometimes gets buried in term papers. I hope to graduate in two years with the very rare six-year bachelor degree. The picture I included is of me at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. An amazing graduate student teacher taught me something I never knew I could do, enjoy modern art. Its a picture that reminds me that my passions can influence others. Taylor Mali passion for poetry and humor inspires me and countless others.

954. Bennett C. (CT)

Friday, March 02, 2012

Taylor, when starting classes for my senior year in high school this past fall, I decided to take a poetry class. After much writing and sharing, I've developed quite a strong love for the art. Then, after hearing your work (yes, including "What Teachers Make"), seeing, and meeting you in person at Sarah Kay's birthday celebration at the Bowery, I've decided that I want nothing more than to continue exploring the art of poetry, sharing it, and teaching it to others through the beautiful craft of education. I am now on the track to start an undergraduate degree program in English and Adolescent Education next fall! Thank you so much, Taylor!

953. Brittany M. (NY)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Your poetry has inspired me and reaffirmed that I am meant to be a teacher. There is nothing else in this world that I have a bigger passion for. Teaching feels like home. I hope to have the same effect on my future students that you had on me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

952. Antoinette G. (NJ)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Currently, I am a junior at Salve Regina University and I am studying Secondary Education and Math. So far in all of my education classes, my professors have stressed the importance of divergent thinking and creativity in the classroom. In many high school math classes I have observed so far, neither creativity nor divergent thinking have been present in the classroom. From what I have seen in Taylor Mali's videos and lesson plans, he is very creative and uses this divergent thinking that I plan to use in my classroom when it is my turn to teach. I hope to use Taylor's methods in my teaching one day to help all of my students understand math and gain a passion for it, like I have done.

951. Benjamin W. (OH)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

After seeing your poem, I was inspired! I shared the link on Facebook for all to see, I've also shared it with all my professors, wait did I not mention that I am college student seeking my education degree? I grew up in a terrible school system and almost flunked out many times. All I knew of the world of teaching was the harsh and dismissive ways that my middle and high school teachers taught. After I struggled to graduate, I ran away from school as fast as I could. I entered the menial work force and never looked back. At the age of 32 I decided it was time for a change. I decided to enroll in college and get an education. But what to do with my life I had no idea. In august 2011 a friend of mine showed his wife, a pre-school teacher, your poem what teachers make on you tube. When I saw that poem I knew what I would do for the rest of my life. All Ive wanted to do from that moment on is to change the lives of the kids that are just like I was. I want to give them an inspiring teacher, one that can change their young minds before it is too late. I want to make all the loud mouth, misbehaving, and poor kid care about their education and the only way to do that is to care about them enough to try. I just want to thank you for your poem. Not to give you all the credit, because I was already going to try to make a difference, you just pinpointed the location for me. So again thanks "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." William Ward

950. Daniel H. (HI)

Friday, February 03, 2012

My reason for actually stepping out and doing this is simple. Your poetry reached deep down within me and confirmed that I can make a difference.

949. Erika M. (RI)

Friday, February 10, 2012

I am currently a Junior in college studying to be a high school English teacher. I came upon your talk describing what teachers make and I cannot explain to the motivation and excitement that came from within me. I am currently taking this class that is pushing the boundaries of education and asking questions about the way the education system works now. We need to implement divergent thinking. I immediately thought back to your video and decided, wow that is exactly what you are doing. From there on I looked at your TED website and finally your normal website. I looked at your lesson plans and became instantly excited. I am young and am able to molded. I want to push my students like you do. My ultimate goal when I am a teachers is to create independent thinkers, to push the norm. I want your help. I want you to help me become a better teacher and learn your method of teaching. I am going to be a student teacher soon and although I am being graded on the 'typical lesson plans', I want to use your ideas and come up with my own. You have gotten me to think outside of the box and not feel so constrained within standards. So whether you pick me or not, thank you for the inspiration and you can be sure that your practices will be mirrored within my future teaching. Also the picture below is my dream board. As I come across a poem, I put it behind the head of my bed. These poems make me think, make me question. That is what I want and that is what teaching represents to me--being excited about new ideas while being inspired from older pieces of work.

948. Beryn G. (AZ)

Monday, February 27, 2012

I am currently in the student teaching phase of my career as an educator. As you probably know, it is a trying, frustrating, roller coaster of a time filled with the \"aha moment\" highs when the lesson went off without a hitch and I went the entire day without tripping on a backpack and a student thanks me for all the help because \"now he thinks he gets it!\" and the lows of sugar-induced chatting when 8 kids demand to go to the bathroom while someone else calls out that \"phospholipid tails are called SHAFTS\" just as the principal walks by your open door. And lets not forget coming home to find more bills and remembering that you aren\'t getting paid for this! It is those days I watch your videos to remind myself that I do have that passion, love, and drive to educate the world one person at a time and that everyone has those trying days. I\'m also grateful that you don\'t have a camera pointing back at me when I watch those videos because lets face it, I\'m usually crying. Thank you for the kick in the pants I sometimes require to show up to school the next day with a smile.

947. Shannon K. (CA)

Friday, February 24, 2012

I've been into music for the longest time, and the person that got me so into the music making process was my middle school band teacher. She believed in me and allowed me to play the trumpet even with braces. I want to become a teacher like that, that inspires. The image I picked is of my college concert band, and I feel it represents teaching through doing, which is Cal Poly Pomona's slogan.

946. Jyssica F. (GA)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

When I was in high school I was always the teacher's pet, and even today I still am in contact with some of those teachers that I felt particularly close to. I would sit in my literature classes, after I finished all my work of course, and watch Taylor Mali over and over. I memorized, "What Teachers Make" and "The The Impotence of Proofreading" and made sure everyone I knew heard him speak. He struck a cord in me; I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be that teacher kids would look back in their lives and go, "I actually remember what Ms. Finley taught me!" I took a year off before I began getting back that drive I unforgivably lost. Re-watching Taylor Mali always helps me get out of those slumps, and always gives me that hope I can be the best teacher to some child. I am still working on my teaching degree, but I have faith that no matter what I made the right choice.

945. Charles D. (NH)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I had not heard of Taylor Mali until my friend Collin invited me to see him perform last fall in Concord, NH. I was blown away by his words, and left with a greater appreciation for teachers and "what they make." Since then, I have immersed myself in Mali's work, and have given serious thought to just how important teachers are. I am currently a senior in high school, and am going to a liberal arts college next fall. He helped me decide that no matter what subject matter I learn in college, I will be a teacher. My thoughts right now are to major in and teach Chinese Language and Culture. Taylor, thank you for being a great influence to me and many others, and for all that you do.

944. Nick G. (England)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ive always hated my job. Ive been an IT Professional for the last 15 years, working in a cubicle in a vast open plan office, earning money that 80% of the population would love to earn, but for the last 2 or 3 years Ive begin to realise that its not enough anymore. I come from a family of teachers and have always felt drawn towards the profession. I love the idea of making a real connection with someone, seeing the moment of realisation in their eyes, enabling just one child to reach their potential. But I have a small problem, namely The Money Trap. How could me and my wife and three kids cope with no salary for a year while I train and then take a 50% pay cut? Its simply impossible, out of the question. But the thought just wouldnt go away. Then one sunny Saturday morning lying in bed, I found What Teachers Make? on YouTube and it was like a moment of epiphany. I watched it over and over and over again. All I could hear in my head as I trudged to work each morning was I make a difference, how about you? Slowly, I started to work out how I might be able to overcome each obstacle to training to be a teacher and then a really crazy thing happened. It started to look less impossible than I thought. Im getting financial advice and support from various quarters and next month, Ive arranged my first real experience of teaching in a nearby school. One more obstacle down, one step closer. I hope I will be teacher 929 and I hope I can make a difference.

943. Kathryn H. (TX)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I remember the first time I saw What Teachers Make, it was the most outstanding video I has seen in a long time! A former teacher of mine had posted it on Facebook and it hit right at home for me. I knew then that teaching was my calling. I want to make a difference and better the lives of the coming generations by teaching and guiding them like I never was. I felt that through the years all of us were only 'warm bodies' filling the chairs to meet the requirements, I do not want this for the future.

942. Samantha A. (TX)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I am currently a college student. My degree has been in education since I started in 2009, but within the past year I started to second guess myself - could I do it? would I be good at it? these classes I'm taking are boring, am I going to be boring? Then I saw What Teachers Make, and not only did it help persuade me to stay on the track I was on but it also motivates me every day. Whenever I feel tired, or bored, or just not motivated, I watch that video and every time I still get tingles. Now, I don't just want to become a teacher, I want to become a great teacher. I want to become an advocate for my future students and remind them that they can and will succeed. Thank you Mr.Mali for reminding me why I wanted to become a teacher in the first place and for helping me see that I can do better, I can be better, and I can be a great teacher.

940. Shaaroni W. (HI)

Monday, February 13, 2012

My friends and family always tried to convince me to go into medicine, law or even accounting, since I was so smart and would never be respected as just a teacher. Still I went for a masters in education, hoping to find a supportive community there. Instead, a couple of my professors told me that, if I really cared for children, Id find another career. I was deeply disheartened. In that program, a professor showed us a video of "What Teachers Make" and for the first time since joining the program, I felt excited again. But my professors were convincing and a year later, I was struggling to find a career not in education, so as not to damage any children with my weak teaching. One day, I ran across "What Teachers Make", and went on to search for more of Taylor's poems. It was the line, "you make me feel like a teacher, and who could ask to feel more than that" in Like Lilly Like Wilson that reminded me how passionate I had been about teaching. I had never felt that way about any other profession. I had to teach. Since then, I have taught all over the world. This picture is from a hospital/orphanage clowning trip I took to Russia. I learned there that sometimes the best thing I can do as a teacher is give all my love and attention to a child in need. Every single day I get to teach, even the tough days, I am grateful for Taylor's poems reminding me to follow my own dreams and continue to work to change the world one child at a time.

939. Matt S. (SD)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

When I first saw the video "What Teacher's Make," I was overwhelmed with emotion. I got goosebumps watching the video, thinking of my past as a student and my future as an educator. Your words are strong, but not as powerful as your actions. As a new teacher on a reservation in South Dakota, I have been trying to find a way to make my students believe in themselves and to believe things can get better if they work hard and treat people the way they want to be treated. Thank you for the motivation. -- The picture is of the people who made me the person I am today.

938. Scott C. (MI)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My road back to college was a rough one. I knew I wanted to go, I knew I needed to do well, but I had no idea what to go into. I first selected Psychology in lieu of going to school to be a writer; that seemed redundant. I was toying with the idea of teaching but the cliche of "those who can't teach" kept ringing in my ears. I did, however apprehensively write education down as my major when I enrolled in community college. That was in 2000. It was not long after that that I first heard "What Teachers Make" for the first time. I knew then that I had made the right choice. It was not about the money; it was about the honor of doing my part to better the future. I have since played several of your pieces in my classroom and have really gotten many of my students into slam poetry. You have been a real influence on my teaching as well as my writing; thank you! The photo is of me and one of my students...he is a slam poetry performer now...all because of you and the other performers I showed him when he was in 9th grade. He is a senior now and tells me that Slam Poetry is the way that he "found his voice"

937. Victoria T. (FL)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I already knew I wanted to become a teacher but whenever people start to criticize me or ask why I am making such a horrible decision, I can listen to your Youtube and I remember why I am choosing to be a teacher. For the self-gratitude and the knowing that I WILL make a difference in at least one kids life and that's all that counts. If I have to work my butt off every tedious hour of the day to get the education I need to become a teacher to just educate one student then that's exactly what I will do! -Victoria Todd 15/ Future Mathmatics, English, and/or French Teacher of High school. Thank you so much for the Insiration!!

936. Courtny M. (OK)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I am someone who has always felt the pull of helping a child or adult expand their learning; feeling better about themselves whether it be in reading, writing, or mathematics. For a short time, in between my Associates in Liberal Arts and finishing my Bachelors in Elementary Education, I struggled to find out exactly what I wanted to do with my life, and my gift of helping others. There was a moment in my school career that I changed my degree from Education to Nursing. But that was short lived. A friend of mine put your "What teachers make" video on Facebook and when I watched it I cried. This was the thing I had been fighting most with people when they ask me why I wanted to become a teacher.I got tired of defending my choice to people. I started writing the video's URL on paper and telling them to watch it. This was 2 years ago. In December of 2012 I will graduate with my Bachelors in Elementary Education and I couldn't be happier. I tutor three times a week, while going to school full time, and working two jobs. Those children are worth everything I work for. I cannot see myself doing anything else but teaching. Your poetry strikes a fire in my heart for my passion to teach. Thank you so much. The picture below is a gift I made a former student I tutored for a year in mathematics. It was the best year.

935. Jodie W. (England)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Let me start by admitting it - Ive never liked teachers. Most of my time at primary school was spent staring into space or in the hallway after being kicked out of lessons. I frustrated my teachers with endless questions. I hated the education system, and it hated me. I was bright, bored, and had a smart mouth; Im twenty now and nothings changed. I didnt know what I wanted to study once I left school. I saw myself coming home from an office job where Id do the bare minimum, and throwing myself into reading. Why should I think about giving back or trying hard when nobody else around me was? A friend linked me to some of Taylors work when I was eighteen. After devouring the rest of it, I started to think. I re-evaluated my future career plans and realised what Id planned to do with my life was really soulless. I finally decided on what it was what I wanted to be, and my enthusiasm for life and learning tripled overnight. Im almost ready to graduate from Cambridge University with a degree in Education. I have a life of teaching ahead of me, and Im thankful that Taylors words were able to reach me at a time when they had the chance to make a powerful impact on my life. Best of all, because of Taylor Ive had and will continue to have - the opportunity to make a difference to kids who remind me of myself when I was younger. As a teacher, I intend to prove to them that the pursuit of knowledge is worth it.

934. Jeff N. (WA)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Hello Taylor, at the ripe old age of 50 and being a recovering drug addict I had a history of working in the construction industry. A close friend one day suggested that I should go to school and go teach about recovery. My mother and sister were teachers and I once had a dream of being one too. My path led me down a different road through life. I had never wished to be a counselor but when it was put to me in the framework of teaching, I thought why not? I enrolled in a Human Services Program at a local college and received my AAS then went on to earn my BA. I went to work in a local treatment center teaching about recovery. A job opportunity came up for an Assistant to the Human Services Program in the school I had graduated from. While working both jobs I was asked to teach a few other classes. During my own education I had seen your What Teachers Make video. The Human Services field is a field where people go out and teach people who are suffering a better way to live. They make a difference. I must tell you that at our retreat every year I play that video for our students, and yes they cry as I do. Thank you for the gift you bring to the profession.

933. Christine B. (NJ)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The picture I posted is one of Taylor and me after he gave me the best interview about the meaning of success. Before meeting him, everyone had told me I should be a teacher. I didn't THINK I wanted to be a teacher, I thought like any other youth that my name needed to be in bright lights and I wanted the praise of everyone for the job I was doing. Although teachers have always been the biggest inspiration to my life, it wasn't until talking to Taylor about internal success that I realized what I'm meant to do. I've been teaching my whole life; and it's time I give to others what my teachers and Taylor have given me.

932. Viora B. (The Netherlands)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

I stumbled on Taylor's video "What teachers make" at a moment in my (professional and otherwise) life when, unbeknownst to myself surprise surprise, there was one big crossroad looming large. I had been teaching middle and high school long enough to run the risk of getting numb on routine. That video came as a jolt and "spurred me into action". Couple of years on and I can recite the poem by heart and even used it to kick off department meetings. I was very aptly reminded -being very grateful here- that poetry and teaching come from the heart.Words I live by, in good and bad times.

931. Kristina K. (PA)

Monday, February 06, 2012

I am 32 years old and thought I had my life planned. I was a paralegal working for a big firm, helping wealthy clients obtain their divorces while keeping (or receiving) a huge chunk of the marital assets. Fun, right? Well, after 8 years of dealing with bickering spouses and pompous attorneys, I knew I needed to reflect on my career choice. I had quite a few teacher friends and one day received an email with your What Teachers Make YouTube video attached. I had the chills while I watched it. Hearing your passion for your students inspired me to go back to school. Right now I am 3 classes away from finishing my Masters in Elementary and Special Education with a 4.0 G.P.A.. I work as an assistant teacher at a school for visually impaired and blind children and spend every day from September to June amazed at the accomplishments and determination of these remarkable children. I took a $20,000 pay cut but when I realize that I reached a student, even just one, I know that I can and will make a difference. To me, that $20,000 is worth it.

930. Melissa D. (Australia)

Monday, February 06, 2012

When choosing which course to enrol in at the end of my highschool career I was stuck at a crossroad which would ultimately lead to my current vocation. To be a teacher and follow the love of learning which made me feel at home within the walls of a classroom or to be a physiotherapist and feel as though I was making a difference. Taylor made me aware of the fact that to teach is to make a difference. I didn't need to fix people medically in order to have a positive influence on their life journey. Taylor speaks about teaching with such passion and conviction that whenever I'm having a down day or if I forget why I am where I am, I listen to 'What teachers make' and I am instantly filled with the same spirit and intensity that seems to flow through his words. I am now in my second year of teaching and I believe I am making a difference.

929. Allison B. (WA)

Monday, February 06, 2012

I feel like I was meant to teach, but I didn't always know it. I didn't particularly like school as a student and surprised myself and most of my friends and family by applying for a Masters in Teaching program. As soon as the program started, I began having second thoughts. Don't teachers work long hours, put up with problem students and parents, and make practically nothing? When I was about to call my program quits, a friend sent me a link to a viral video on YouTube, Taylor Mali's "What Teachers Make". As soon as I watched it, I felt like something clicked. I thought "This is the the place I'm supposed to be." Seeing someone with that level of passion about one of the most under appreciated jobs in our world today stirred the same passion in me. I have since finished my teaching program but, because of our economic times, have had a difficult time getting into the classroom. I know I'll get there, and when I do it will be more than worth it. Whenever I feel like throwing in the towel, I fire up YouTube and watch this video one more time.

928. Heather H. (CA)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

When I was 17, I was blessed with an English teacher who was aflame with a love of poetry. He would open each day with a poem, often one he had memorized. Mr. Bartel passed this love on to me - and while I did not start out in college pursuing a goal of being a teacher one day, I did pursue a goal to set the world ablaze with a passion for the written word. Mr. Mali, your work has long been a part of my love of the written (and spoken) word, and I am thankful for the way your words have been able to describe the reason I decided to become a teacher. The 2011-2012 school year is my first year in front of a classroom, and the opportunity to light up my students' hearts and minds with literature and poetry has been a powerful one. I'm not sure what direction life will take me in the coming years, but I do know that once I made the decision to become a teacher, it set me on a lifelong path to push others towards their best as well. Once a teacher, always a teacher... Thank you for passing your wisdom on to me, and for enabling me to pass it on to my students as well.

927. Christine H. (NY)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Poetry lead me to teaching. That feeling of doing something you're proud of that Taylor describes in the poem I seem to constantly get in my email every year, is really what it's about. I make a difference, and the kids make a difference in me. Teaching isn't just a job, it's your whole life and for all you know, you're the one thing that changed the whole life of someone else. The students in my picture were my first class. They are my everything, not just my job.

926. Claire S. (United States)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I am a senior Music Education major at Central Connecticut State University. Mr. Mali performed at my high school when I was a freshmen and ever since then all of his poems have been inspiration to me! I have always loved school and becoming a teacher was always an idea to me but Mali's poems struck a chord with me and got me thinking more and more about teaching. As I learn more about education Mali's poems on teaching and being in the classroom seem more relate-able to me. They help excite me to one day have my own classroom and make a difference!

925. Lisa T. (Canada)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I've been wanting to teach since I was in the fifth grade. In my senior years of high school I happened upon the YouTube video "What teachers make" and it has since been my mantra and driving force to get through university and inspire my peers and now, my students as I enter my last practicum of my B.Ed year at Nipissing University. To all those people around me who have scoffed at the teaching profession, I recite parts of this incredible poem and can proudly say that I am a teacher, and I make a difference.

924. Alexandra M. (NC)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I was a sophomore in college, studying literature, and struggling to decide if teaching is where I really belonged. To be honest I had decided to be a teacher because I didn't think I had any other choice. I mean what are you going to do with a Literature degree if you do not teach? In my middle school methods class, a fellow student shared a link to Taylor Mail's "What Teachers Make" I watched in awe and in that moment I felt that God had blessed me with a set of skills that made me right for the teaching profession. I am a student teacher now and never cease to be amazed at the way Taylor's words inspire me to make a difference in the lives of my students every day. I work in two standard level courses. Many of my students feel that they are dumb and stupid. Every day I remind them that they are smart and that they can do anything they set their minds to. The poetry comes alive in the faces of my students when they overcome their struggles. In their smiles I see the difference that a little love and compassion make to a student who has no self-confidence in their work. Because I have heard Taylors poetry I now know what I make; I make students who feel like they can accomplish their dreams if they work hard and dream big.

923. Alexa M. (HI)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

My friend told me he would buy me dinner if I would accompany him to "some poetry event" at Iolani School. It was his extra credit assignment for English class, so I figured it would be boring. But I am so happy he asked me to join him! Taylor Mali's presence itself was inspiring. He spoke so eloquently and truly made me feel that I can actually do something with my English major. People have always told me that a Bachelor of Arts degree is useless, but we need more creative people in this world. We need more teachers. We need more miracle workers!

922. Roy R. (TX)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I first heard Taylor's poetry in a speech and debate competition and instantly fell in love with his strong feelings toward teachers. His poetry further moved me to become a speech and debate teacher and allow my students to perform his poetry for competition.

921. Camille W. (IN)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I wanted to be a doctor, so I declared my Biology major. I wanted to be a translator (mostly because I decided I didn't want to be a doctor), so I switched my major to Spanish. I wanted to figure out what on earth I really wanted to be, so I took a year off school. That year quickly came to a close and I still hadn't decided what I wanted to be "when I grew up". So, I did what any respectable college aged girl does when they're upset...I stayed in bed, threw myself a pity party, and spent the day surfing Youtube. The first Taylor Mali video I stumbled upon was "Tony Steinberg: Brave Seventh Grade Viking Warrior". I managed to laugh and cry at the same time (which is something everyone should do at least once in their life). Then, I found it. I found "What Teachers Make", and I realized two things. One, I knew what I wanted to be. Two, I didn't have to grow up. I wanted to be a superhero, so I changed my major to Communications and bought a red cape. I'm going to wear that cape my first day as a teacher. When my students ask me why, I'm going to say, "I decided to save the student at a time."

920. Richard M. (MA)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Taylor Mali's poem, What a Teacher Makes, was presented to my younger brother's poetry class in his senior year of high school. At this time I was very unsure of where I was headed, or what I wanted to do. When he brought this poem home to show my family and I, my mind was instantly made up. I have since listened to this poem countless times along with many, many other poems by Mr. Mali. Also, since I have started working with teens at the high school level I have showed each and every one of them his work. I want to thank Taylor Mali for inspiring me to go in the direction I have, and I want you to know, you have made all the DIFFERENCE in my career choice. Thank you! In this picture I am working with Brockton High School, in MA, students to spread awareness about poverty and homelessness. I am wearing the Black "Feeding America" shirt.

919. Kelsey F. (KS)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I was a theatre major at my state school with a dream to star on Broadway. I had never considered the idea of teaching and was committed to the idea of working professionally. However, I found myself questioning if it was enough - I certainly love theatre with all my heart, but I couldn't shake the feeling that something was missing from my life's goal. I viewed 'What Teacher's Make' after it was posted by a friend on Facebook. I fell in love and saw a shift in what I thought was important. A few months later, after meeting with the head of my theatre department, she told me to go with my impulse to switch to education. I am now pursuing my secondary certification in theatre and speech. I've found my dream job.

918. Paula P. (WA)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I work for a school district and decided to become a teacher based on what you said. I am almost finished and will be in the classroom next year. Thank You for sharing with the world about what a teacher makes.

917. Bradley C. (LA)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I am taking a course at my high school called STAR and it is about learning and teaching in diverse situations. Our teacher showed us this website and instructed us to go home and read some of the poems and come back the next day with feedback. After reading some of these poems and watching some of the readings on Youtube all the slivers of doubt that I had about whether or not i wanted to become a teacher were removed. I have always been a person that had trouble deciding what to do with my life, but with help from a few teachers and the work of Mr. Mali I have finally found my calling. Thank you.

916. Mikala F. (CT)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I hadn't seriously considered going into teaching until my last years of high school, in which I was fortunate enough to be taught by some amazing teachers. Two of them introduced me to Taylor's poetry, and upon watching a video of "Tony Steinberg: Brave Viking Warrior" my entire idea of my future began to change. Ironically, I later learned that one of my teachers has actually met Taylor on a few occasions, so I figure it only makes sense that two of my inspirations have crossed paths before. I want to make the difference in students' lives that Taylor talks about in his work. I plan to get a master's in education to teach Theater and/or English.

915. Rebecca D. (PA)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm not a teacher yet but I'm learning from amazing teachers how to (hopefully) become a great one. They emphasize the importance of creativity and play, and there's always class time for being kids again. "What Teachers Make" has validated my choice and bolstered my confidence. I know that I'll spend my adult life doing what I love, and no dollar amount can be worth more than the chance to make a positive impact in kids' lives. Your voice drowned out those of the naysayers and helped me reaffirm my passion. Thank you.

914. Emily W. (Canada)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hi, I have known I wanted to teach for a long time, but I have found teachers college to be discouraging at times. I am not yet a teacher, but hopefully will be soon. You inspired me to continue on with my goal to teach. Thanks!

913. Lindsey T. (NC)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I never considered being a teacher until I watched your video, "What Teachers Make". I began to think about how I have watched teachers affect and even change students' lives, including mine. I also began to notice that passionate gleam in a teacher's eye you see when you know a teacher truly cares about what they're doing. I know teachers who have stayed at school until twelve o'clock plotting lesson plans and field trips, knowing only some kids will care. I've seen teachers be there for a student more than a parent ever dared to be. I've seen teachers save lives. Including mine. I have always been a searcher for the meaningful in life and how I can best make a difference in this world, and one day it hit me. I must teach. I decided I want to do that with my life one day and now I dream of doing that every day that I live and breathe. Thank you to the moon and back.

912. Deborah T. (SC)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

With undergraduate studies in Biological Science and Sociology, I completed the medical school admissions requirements. I was hired as an academic advisor and later selected to complete a Master of Arts degree in communication. In addition to the degree program, I was offered a graduate teaching assistantship with this came the responsibility to teach two sections of public speaking to undergraduate college students. Before this teaching was not in my list of potential career. The first week of the first semester, when I was searching for a source of motivation and suggestions, I found your "what teachers make" video. This empowered me understand that facilitation and teaching was not just marking a box but acting a lighthouse. Each semester I show the video, "like you know" to the public speaking students...most powerful message ever. I'm now in my 6th year of teaching at the college level. I believe without the confidence and the perspective of you, Taylor Mali, I would NOT be teaching still today. thank you!

911. Jessica C. (OH)

Monday, January 23, 2012

I am going to make a Goddamn difference. I spent the last fifteen minutes transcribing word for word, movement for movement your What teachers make video. It forced me to confront the very sentiments that first convinced me to become a teacher. But, more importantly, the video convicts me guilty of every sterile reason I have to choose any other profession. I have been toying back and forth between becoming an economic researcher or an English teacher. This week alone, I have prepared for a career fair to become another body behind a desk making $60,000+ a year justifying my decision with consolation of the masses. Your video compelled me to ask myself: How dare I waste my time doing something at which I am good rather than something at which I am great? Have I forgotten that we were not made to be mediocre? Blame your incredible rhetoric, charm, or your policy on ass-kicking; but I firmly believe that my ass has been finally kicked in the right direction. If you do not choose me to be of your 1000 future teachers, please know that you have changed me. You have challenged me to be more than mediocre. To live a life passing that challenge on to the future generations after us. You have challenged me to make a difference. And I promise to you that I will. You may now wonder why I attached an image of myself fallen on a hard wood floor. First, let me ensure you that the rollerblades under my feet are a challenge that I have tried and tried again to conquer but as of yet have not been victorious. Second, as for the explanation, it is important in life to never give up on any goal; this is arguably one of the most important lessons in education. If my future students learn nothing more than to cherish failure, as it builds character and success more so than any small victory, I will be contented. I hope you consider this application and, whether you approve it or not, I hope to hear from you soon.

910. Elizabeth G. (VA)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

When I was younger, I knew I wanted to "be a superhero." For a long time, I never considered what that path really meant. I considered legal advocacy, urban planning, waste water management, sustainable architecture... I was always "smart" and spent much of my time in school tutoring other students and assisting in the special education classrooms. In the summer before my senior year, while considering which college to attend and moreover what path to pursue, I saw your video "What Teachers Make." I realized that while society might not always respect the contributions of teachers, education is the noblest profession. As such, I decided to dedicate my life to Special Education. I always found joy in the classroom as a student, but never gave thought to making a career in the classroom. I thank you so much for helping to give my life direction. Whenever someone comments that I am "selling myself short" or "too smart to be a teacher" I show them your work. Not only does it reassure me that I am on the right path, but it also makes them reconsider their statements. Thank you so much!

909. Caleb S. (TX)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I have always had an interest in History, and I have been writing for recreational purposes since I was thirteen. Recently I was online looking inspiration for my own writings when I came across your poems \"What Teachers Make\" and \"Miracle Workers\" and I said to myself \"now that is what I want to do with my life\". Whats funny is when I originally applied for college I wanted to pursue a law degree, but it just wasn\'t my passion. I want to make an impact in the world and I believe this is the best way to do it. Thank you Taylor -Caleb

908. Asta N. (Danmark)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I'm in my last year of gymnasium (our equivalent of high-school), and while I was deciding what I wanted to do with my life after graduating, I came across a youtube clip of "What teachers make", and it played a huge part in me deciding to study English followed by another as of yet undetermined subject which exist on the gymnasie level), so that I can eventually become a teacher and make a difference too. Thank you.

907. Christopher A. (MO)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Near the end of 2009, my military enlistment was ending and I made a choice that would forever affect the rest of my life. I decided I would get my college degree using the GI Bill and pursue a new career. I wanted a career where I would be in demand and could make a difference. In the Air Force I was a member of the Security Forces (a mixture of asset security and law enforcement). It seemed I was always encountering individuals after events had occurred that I could not change and I wanted to be a person who could make a difference before the event not help in the aftermath. I decided to research a career in education and health care. I found that money was in health care but I was still drawn to education. I then searched on Google on differences teachers make .. I found a forum where your video What Teachers Make was mentioned. I found it and got chills listening to your words and in three short minutes I was inspired, motivated and dedicated. I share your video in classes at my University in Missouri as well as post it on Facebook and constantly get great feedback. I am currently 3 semesters away from graduation and hope to teach middle mathematics. When classes are tough or graduation seems a long way off, I still watch your videos and get the pick-me-up I need to press on. Thank you for sharing yourself with the world, making a difference in the world and hopefully inspiring more people (who have the passion) to teach. Do you want to know what I will make? I hope to make a God damn difference.

906. Wendy G. (MI)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Student teaching was brutal. I wanted to quit pursuing teaching multiple times a week. Then, in our seminar -- sometimes fondly referred to as "Group Therapy"-- an inspiring Professor shared some poems from What Learning Leaves. It helped to remember that what I get from teaching is dependent upon what I give as a teacher.

905. Hanum H. (Indonesia)

Friday, January 20, 2012

I felt stuck in a well paying job that I had no passion for. I wanted to leave but everyone thought I was crazy because I didn't know what I was going to do. I knew I loved to share ideas and information and engage in passionate discussions. Saw the piece in Feb '10 and a month later I left my job and signed on to teach. Two years on, it's still the best decision I've made. I love what I do. Followed my heart and I never let anyone judge me by what I make. Thank you.

904. Rebekah P. (TX)

Friday, January 20, 2012

I've always flip-flopped from wanting to teach to doing something more... innovative, I guess I will say. But when I watched Mr. Mali's "What Teacher's Make," video, a spark in me came alive. I've had a few really amazing teachers in my life, but what he described.... Maybe, just maybe, I can do that.

903. Aspen E. (CA)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dear Mr. Mali, I first saw your work online where I heard your poem "Like You Know". I quickly went from that to listening to the rest of your poetry on youtube which included "What Teachers Make". My brother and I listened to it the first time together and when the poem was done we both looked at one another and said "I'm going to be a teacher." The poem that truly inspired me to become a teacher was "Tony Steinburg" I was moved by your story and the depth of experience a small group of children could create and that I could possibly be apart of in the future. Becoming a teacher had been an interest of mine for many years but as time passed I quit school, decided being a teacher wasn't appreciated etc. About a year ago I found your poetry. Your passion for teaching cemented the desire for me. I have enrolled back in school and applying to Berkley CA to go into education. With many more years of education ahead of me I know that your poetry and the experience of seeing your passion for teaching will continue to inspire me. Thank you so much and blessings as you get close to attaining your goal. Aspen Janae Eggimann

902. Matthew D. (Australia)

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm part of Teach for Australia, and when I applied and was initially accepted I was quite anxious, scared and lonely. Someone put me on to your poem "what teachers make" and things changed. The passion, energy, excitement, joy and love I'd felt for education - thoughts and feelings I'd had for a long time, that had prompted me to become a teacher in the most challenging and needed way I could find - feelings that, when faced with the prospect of actually joining the profession had faded and failed. Thoughts and feelings that your poem, broadcast through the internet, re-invigorated, re-ignited, strengthened and enthused. I couldn't tell you whether your work made me choose to become a teacher - I don't know that - what I can say is that I was sent your work at a time when I needed to feel holy fire pouring through my veins, to feel energy and power far beyond my control - and that's exactly what your poem does for me. Thank you.

901. Benjamin K. (Marshall Islands)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I decided to become a teacher when I was a Sophomore in college, but by the time I was in my Senior spring pedagogy class I was doubting whether I could make much of a difference as a regular old teacher. My professor showed the class your poem "What Teachers Make" on the first day, and I was so reassured that this profession is indeed a noble one--one that can be transformative and life-changing for kids. Your unshaken conviction in the worth of teaching that shines through in the poem inspired me once more, and I am currently signed up to head to the Marshall Islands next year to start what will hopefully be a life-long teaching odyssey of my own. Thanks for your passion!

900. Zachary S. (IA)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I never really wanted to be a teacher. I always wanted to act or direct. One day, I listened to Mali's poem "Tony Steinberg, Brave 7th Grade Viking Warrior" and it changed my life. I thought, "I want to witness a miracle like this. I want to make an impact on some child's life". I then listened to "What Teachers Make" and it was then that I knew that teaching was for me.

899. Jordan B. (IA)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I went and saw Taylor Mali earlier tonight by recommendation of my oral communications teacher. I loved his poetry, and the poems about teaching were inspiring. I had been considering changing my major away from teaching, but because of Mr. Mali, I now want to teach more than ever. "Definitely beautiful" is a phrase I want to make a classroom write over and over--not just because the children will learn to spell the words, but because they are true for each and every person on this earth. I want to make sure kids know that.

898. Melissa N. (IA)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In the Fall of 2011 I decided to return to school to get my teaching degree. I already have a BA with a double major in Art and Psychology. I made the decision to go back for my teaching degree, but I have to admit I was TERRIFIED of teaching. I was TERRIFIED of the children! In my first field experience class, that very semester, the instructor showed your "What Teachers Make" Youtube video, and I was psyched enough to get over my fears. Thank you!!!!!!

897. Mike S. (IA)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I have always been good at working with kids so i thought it might be a good profession. I entered the University of Northern Iowa's teaching program. Once i started to dive into my classes i really started to second guess my strength and my ability to make a difference in the world. I was about ready to change my major because i had given up home if i would "making anything]". The poem what i make really helped me relise that i can be a good teacher and make a huge impact on this world just like you have. Thank You

896. Tedi S. (IA)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I changed to an English-teaching major because I realized that Journalism was not for me and there didn't seem to be any hope for just an English major to make money (I say this as if teachers make what they deserve, but no one's really in it for the money). Hearing "What Teachers Make" was the first time I really felt at home in the teaching major. I realized that it something I do truly want to do for the rest of my life and that if I can make a difference to at least one student it will be enough. Your work has lead me to taking pride in my future as a teacher.

895. Margaret K. (IA)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A couple weeks ago I was caught crying in the bathroom outside my university classroom. It was because I had heard you were coming to our school to talk and I had to hear "What Teachers Make", again. Without fail, each time I get to the "phone call home", I cry and I cry big. Tonight, I was thinking about your quest for teachers as I was helping a fellow student with his writing. It dawned on me that this is when I am happiest. This is when I am most fulfilled, most confident. When I can work with someone on their writing, I have infinite patience. I can explain it simply, we both walk away satisfied. I am 44 and I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. Thank you.

894. Kimberly W. (IA)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I am a freshmen at the University of Northern Iowa and my dual major is Elementary Education Middle Level. I understand that sounds like I have already decided to be a teacher, but I have been doubting my decision since my junior year of high school. All the doubts everyone tells me about teachers and all the disrespect for the profession has had me doubting my decided future. The only reason I have stuck with it till the second semester is because it seemed too complicated to switch majors. It wasn't until I went to your show and heard your voice that I realized I need to stop doubting. Your passion for the profession and your experiences give me hope. I know no other future for me will be as rewarding as I hope teaching is. Thank you for reminding me why I am doing this. I am so glad I didn't decide to stay in my dorm room and finish my essay.

893. Rebecca E. (PA)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I came across your work in 2005 when a friend performed "Like Lilly Like Wilson" and "What Teachers Make" at a speech conference, and I have read the pair of poems at least once a year since. Back then I wanted to be a teacher, but sometimes I wondered if I should be a chemist or a physicist or a doctor instead. My high school guidance counselor advised me that I didn't need to take so many AP classes if I was "just" going to become a teacher. Later, my fellow chemistry majors (often students that I tutored) tried not to snicker when they learned that I would rather teach middle school than build designer proteins. The message I heard was that teaching wasn't for smart people like me. If you were capable of doing it, why would you choose to teach it instead? I kept coming back to "Like Lilly Like Wilson" and "What Teachers Make". Im not going to make super-solids in some lab, and Im probably not going to change the face of modern science. Like you, Mr. Mali, Im going to make good citizens and change young minds. With your inspiration, I feel secure that my endeavor is challenging and worthy... just the task for a smart person like me. Thank you. Rebecca Erickson Student Teacher, Bucks County PA

892. Mack B. (OR)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Your poem, 'What teachers make', was used in three different sets I competed with in speech and debate during high school. It really did make me want to teach. Currently i am working on getting the funds together(via freelance writing actually) in order to start the ball rolling towards an english teaching career.

891. Gretchen R. (PA)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

I found your poetry when I was a senior in high school. "What Teachers Make" rang so true to me and definitely struck a nerve. I cried when I heard it, even though I had no plans of becoming a teacher myself. I went to the University of Pittsburgh with no declared major and explored other subjects. Psychology, history, and anthropology: all very interesting but nothing felt quite right. Deep down, I knew that my heart was in teaching but I wasn't ready to commit. Then I took a class called Social Foundations of Education and everything clicked. It took transferring to another university and a lot of work, but I am proud to say I will be graduating this year with certifications in both elementary and special education. My picture shows a bridge lesson with a bunch of second grade scientists. I am on the right. Thanks for the inspiration Taylor! You helped me follow my heart and ignore people who would ask, "Do you realize what you're going to make as a teacher?" YES! I do, thank you.

890. Dominic T. (UT)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I've spent most of my life not knowing what I want to do. I started college back in 2008 but I had no idea what I was doing there. I changed majors several times but had no real desire to do anything. Teaching is a career that I had been considering off and on for years, but it never seemed like the "practical" choice. Teachers are under appreciated and underpaid and it seemed like a stupid choice. But then I heard "What Teachers Make" and I realized that regardless of pay and regardless of what other people thought, teaching is what I really want to do. Our world needs far more teachers who give a damn and if I can make a difference in the life of even just one child, then I have made a difference far larger than I could in any other career path I have considered.

889. Devin W. (NH)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

I'm still a student, so I have yet to actually become that teacher that you, Mr. Mali, have inspired. Nevertheless, your poem "What Teachers Make" was the piece of wisdom that instilled that ambition in my consciousness and made me aware of my desire to someday become one of the educators that I had in my life or that I wish I had who taught me to love reading and all the intricacies of the English language. For that, Taylor, I join the ranks of the other present or future teachers who sincerely thank you for sharing this dream.

887. Margaret L. (VT)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

I first heard of Taylor Mali in college, and I was instantly in love. Though I knew I wanted to teach prior to this, I had been doubting any influence I could have had before being inspired by Mali's poetry. This Christmas, after believing for some time that I had gotten my husband the best gift ever, he gave me The Gift of the Mali. He had somehow been able to contact Taylor directly to get me a book and all 4 of his albums signed. Since then, not a day goes by where Mali's words run through my head. Though I am not yet teaching, I am everyday asked to influence the lives of those I work with at a residential for teens and at the home of a young woman with severe developmental disabilities, and someday I want the world to see "the difference I can make." Thank you, Taylor Mali.

886. Eli B. (GA)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Since I started college here in Georgia, my plan was to teach. At first, I intended to teach History, but after a semester, I knew that English was my true calling. However, I came to a point where I thought I might want to go into law, much like the obnoxious individual in Taylor's "What Teachers Make". After much consideration and prayer, and with a little help from Taylor's poetry, I decided that I want to spend my life teaching.

885. Matthew R. (OK)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

I am a college student in Oklahoma that is studying to become a math teacher. Ever since I first came across Taylor's "What Teachers's Make" poem I knew this is what I want to do. I love what he has done for the education community and what he is trying to do. The world will always be in need of good teachers and this is a great way to help fill that need. God Bless.

884. Christine W. (NH)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I knew from the time I was 8 years old that I wanted to teach. I loved the idea of helping others think new thoughts and form new ideas and helping others get excited about something as "boring" as English. When I hit my junior year in college I thought that I had made a mistake; teaching wasn't worth it and it wasn't for me. Then I started my capstone project forming a curriculum on slam poetry for a high school classroom. I re-visited your poem what teachers make and it reminded me why I wanted to teach in the first place. You came to my high school and that was the first time someone had told me that teachers can make a world of difference and I thank you.

883. Michael B. (CT)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

After working in the school system as an interpreter for the Deaf for 15 years, it is certainly appropriate to say that teaching has been in the back of my mind for quite some time. As loud as that call was at times, I still managed to block it outrun from it. While I have always taught in various forms, pursuing teaching certification was something that just never seemed to feel like the right fit. On my windy journey to teaching I finally found myself applying for Connecticut's Alternate Route to Certification. This seemed like the perfect answer to my own "alternate route." Hearing "What Teachers Make" sealed deal. Yes, I played it every time I questioned my decision to give in to the job I knew I would ultimately end up doing. I am now a first year high school English/poetry teacher loving what I make. Thank you, Taylor.

882. Dean Z. (FL)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I was planning on becoming a teacher even before I saw Taylor's poetic speech on what teachers make. However, his remarks brought the point home on how important teachers are and without them, there would be no doctors, lawyers (which was mentioned in his speech), engineers, business people etc. The image of me below includes two of my coworkers, including my team leader. She represents teaching in the sense that, as a leader, she helps nurture us in our positions and helps lead us to maximum productivity and creativity.

881. michael b. (CT)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I am a sophomore at Quinnipiac Univerity in Hamden, CT.I have always worked with children, I have been a camp counselor and director for nearly six years and I am only 20. Working towards childrens development and watching them grow and in turn learning from them always gave me such joy. At day when I was in high school, I went to my father and said, "Dad I want to be a teacher, a poet, an actor." He looked at me and said, "Michael, that is not a smart idea and you need to re-think things." I was crushed. I stopped working with my children at my local day care, stopped performing and writing and was incredibly depressed. Then my poetry teacher showed me a piece by Taylor Mali titled, "What Teacher's Make. "It was all I needed to hear. I knew my goals, my wants, my need to be a teacher to work in art and with children was important. I showed that piece to my dad and said, "This is why I do what I do."

880. Amanda N. (VT)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In the fall of my junior year at Bowdoin College (Fall 2009), I took my first education class. The professor, being new to Bowdoin, but very much appreciating Mali as a Bowdoin grad, showed us a youtube video of Mali's "What Teacher's Make" - it was amazing and sparked great conversations and ideas from my classmates and me. After that course, I decided to minor in Education Studies and graduated with that minor. As the spring of my senior year came to a close, I knew I wanted to work in the field of education, but I was mostly considering student life positions at colleges. The Slam Poet's Society hosted Mali one night and I just sat once again in amazement of his poetry and passion for teaching and education. I began to consider teaching at a boarding school (so I could teach but still have the student life piece). Long story short, I became an Assistant Dean of Students, an Assistant Soccer Coach, a Math Teacher, and an adult dormhead a few months after graduation. Very early in the year, a student showed Mali's "The The Impotence of Proofreading" during assembly. I had to smile to myself. I found great amusement in the poem a few years ago, but it actually made students stop and think - which to be honest, seems to be a rare sight to see. I can't say that Mali was the only reason I became a teacher, but it seems that he and his work have been a part of my journey to become one. Good luck reaching your goal of 1000 teachers!

879. Charlotte K. (MI)

Monday, December 26, 2011

I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, well, rather, my mother has wanted me to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. I, on the other hand, wasn't as sure until I came across "What Teachers Make" for the first time at some point in college already in pursuit of a degree in Education. It made me realize that I want to be a teacher, not because I "can't do" but because teaching is what I do best. Every job I have ever had has in some way required me to teach someone something. Now, as a senior in college, I know that I want to make a difference in a child's life.

878. Mia P. (MD)

Friday, December 23, 2011

I have wanted to be a teacher for so long. I have been trying to pursue my dream since high school. Sometimes, I falter. Sometimes, I am frustrated. Taylor Mali's work helps me to bring myself back to where I need to be, and fills me with a renewed sense of purpose and desire to make my dream come true.

877. Michelle S. (CT)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Teaching is believing that we do not hold hostage all the knowledge in our classrooms. Teaching is believing that ANY student can learn. Teaching is believing that each of our students has something valuable and unique to teach one another. Teaching is believing that those students can teach US those valuable and unique things, too. Because teaching is believing that we ALL still have something to learn. As teachers, we know all this - thanks for letting everyone else know, Taylor.

876. Mark C. (OH)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Taylor reminded me of why I had considered teaching as one of my top career choices before I started school. More, he made me see that the part I love most about my current job is when I can teach a customer something, and they truly understand. I've just enrolled back in school and I'm changing my focus to education.

875. Aloma D. (Australia)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

When I was 17 When I was seventeen it was a very bad year - It was a very bad year for bright young girls to choose to teach, Don't do it! they'd beseech, When I was seventeen. [brief instrumental] When I was twenty-one it was a very bad year - It was a very bad year for city girls teaching in country schools, With all that defeatist advice it nearly came undone When I was twenty-one. [brief instrumental] Then I was twenty-five it was a very good year It was a very good year to hear a poem that helped my passion revive, When I was twenty-five. [brief instrumental] But now the days grow short, I'm in the autumn of the year And now I think of my career as vintage wine from fine old kegs From the brim to the dregs, and it poured sweet and clear It was a very good year. [brief instrumental] 'What teachers make' and performance poetry as a whole has reminded me why I teach, and helped me go on as a beginning teacher when I may well otherwise have left the profession when my career had only just begun. Thanks, Taylor! Pic is of me (3rd from the right, middle row) when I was 12 with a fabulous teacher who first lit the spark that burned bright to light the way to teaching English. This was the light that was dimmed until I found your work. It's currently a cheery blaze!

874. Jame M. (LA)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

When you speak with \\\'conviction\\\' it gives me chills. When I heard you speak about \\\'what a teacher makes\\\' I then realized that I cannot imagine doing anything else. Thank you for sharing.

873. Clara L. (SC)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

In my pursuit of finding what my purpose is and how I can make a difference in the world I have crossed many bridges. At the young age of 19, I am confused all too easily and have strayed from the path of my dreams of becoming a teacher several times. My generation is an aggressive and impatient generation and we tend to want things to happen instantaneously rather than be satisfied with a result that has been worked for. I wish to play a part in making a better name for my generation. I aspire, I dream, I teach the young and even the older, the music that can bring us together. Taylor Mali's work has opened my eyes to see that being a teacher is what I am supposed to be. He showed me through his poem "What Teachers Make" that I have the potential to open eyes and inspire the ones who I teach and that is what I intend to do. Even if I make a change in only one students life then it will have made all the difference. I have taken my dignity back from society in which they were hoping I would go with the flow. Forgive me, I enjoy individuality, to prove that I am not no one but someone, and so are they.

872. Jonathan R. (NC)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I utilized both "What Teachers Make" and "Miracle Worker" in presentations for my Advanced Educational Psychology class at Western Carolina University in my pursuit of a Masters of Teaching degree so that I can become a high school journalism and English instructor.

871. Gabriela B. (Mexico)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

He gave me a whole new vision, a positive one, that I'd lost on my path.

870. Nate W. (WA)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

After obtaining my BA as well as a film degree I pursued my 'dream' career as a video/film producer. I quickly became starved for a less self-serving and destructive path. What Teachers Make was one of the two videos that brought me to my biggest life decision to date (the other video was a Ken Robinson talk). This is my second year teaching public speaking at Western Washington University while I publish free lessons online for anyone with a computer, and turn 25 in April. Taylors' work also ignited a spark in me to write my first piece of poetry (Education for a Better Nation) which I aim to share with as many people as possible.

869. Zoe G. (IA)

Friday, December 16, 2011

I have always been leaning towards the teaching profession, but Taylor Mali's poem, coupled with his skype session with BCLUW, my school, has solidified my desire to teach the future generations of America. Thank you Taylor Mali!

868. Kim A. (TX)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just yesterday I told a student: I do not understand why you have not turned in your essay; I know you have something to say, something I want to read about it! I can not bear it; you must sit down now and write the essay, yes, the essay you told me already you did not write, and my student said: I do not understand; I mean, if I were you...I would not care if a kid like me failed. I would let them. I said: Do you think I teach because I want to read The Great Gatsby's great, but that is not why I teach! I teach because I use to be a kid like you, and someone cared if I failed. I see things in you that you may not see for years, the potential is there; I see it. I have listened to your poem about what teachers make at least a hundred times and on days like the other day I can say with Taylor Mali conviction that I make a difference. That student sat down and wrote an essay because he knew what I said was true; he did have something to say, and he did matter.

867. Kunal A. (MD)

Monday, December 12, 2011

I first encountered Taylor Mali's work in high school. He lead me into the world of performance poetry and I fell in love. I even performed some of Mali's pieces in competitions. I am in college now, studying to become a high school English teacher. It was poets like Taylor Mali who got me interested in English and sharing that passion with students.

866. Karina B. (CA)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

When I first saw "what teachers make", Taylor asks at the end "what about you?". My answer at the time was "no", I didn't make a difference.I struggled for ways to justify my current situation. I booked marked the video and returned to it about 50 times over the next few days. Not making the world a better place was not an option. The seeds of becoming an educator were planted... and I haven't looked back. 10 years into my old career, I quit and became a substitue teacher while I returned to school for my credential. I am now a third grade teacher, and never have struggle with that question again. Thanks Taylor!

865. Emily H. (IA)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I always knew that I wanted to do something with English, but I thought that it would be editing or writing. One of my high school English teachers introduced me to slam poetry, and I was hooked right away. Taylor's passion for teaching moved me to tears when I first saw him perform "What Teachers Make." I think what drew me the most to Taylor is that he seems to care more about the students becoming strong individuals than their role as students. I couldn't tell you how many teachers I have had that don't invest in their students and don't truly allow them to reach their full potential. I want to encourage students to believe in themselves and become better people. I'm currently at the University of Northern Iowa studying to be an English teacher.

864. maggie h. (IL)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The first time I saw this video I found myself agreeing with every point made, and I realized that my career belonged with helping children. Currently I am a freshman in college, and it has been a struggle to keep the fire burning with all of the core and prerequisites needed to become a teacher. This semester has felt like a waste of time for I have needed to be self centered in order to keep up with my goals, yet all I want to do is start making the difference. I plan on teaching middle school English to impoverished children in Spain, and being patient in waiting to help those who need it has gotten to be difficult. Thank you so much for the continued support and reminder this video gives on what is important.

863. Aubrey N. (UT)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I have always wanted to be a teacher and I have been working towards a bachelors in Elementary Education for the past 3 years, however, this semester I ran into a few road blocks. Things got hard and I thought of pursuing a career in counseling or something. Then I saw a YouTube video of "What Teachers Make" and it inspired me to push through all the road blocks and reach my goal of becoming a teacher. Thank you for helping me believe in my dreams again.

862. Mike E. (NJ)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A few years ago i sat at my computer browsing the internet in a mundane stupor, aimlessly searching for videos that focused on the lyrical tendencies of hip-hop. What a found was slam poetry. By a stroke of fate or chance, i happened upon "What Teachers Make." After watching the video it solidified my belief that despite coming from a family of police officers, (something i am never allowed to forget due to my father's pride in his former profession) i was certain that being entrusted with the minds of an entire future generation seemed more dutiful and appealing.

861. Hala S. (MA)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

While I have always loved reading and the subject of English it wasn't until I was 18 that I decided to major in English at college.I toyed with the idea of teaching but every time I would look into it the politics of the classroom was too daunting and I just couldn't get myself to stick with it. Your poetry about teaching has inspired me to apply my passion for the written word to becoming a teacher. I had decided to go into another minor where I could use my major. As of this letter I'm enrolling into the teaching program at my college. It is worth stomaching the politics of teaching to get in a position to inspire children. I'm aiming for High School English so with my passion for words and my love of school I can help inspire and encourage future students to find their niche and love for school too. I really believe that it takes work to reach out to students and encourage them to push themselves with love and a little bit of flexible elbow grease. I'm not sure if this criteria means I apply for your list but your poetry on teaching has inspired me to enter and complete the teaching curriculum at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. Whether applicable to the list or not thank you for your words of encouragement. It reminded me that teaching is about loving what you teach and loving the students you teach for. It is not about the politics of the educational system. Also thank you for the spell check in here.English major or not,my fingers never move as fast as my mind and I seldom find all the letters I miss in words while typing.If I have run-ons I apologize, the dog needs to be let out and they are my kryptonite. The picture (if you can get it) is my son. He's nine and goes through books faster than I can replenish them. Thank God for the library and used books sales.

860. Emily P. (NH)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I've known for a long time that I wanted to be a teacher, but I always was given a hard time from friends, peers, even family that "those who can't, teach". I got so discouraged, I even considered changing majors. After watching Taylor's "What Do Teacher's Make" in one of my education classes at Keene State, it gave me goosebumps and truly inspired me to stand up for myself in that I didn't want to do anything else besides teach and that I was proud of what I was going to become. Now I know, because of Taylor's help that at the end of the day, no matter what I "make", "I'll make a goddamn difference". Thanks Taylor.

859. Cian G. (VA)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

For years I had wanted to be a Lego designer, then a few years after that I changed what I wanted to be to an engineer. I took an engineering class and thought "Oh geeze, this isn't what I want to do at all." I had been in Boy Scouts for many years at this time and had been an instructor, so I was thinking of teaching. I suddenly wanted to become a teacher, I didn't know why; I just knew that I wanted to be a teacher. People always told me that a teacher makes no money, but to me it is never about the money, it was something else. About a year or so ago my dad showed me "What do teachers make" and it suddenly hit me "That's why I want to be a teacher, not for money, not for me, for the kids. I want to be able to help kids find out who they are." Since then I have watched the video and others countless times and am now studying to be a High school history teacher at CNU. Thank you Taylor. Some times to teach history, you have to live it.

858. Jeremie C. (IA)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

After seeing "what do teachers make" video on youtube. I have it memorized and watch weekly to fuel that fire inside me.

857. Daniela B. (Romania)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I had been teaching English as a foreign language for about 4 years when the thought of not having even tried to work as a translator (job I had trained for) led me to the decision of leaving school to join a company that produced clothes for the British fashion market. My first day there was enough to realize something was wrong, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Then one morning while surfing the internet I came across your WHAT TEACHERS MAKE and felt I could not waste another second in doing anything that not involved a class of students. I am a dedicated, fortunate teacher because of you and I shared that particular video with all the teachers I know. I still haven't come across one that would not acknowledge its motivational power.

856. Varinia C. (Peru)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Curiously, one year ago I didn't know the aim for life, until I found spoken word poetry. From that moment I knew that all I wanted to do is to make people know that everyone is able to reach what they want in life and become real fighters of life since words, since its tongue, since a compromise. Because a good speech serves to inspire, teach, learn; cause you didn't imagine you were going to tell unimaginable things at stage before, or realize that everything sounds different than ideas kept on paper or mind, milling around for hours, days, until you can forget them (how stupid!!). I did this for 5 years at university, obeying my parents and friends and convincing myself that working in a bank or offices, seating 8 hours a day there, was going to make me happy, having money all the time, spending the money at parties every damn weekend, as drinking and dancing in a club and taking lots of photos and download them in facebook were going to make me feel better, but nothing of this awarded me, on the contrary, the less happy I was. But when I saw that positive change of life and society lies on youth, that I can do something for the world, with only enhancing people’s energy to speak their only truth, with the art of conviction, that I wanted to teach, learn ad inspire boys and girls, of any ages, that I wanted to make a difference in teaching , that once I was a teenager and didn’t know how to take out this monster full of hormones, well then I saw the light, I wanted to be a spoken word poet!. But this wasn’t enough or congruent, certainly, I’m already a poet, but at the same time I wanted to inspire passion in life trough my experiences but I didn’t know how this profession was called until I found you Taylor Mali, and decided to become a teacher. Actually I taught English for kids from 9 to 15, but I did it for money and didn’t know what I got in my hands, they woke up from a “boring” grammar lesson after I only raise my voice hahaha and is a rea

855. Jessicia W. (NJ)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hi Taylor, I am 26 and this year is my first year as Special Education English teacher. I would not have guessed in elementary, high school, or college that I would have became a teacher. I was too caught up in my love affair with the arts. I went through many phases of denial while discovering "Hey I actually like kids and this is rewarding!" I always say I bumped into teaching. I just so happened to stick around my alma mater to assist my mentor & former coach with the Forensics (speech & debate) team. Through the years, I worked as a consultant, volunteer, substitute teacher and assistant coach for Newark Public Schools but I did not want to fully give into the notion that I would become a teacher. However, your poem "What teachers make?" and "Like Lily Like Wilson" gave me confidence and somehow permission to become a teacher and take full pride in it. Your work as a teacher and poet also showed me that it was possible for me to teach and still be a performing artist. I could still sing background vocals, jump around to open mic spots, and audition for a role when the urge hit. Truthfully, I would not have became a teacher if it meant sacrificing my presence in the artistic community/ industry. Your story and your poetry has shown me how to incorporate my experiences as an artist into something that students can relate to while they are learning in my classroom. Thank you Taylor. -Jessicia

854. Iovanna R. (FL)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

His poetry inspired me incredibly to follow that passion that i have for children. I love the arts as well as Theatre, his poetry is sensational.

853. Stephanie M. (OH)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I first saw your video "What do you make" several years ago and it changed me. I am a middle aged suburban Mom who was a serial parent volunteer. When I got my youngest into school I started working at a small public gender school. I love my job as an aide in the In-school suspension room and shockingly enough I love and really *get these kids so I decided to go back to school to teach. Everytime I doubt my choice I watch your video and it steels my resolve. You are my hero and my inspiration! You rock!

852. Cody O. (TX)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

I didn't fit the mold of what a teacher "should be" while studying English in college on the way to becoming a teacher. In a "Poetry and Performance" class, I saw and read works of another teacher who was also not what a teacher "should be." Sure, I can be that teacher. I can be the teacher that people say, after minutes of conversation, "No way. No way you're teacher." To this day, 5 years and 2 states and one administrative certification in, I am pleased when I go into the teacher supply stores and get annoyed with those other shoppers who embody what a teacher "should be." (And this is my yearbook picture with a wig on - I'm bald. Our personal yearbook easter egg.)

851. Jonathan N. (WA)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

A teacher I had once told me "If you find something that you are passionate about, run from it and if you cannot escape it, that is what you must do, that is your true passion." After a few years of college I dropped out to explore and find that passion, running away from the prospect of teaching to what, I did not know. I saw a clip one day, while on a search for good poetry and inspiration, of "What teachers make" and I was caught again. I realized then that teaching is truly that which I cannot escape. I'm back in school now, studying English and Anthropology, and am proudly pursuing that day when I will teach professionally.

850. Sean K. (NY)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

So there I was...a senior political science major at the University of Dayton. I knew I didn't want to be a lawyer and I knew I wasn't about run for office. I solidly convinced my friends and family that I wanted to be a teacher. The truth is, that I had no clue what I wanted to do and I was just picking something off the cuff. I was solidly convinced myself that I had spent four years getting the wrong degree..."Bah! I should have been an engineer!" Naturally, my internal restlessness became more external. Ready to call it quits and figure out what the hell I was going to do with a political science friend Maggie showed me a video called "What Teachers Make." That sealed it for me. I went from 0% sure about being a teacher to 100% sure because of that video. I can confidently say that, without that video, I would not be a teacher. PS: My image represents teaching in a roundabout sense...It represents discovery and passion...two of the most necessary elements of teaching and learning. (That's me on the right there)

849. April P. (GA)

Friday, November 04, 2011

The first time I saw Mr. Mali's "What Teachers Make" video was in an education class. Watching his video just confirmed that I needed to be in the classroom. I graduate in 2013 and plan on walking at graduation so that my young children can see what I have worked so hard for over the years. There are times that I worry about being in the classroom even though I know in my heart that I will be an asset to the students. Whenever I feel this way I watch one of his videos and it just reminds me that I am on the correct path. Though I have never met Mr. Mali he is an influence to me and I will not forget what I have learned from watching his videos.

848. Emily W. (OH)

Friday, November 04, 2011

I came to understand how much of a difference I could make. I want my future students to think outside of the box. I want my students to question everything they hear. Not just to memorize, but to understand. I want my future students to enjoy the classroom because what they are learning is relevant. I want my students to see the beauty in literature that society would just nonchalantly glance over. Because of Taylor Mali, I will make a difference in the lives of children.

847. Katie S. (OH)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Mali has inspired me to follow a path of becoming a teacher through his beautiful words.

846. Shanna F. (OH)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

First recommended to me by a friend through youtube, "What Teachers Make" helped me get through the crisis just about every education major has: should I really become a teacher? Afraid of the possible uncertainty of making a lot of money or not having a worthy status in the career world, the poem slapped me in the face. It set my priorities straight and I've been fighting the good fight for education ever since. I'm currently doing my student teaching in Belmopan, Belize and this path---this way of life---is incredibly rewarding.

845. Michelle S. (IL)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I always sort of wanted to become a teacher. I am currently a student at a community college in central Illinois. I decided I would take an intro to education class to see if I liked it or not. The day our teacher showed us your "What Teachers Make" video was the day I decided that, without a doubt, I should be a teacher. That day I applied to Illinois State University, trying to get into the Special Education program. I have been accepted and met with an adviser and my date of graduation is Dec 2014. I want to thank you for solidifying my interest in teaching. You have inspired me in ways that most have not been able to. Even though I thought about teaching a little bit before, YOU are the REAL reason I am becoming one. Thank you so much! Love, Michelle Teaching to me, is a full backpack :)

844. Kelsey M. (OH)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I have wanted to become a teacher since I was 5 years old, so I can't say that my entire decision was based on Taylor Mali's work. However, after years of taking classes debating the semantics of classroom rules, poverty, race issues, bullying...I started to reconsider my choice. Maybe I could try this major, or that. Then I heard Taylor Mali's "What Teachers Make." That was all I needed. I was reminded of what is so important about being a teacher. I was reminded that "those who can" actually do teach, because they are brave enough to put all of the faith that they have into other people, year after year. Thank you, Taylor Mali, for reminding me that this is what I'm meant to do.

843. Emily R. (ME)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I was part of the committee that brought Taylor out to the University of Utah to perform in Fall 2003. I did not know what I was doing with my life, let alone that I might, 8 years later, be standing in front of my own classroom. But that night I heard Taylor perform "What Teachers Make," among other wonderful pieces such as "On Girls Lending Pens" (I was that girl too), and these poems have stayed with me over the years. I think about "What Teachers Make," and "Like Lily Like Wilson," as I comment on papers, about minds turning, and how to help my students see "trouble spots" as the opportunities they actually are. I think about the resistance students experience with reading and writing and hope that I am making a difference.

842. Nick R. (CT)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

This will be my second year teaching at an inner city school in Hartford, Connecticut and I love teaching! I listened to almost all of your poems that summer before I got my first job teaching middle school. It helped to inspire me to come into class every day, fully animated, brimming with enthusiasm, new ideas, and hope for my kids. You capture the nobility of teaching in your poetry. The reality is that teachers who hold a genuine passion for their craft are poets too. It is an intangible art. We\'re on the front lines at battle and center stage performing, building a unique connection with our audience. We get a rush after every set and come early to the next gig. We think about our love of it into the late hours of the night. Sometimes we care more than others who should care the most. Thanks, Taylor.

841. Chantelle B. (WA)

Friday, October 21, 2011

My senior year of high school, I decided I wanted to be a teacher. "Weeeell," I'd say sounding like I was only considering it, "I'd have a job that didn't involve me trying to sell artwork from my cardboard box." I knew I wanted to a teacher, but people always seemed to think I could aspire to something "greater". But whats greater than knowing that I will make a difference? That I will inspire someone who needs inspiration? That someone will see themselves and their world a little differently, because I showed them they can and they want to? By the end of my freshman year of college, I decided to pursue graphic design. Now, I am taking my first design class. I am disconnected from my art, and I can't stand it. I thought it would be too easy to be seen as just a teacher if I got a degree in education. "You can't be an artist, you're a teacher." "Oh, you're just a teacher, you're not qualified for this." "Those who can't do, teach." My stomach churns at the thought of hearing these things. Teaching can, and will be, my art. I am intent on making a difference. I am intent on bringing tears and bringing laughter - I am intent on touching someone's mind and someone's heart. While I have not yet entered the program at my college, I prepare every day to get there. And if my hope ever falters, Mr. Mali will help keep it steady with his words.

840. Ginger F. (MA)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I recently returned to college at 27 years old simply because my employer said I needed a degree. I entered as an undeclared student and my first class, a writing class introduced me to this poem. This reignited the fire that I doused years ago to teach high school students. In the 8 weeks since my first listen I have made my major secondary education, begun volunteering at high schools near me, and am finally feeling like I can do something to make a change instead of just being scared for my own children's futures.

839. Ashley R. (WA)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Although deep in my heart there was always the desire to teach, I was scared my family and friends would think I wasn't reaching my potential by becoming a "lowly" school teacher. But when I heard "What Teachers Make" it inspired me to overcome my fears of what society would think and dedicate my life to teaching. Since then, I rest easy in the knowledge I'm doing what I was born to do; I wake up with a joy in my soul. I am currently in graduate school earning Masters in Initial Teaching and can't wait to have a classroom of my own. Thank you Mr. Mali for the courage and inspiration to follow my heart.

838. Shery S. (South Korea)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I don't know how eloquently I can describe the influence Taylor has had on my decision to become a teacher. Words that I have thought out, and have put into storage on the roof of my mouth, waiting to move to the tip of my tongue and out into the world, they all gently expire and I am left sitting in front of my computer screen, mouth partially open, wondering just how exactly I can explain the emotion Taylor Mali forces me to feel. There is no explanation for me, only action.

837. Jaimee C. (Australia)

Monday, October 17, 2011

I first decided to become a secondary teacher because I connected well with adolescents, but a couple years into the degree I began to doubt myself, thinking maybe teaching wasn't for me. My friend then showed me 'What Teachers Make', and I now have new found reason to be a teacher. I'm changing my course to teach Prep - 10, which I think will better suit me, and now I look forward to inspiring students to learn, explore, and achieve greatness!

836. Emilie P. (IL)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I've been in school for what seems like forever. You go K-12 and then you have to make the jump to pursue an actual career. I tried and failed four times. I had my son and didn't think about going back to school. After having my daughter I finally went back, no real major but new that just having education would be great. I felt that I almost had to do it to prove to all the skeptics out there that, yes, you can have your cookies and your milk, too. I knew that it was going to be rough with two children, but I did it and succeeded quite well, that is, until I found out that I was pregnant with my twin boys. I continued through school, and finally had a plan. I was going to be an artist, no wait, a business major, no, I'll probably be an accountant, hold on, I want to be a chef or get a PHD in psychology. You get what I mean. I had no real direction, but for a while indecision stuck, really stuck. Then, well, you might guess it, I got pregnant, again. And yes, my husband and I do know how that happens, you wouldn't be the first to ask. So, I took a semester off. I hated it. Four children under the age of 3 was a great feat, but I needed something more. So, I read, a lot, and I started thinking about becoming a children's author. When I sat down to actually do something, nothing came out, so I went back to art. I promise, my story is getting somewhere. In June of this year, I gave birth to our LAST child. I was itching for education, so my husband and I worked out a deal with my mother-in-law. She would watch four of five children, our oldest in pre-school, so that we could attend classes two days a week. I now felt invigorated about school. I could wait to get started, to learn and absorb all over again. I still hadn't picked a major, but I was going. Here's the part you may actually want to hear. My husband and I signed up for two campus classes together, English and Logic. It started as a wonderful semester in both classes, then we came to the poetry unit. I've al

835. Rebecca B. (MD)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Your poem What Teachers Make describes exactly how i feel about teaching. I already knew i was going to be a teacher, i'm in school working on majoring in Elementary Education. But, what i really want to be is a music teacher. music is my passion. I decided not to do that because they are cutting music out of so many schools. Recently you came into my school and i asked you "I'm assuming your not a teacher anymore. Why did you stop teaching?" and you essentially told me that your making a living doing what you love and that you are still a "teacher" you just don't work in a classroom. This inspired me to minor in music/music education. and work towards being a music teacher. Thank you :)

834. logan h. (KS)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My name is Logan, and I have just started on my journey through school to become an art teacher for children k-12. I'm not sure how eloquently I can put this, however when I saw Taylor Mali's poem is lit a spark in me that could not be extinguished until I had found a way, like the poem says, to make a difference. I've always been an artist, but now I can really help and make the world a better place for people by teaching our children how to see and record what they have seen.

833. Joy V. (Philippines)

Monday, October 10, 2011

I have always considered becoming a teacher but nothing pushed me to actually pursue it as a career. Taylor Mali's "What Teachers Make" gave me that push that I needed. A wake up call, if you will. I am carefully planning the steps for this career change I'm about to make and I've never been so excited about the future as I am now. I am eager to teach young minds about the world and also the essential things such as being kind and working hard. I can't wait to realize this dream. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration, Mr. Taylor Mali.

832. Victor v. (Holland)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The idea of becoming a teacher had slowly been growing in my mind for almost two years. Although now that I think of it, the idea has always been there, I just never dared to explore it, let alone rise up to the challenge of being a good teacher. A few months ago I graduated in physics and started a job. I had deceived myself thinking it was going to be Awesome. I have always lacked a sense of purpose and the job quickly reminded me of what I had always known: this was meaningless to me. A month later I asked myself: "If I were to quit my job, right now, and try, just try, to become a teacher: what is the worst that can happen?". And I didn't have an answer. I didn't need to, because in that moment I realized I was going to do it: I was going to be a teacher. The next day I quit. When I got home I had mail from 'TED' and that's when I saw it: 'What Teachers Make". It was so inspiring, so strong, it resonated with all of me. I was blown away. I could have come across 'What Teachers Make' any day, but I didn't. I did so the day I quit my job to become a teacher. It was hard for me not to believe in a God, I felt as though he reached out to me to say: "You have made the right choice". This is now two months ago. I am graduating as a teacher next year. For the first time in my life I feel purpose, I am filled with it! So many pieces have fallen into place. I want to make a goddamn difference!

831. Karina L. (England)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

I first heard Taylor Mali perform his poetry when he came to my High School in New York when I was in my senior year. I did not think at the time I would ever want to be a teacher, but his poem 'What Teachers Make' moved me deeply. I went on to study Law at Oxford University. I tutored to help pay my way through studies. I enjoyed tutoring but thought little of it. Then I qualified as a lawyer in England. I became a lawyer because I wanted to help people. However when I began to practice I realised that for many of those I was trying to help I was arriving years too late. If someone had helped them out when they were teenagers or children they might not be in the positions in which they now found themselves. I fretted over this realisation. I turned over in my mind how I could be of use to people. For a reason I cannot explain, I turned again to the poetry of Taylor Mali, particularly 'What Teachers Make' and 'Undivided Attention'. It began to dawn on me as I listened to Mali's message that I wanted to be a teacher. So I made the daunting leap from being a lawyer, with a bright and financially lucrative career ahead of me, into teaching. I am due to start Teach First in 2012 (England's version of Teach for America) and until then I am working in a state school in England. I am loving it and feel I am already making a difference. I believe my decision was among the best I have ever made. Thank you, Taylor Mali.

830. Brandy C. (IN)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Taylor, I was bored my freshman year of college, until a part time professor, a teaching veteran and later, a close friend, showed What Teachers Make in a drawn out class. We had finished discussing the economic downturn and, to the rue of many students, the complete lack of a job market in my hometown. Until this point, I knew I was in college because I told I would be. There was no purpose. My higher education was stagnant as my elementary experiences; bland, frustrating, and far beneath my intellectual capabilities. Hell, I knew I could do better. I brushed off the video for a semester, and in a basic English class, required campus wide, my professor discovered I had a gift in helping others improve their own writing. He elected me to receive my grade by tutoring others and critiquing. I was intrigued and inspired. That night, I watched What Teachers Make again. I changed my major to secondary English. I have studied, volunteered, taught and worked my ass off to get where I am today, and when asked why, I reply: Because I want to make a goddamned difference. What about you? I am a writer of fiction, of poetry, and I run a daycare that focuses on art and literature for children from the ages of 6 weeks to 13 years. I adopted a dog; a German shepherd mix that had been at the local Humane Society for over a year, unwanted, because no one was willing to help break his bad habits. He has taught me patience and shown me the greatest success and unconditional love I could have ever imagined. In one year, I will have graduated college cum laude, and be on my way to teach in some of the lowest income schools I have ever seen, because those kids need my help. Im one of few that actually give a damn. Had it not been for your words conflagrate words, I might be sitting at home, alone, doing a whole lot of nothing. Now, instead of being bored and feeling purposeless, I spend my nights reading Cormac McCarthy for fun. I love the style of Margaret Atwood, I s

829. Lindsey S. (VT)

Monday, October 03, 2011

I watched "What Teachers Make" in an undergraduate education class at Middlebury College. I can't say that this poem was the most influential factor in my decision to teach, but it is perhaps why I haven't given up yet. I'm currently teaching without a license in a needy public school. I'm taking my Praxis exams this week, and I've listened to "What Teachers Make" several times today to remind myself why I'm doing what I'm doing. The beauty and power of the words and message help me battle many of the issues I have with the teaching profession. All throughout my studies and certification, I have constantly feared that I should pursue a higher-paid, more prestigious career. But this poem reminds me, "I make a goddamn difference."

828. Margot L. (VA)

Monday, October 03, 2011

Last year, when i first heard Taylor Mali's "What Teachers Make" slam poem, a switch clicked on in my head. I've always known that i wanted to work with children, and i'd previously entertained becoming a teacher. It was, however, Mali's honesty and over all passion about teaching which made me believe i needed to become a teacher. To benefit tomorrow and to enrich the minds and lives of children is what i will dedicate my life to. I'm now a freshman in college and am taking my first education class. I am so thrilled and excited to begin my path to changing the world through teaching young children. I'm ready to "make 'em wonder, question, and criticize." Thank you, Mr. Mali. You've enriched my life and i will now pass on what you've taught me.

827. Chse K. (AL)

Monday, September 26, 2011

I first saw Taylor Mali's recitation of "What Teachers Make" on YouTube. For quite some time I had been experiencing an internal battle about my futue, the major that I had chosen in college, and what I wanted out of life. The three things listed above were not complementing each other, and I couldn't figure out why. Then I realized I had gotten it all wrong. I was going through motions, denying my true passions and aspirations. "What Teachers Make" spoke to me on a deeply personal level. It sent shivers through me, and made me want to both laugh and cry at the same time. It described the essence of who I was, even though it came from someone I had never met before. At the very moment I watched the video, my life changed forever. I realized that I have passions in life, but teaching is my calling, knowledge is my goal, and what I want to make is a difference. I am a Taylor Mali-created teacher. Thank you for your message and inspiration.

826. Lisa D. (NY)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"There is always a sense of urgency in a political poem.." In high school, I became a political activist and Taylor Mali's poetry was my handbook. I've done different things- politics, real estate, non-profit work but finally, decided to become a teacher. When people ask me why I want to teach, I often think back to those early days when I was first developing my worldview. I want to teach because there is always a sense of urgency in education.

825. Joshua P. (OH)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I first heard Taylor Malis poetry because of a mislabeled track downloaded in a Saul Williams rarities torrent. Sorry Mr. Mali. How to write a political poem was the title and it was impressive to say the least. Through indiefeeds poetry channel, and Mongo, the performance poetry worlds Lester Bangs, I heard more amazing poets such as Buddy Wakefield, Anis Mojgani, Danny Sherrard, Andrea Gibson, I could go on forever, Mike Mcgee, Derrick Brown, Bob Holman, ok so my world was changed. Funny fact #1: I have played music most of my life, was always the kid with headphones on on the bus, music all the time. When I got into spoken word, I heard only the music of the human voice for 5 weeks or so, I knew I had found something no one knew about, at least no one I knew, at least I thought so.. So, to get to the point I am 24 years old, went the year off route after high school, and after 5 more of those, I am a college freshman at Kent State University in Ashtabula, Ohio. I am going for a bachelors in English and then a masters in teaching, my goal is to bring performance poetry to the high schools around me, that is , the entire world, for we are all neighbors. I loved Taylors poem what teachers make and had often felt like him though could never express it more beautifully, however, at first this did not convince me to become a teacher. It has taken a few years to sink in, but with the ever patient guidence of the love of my life, the eyes and the future of our genius daughter, along with the words of Taylor and the hundreds of poets out there, like him, changing the way we communicate,I know what I am here to do. The age of love and creativity is upon us, and if we are going to evolve than so must our language. I Love you Taylor, and I appreciate the gift youve given us. Id be glad to add my name to your list and help you achieve your goal. Hope you have a strange, powerful day!

824. Jeremy F. (MA)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I had toyed with the idea of teaching for a while. After all, what do you do with a B.A. in English? However, after stumbling blindly upon "What Teachers Make", I remembered how my 11th Grade English teacher saved my academic career by giving me a second chance and helping me believe in myself. I want to be that person that gives students their second chances and helps them learn that, no matter what circumstances they are coming from, they can excel at life.

823. James H. (LA)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Teacher's Make, brought to mind images of two of my heroes, both of which are teachers. As I listened again and again to your words allowing them to reverberate through my mind over the course of the last few weeks, I decided that I'd start hunting a degree program down. I have always been passionate about the arts but never knew what to do with my my ability to speak to people through verse. You sir, were an inspiration to me, showing me a path I had never before considered. I have decided that there could be no better place for me than that of a teacher, I love helping others and this is how I can do that in ways they may never even realize. Helping and writing, have been two things that keep me happy for some time now, and your many works have given me reason to become the kind of teacher that a young student will never forget, the one that challenges them to be better than what they show and become what they truly are, amazing. Thank you Mr. Mali, truly sir you have given me a direction in life.

822. Claire H. (Canada)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I started university over 4 years ago in the concurrent education program at my school in Ontario. I was in the dual education program because I figured two degrees were better than one - not expecting to teach after the program. In my first teaching classes the professor put on the youtube clip of 'What teachers make" and i started to cry. I was so moved because I realized how important teachers are and how important teaching truly is to me. Since then, I've been dedicated to teaching. I'm in my last year of teachers college and love every minute I spend in the classroom, hoping to make an impact on as many students as I can. Thanks Taylor!

821. Gabrielle O. (CA)

Monday, September 12, 2011

During my sophomore year of high school I volunteered at my previous preschool and fell in love with children. I soon developed this love into passion I wanted to do something with it. I then found, "What Teachers Make" and "Miracle Workers" and found my calling in life. I used "What Teachers Make" as the basis for my graduate school intent essay. Taylor Mali is a true inspiration and always reminds me why I want to be a teacher always. The picture attached is me during fieldwork teaching working with a kindergarten class. I am teaching them about farm animals and using a KWL chart as well.

820. kelsey p. (MO)

Friday, September 09, 2011

Although I have not yet become a teacher, I am on my way. When I first entered college I thought I wanted to teach but as the year went on, I lost my dream. Maybe it was the shock of being away from home, or maybe I just lost my mind for a second, but suddenly I didn't know if I wanted to teach. Your video "What Teachers Make" reminded me of why I want to teach. Thank you so much. I can't wait to graduate and start changing the world. The picture I chose is from my high school graduation. I'm holding my baby sister. It represents teaching to me because I want to be the type of teacher I want my sister to have.

819. Benjamin W. (Germany)

Friday, September 09, 2011

Soon after I started my course in special education at cologne university I lost confidence in my choice of profession. Beeing a Slampoet and hosting one of the three cologne Poetry Slams looked much more appealing to me than boring cpourses at uni and the verbal beating you get as soon as you mention your prospective profession. This is when I came accross "what teachers make". I loved it and it definitely gave me a big push to finish university and give school a try. Today I have the best of the two worlds. I am a teacher at the Irena-Sendler-School and absolutely loving it plus thanks to the support of my principal and colleagues I am still hosting of what is now the biggest Poetry Slam in cologne with approx. 400 people in the audience and fantastic slampoets every month. The photo shows the the end of a show - the host (me) surrounded by fellow slampoets. For photos of my school and our projekts there check out the link listed below.

818. Christopher M. (MN)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Ok, so the most I teach is a couple workshops. I suppose I'm primarily a student. But I want to be a teacher. I've always been a poet, and I've always wanted to teach. Taylor told me I could do both.

817. Amy T. (Australia)

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

When I was little, my 'lofty' ambition in life was to marry the Scarecrow from the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. Growing up, I knew I wanted to travel. These were the only plans I was ever sure of, and neither of them were career based in any way. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. In year 10, the middle of high school, my school newsletter quoted "What Teacher's Make" and that was it. Many YouTube videos and readings of "What Learning Leaves" later and I am in the process of getting my Bachelor of Education/Bachelor of Science at University. I'm not a teacher yet; however the new plan is to be a high school Math teacher, one who can, hopefully, "teach like the first snow, falling". The image I have attached is a picture of my favourite teacher. When I think of teaching, and my educational experience, I think of him. He was, and, I can safely assume, still is, everything a teacher should be: informative, engaging and influential. He both taught History very well and inspired his students to lead a life they would be proud of. Taylor Mali and "What Teachers Make" made me want to be a teacher, the man in the picture is the kind of teacher I want to be.

816. Priv S. (MN)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I'm sure you have way more than 1,000 teachers on your list. I'm in my senior year of college, due to student-teach in Fall 2012. I'm a paraprofessional and a single mother. I want to teach so very badly, and I want to get GOOD at it. Presently, I don't feel that I'm prepared to have my own classroom. I do small-group and one-on-one well, but I almost have stage fright when it comes to speaking to larger groups. I want to have a more authoritative presence and I want to speak with more conviction. I have the calling, but I lack the courage. For now. A professor told me that I'm too concerned with appearing intelligent. Anyway, I loved "What Teachers Make." Thank you for your time. -Priv

815. Sathyasree G. (India)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I bumped into Taylor when I saw a quote- "I am a teacher and I make a goddamn difference! What about you?" I was told this was by Taylor Mali, I googled him and read and read and read... I was a teacher in a small school that I started, of very poor tribal children for more than 5 years. I LOVE CHILDREN and I LOVE TO TEACH... In the last 6 years I have been teaching mainly adults, policemen, teachers, policymakers, young adults, doctors. In India I teach them about sexuality and feeling their "true self". However I have wanted to get back to teaching children.... Though not a full time teacher anymore.... bumping into this wonderful Inspiration called "Taylor Mali" reading his poems has convinced me that I can go back to teaching once more... I needed a push and this is it! I will continue to read you Taylor and hope some day even be trained by you in one of your workshops. There are many children in India who do not have the fortune of having a teacher, I want to be there for them.... thank you Taylor!

814. Heather L. (Canada)

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Two years ago I was so very moved the first time I heard Taylor Mali's poetry, especially his 'What teachers Make'poem. As a nurse working with homeless youth and the mentally ill for many, many years I often accepted health care students and special ed student teachers, one by one, to briefly mentor them in work practicums. However I was sadly struck by the lack of passion and compassion being passed on to new nurses, doctors, social workers, and even the teachers of 'problem' children and youth. After discussions about this with a university professor, and endless viewings and readings of Taylor's poems, I started to move towards a big change. You see, on difficult days when a youth I knew died on an overdose, or when I heard disparaging remarks about the mentally ill from one that actually intended a future in the work, I often turned to and felt uplifted by Taylor's poetry. On a particularly tough day after reading his poems as I sipped a calming tea, it occurred to me that perhaps instead of the one to one mentoring I might become a teacher and 'be the change' I believed was needed. I added what I needed to my education and moved towards that goal with the intention of helping to bring the passion, compassion, empathy, and energy I saw lacking in the education of the caring professions. This week I started my job as just such a teacher at our Provincial College. I teach a new diploma program for those that will work with the disabled, autistic, mentally ill, learning disordered, street involved and developmentally delayed. It may be the proudest day of my life after the graduations of my own children. I am 53 years old and a new teacher that hopes to make a difference that is far reaching. Two years ago the thought of teaching had not entered my mind. Then I saw Taylor doing Spoken Word, even wrote my own poem, 'What Nurses Make', just for myself to read and feel inspired. I saw that it was possible to grow more and help others learn, even at 50. Thank you Mr.

813. Chelsea M. (LA)

Friday, September 02, 2011

I've always thought of myself as a passionate, free spirited person. I'd never considered that there may be a spot for me in the field of teaching. After seeing such passion demonstrated by Taylor Mali, I knew there was. I knew, after seeing his videos, that I could make the difference I had always wanted to make. I knew that changing the world was only one teaching degree away.

812. Yuki C. (CA)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I have always had a love for English and poetry, and have always looked up to teachers and have had a great respect for them. However, I had never really figured out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life... until I saw that one video. My English teacher from last year organizes a poetry slam annually, and showed us examples of famous poetry slammers to give us a basic idea of what to do, and one of them was of Taylor Mali performing "What Teachers Make." I was struck by the passion and pride he filled his poem with, and went home to look for more. That day, I discovered the poem, "Tony Steinberg: Brave Seventh Grade Viking Warrior" and the video of him explaining his goal to make 1000 teachers. I was nearly brought to tears from the amount of dedication and passion a teacher could possibly have for his students. So now, I have two dreams I wish to fulfill in my future teaching carreer which is: To, without lying at any point, be able to recite my favorite poem, "What Teachers Make" to my future students with as much pride, passion, and dignity as Taylor Mali had the first time I saw him.

811. Daniel O. (IL)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

As an undergrad at John Carroll University (2006-2010), I studied Political Science and History. I knew that I wanted to embark upon a career that would make a positive difference in the lives of others. After spending some time in thought, I came to the conclusion that a career as an educator was my calling. I decided to go back to school, and become a secondary social studies teacher. In January 2011, I started a Master of the Arts in Teaching program at Dominican University. Now whenever I listen to your poem, "What Teachers Make", I realize I made the right choice. I am excited about my future, and look forward to having a classroom of my own.

810. Hakim D. (CA)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I was a student teacher many years ago, and dropped that goal along the way... like when Nixon was still in the Oval Office. I was kicking around San Francisco, thinking about trying to get a teaching gig, when I saw/heard "What Do you Make" - which had a profound effect on me and galvanized me to get off my ass and make the appt for the interview at a local art school. I wound up teaching there and loved having a positive effect on the kids who had no idea that their worldview was skewed and colored by cartoons and the fairytales they were fed all through school. I taught a course that gave them the basic tools (and some secrets) for navigating the career world in pre-downturn Amerika. So... does this count?

809. Cherise V. (United States)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You're words move me. They make me think. Thank you for the inspiration.

808. Andrea M. (TN)

Monday, August 15, 2011

In the seventh grade, I sat down and made a list of all of the things I had ever wanted to be up to that point. The choices ranged from poet to musician to paleontologist to carpenter. Not once did "teacher" show up. I continued to struggle with what I wanted to do as a career up until my freshman year of college, when I came across Taylor's poem "What Teachers Make." I could not stop shaking I was so inspired. I realized that teaching was something I had always had in mind but never wanted to admit to. I had convinced myself that I had worked too hard in school to become "just a teacher." I am still in school and am constantly confronted with discouragement when I reveal my plans to pursue teaching. In a country that is so rarely appreciative of teachers, I can't thank Taylor enough for his unabashed pride and conviction in his work. You've made a teacher out of me.

807. Megan F. (MA)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

You are just so inspirational, I look forward to teaching and using that inspiration.

806. Desiree R. (FL)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Growing up, I always had a passion for teaching. I loved working with children and knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I had completed my first 2 years of college and was preparing to enter the College of Education at my school when I began to have second thoughts. I was feeling overwhelmed by my classes and all the new legislation that was being discussed made me worried about my future career. I was seriously thinking about other options when I received an email from my Mother. It was one of the "anonymous" variations of the "What Teachers Make" poem. I loved it and it reaffirmed my decision to be a teacher. I want to help students become more than they ever thought possible. I want to inspire them to do better in life. And I don't care how much or little I make, because if I am happy with my career, and if I make a difference, that is what matters to me.

805. Heike D. (NJ)

Friday, August 12, 2011

I did not consider becoming a teacher for a long time, even though I was passionate about learning and convincing other people that learning was important. When I heard your slam piece about what teachers make, it really resonated with me. I know the most important people in my life have been my father and my teachers, and that they made me into the person that I am today. I want every child to have what I had, which is someone who cared enough to make them do it over. I joined Teach For America this year and I'm teaching Spanish to the most beautiful first and second graders that ever existed. I make a difference, and its for them that I do this incredibly hard but rewarding work.

804. Travis A. (OR)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Several months ago the teachers at my community college came within hours of having to go on strike. During this ordeal, one of the teachers posted a link to a YouTube video of Taylor doing his "What Teachers Make" poem. I looked around at the great teachers around me and how they had changed my life, and as I listened to his words, I realized that I, too, wanted to make a difference in people's lives. That is why I am continuing my education with the goal of being a teacher myself one day.

803. Jacob A. (OK)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I never knew what I wanted to do with my life. My senior year of high school, all my friends were deciding to be biochemical engineers, nuclear engineers, surgeons, military officers etc. and I could never definitively say what I wanted to be. I had always thought teaching would be a fun job: I could always see myself in front of a classroom, and I secretly always had those ideas in the back of my mind when ever my teacher did something "I would have done it like this!", never a dull day, and after all I love kids. But I could not get over the fact that teachers really make dirt for money, especially in Oklahoma where I grew up (my mom is a teacher so believe me I know). Then I saw Mr. Malis What Teachers Make. Suddenly, I realized that, it IS possible to get by. It may not be easy, but there is so much more to the job than money. Now I'm a sophomore in college, majoring in Elementary Deaf Education.

802. Faith B. (GA)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

After a year of ongoing health problems and morphing from a performing musician and soon to be music educator to a person who can not play their instrument due to physical limitations, I had given up hope on following my life dream of becoming a music educator. A few months after all of this reality set in I discovered all of Mr. Mali's work and sat for countless hours watching, enjoying, crying, and rejoicing over all that I could find on youtube. "Undivided Attention" was actually the first to set me back straight. I too want to teach like the piano gracefully dangaling in midair. The second to really affect me was "Tony Steinberg." In a student teaching course we had a child die of cancer in the middle of the year, it reminded me how giving and loving children are. They need people with passion to help them through life. I have Mr. Mali to that for driving me to continue my education degree. It may not be in music but it will be in something where I can make a difference.

801. Sarah C. (IN)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I had a slightest inkling teaching is what I might want to do. I bounced back and forth about if it was for me and if I wanted to do it. However Mr. Mali's passionate poems showed me that emotionally it is what I wanted to commit my life to for the rest of my life. He gave me hope and an inspiration that teachers do make a difference.

800. Tiffany H. (UT)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I teach art, so already I've got a challenge before me. I always knew I wanted to work with kids, and I have always been artistic, but I wasn't sure if "elementary school art teacher" was a career that would actually still be around by the time I graduated college. I started thinking about other options, something that would be more profitable and reliable, but I felt like I was selling out. Then I saw "What Teachers Make" on YouTube, and it lit my fire. I knew that no matter how hard it was, how long and how far I had to pedal uphill, that it was all worth it. I make a goddamn difference.

799. Clarissa F. (PA)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Taylor helped me decide that I want to become a english teacher because the english language is a beautiful thing when used right.

798. Aaron K. (Canada)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Taylor's work has helped me to decide to be a teacher immensely, I knew I would enjoy it, but I was leaning towards being a sports medicine doctor or a lawyer until I heard his poem about what teacher's make. I want to make a difference too. Thank you Taylor!

797. Kassie R. (AZ)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I have always loved children and worked very well with them. Teaching was something that always had appeal to me, but I wasn't sure it was right for me; I just wasn't sure that it was what I was meant to do. During my junior year of high school, my English teacher played us a YouTube video. The video was "What Teachers Make". Incredibly inspiring. There are no words for the impression that he made, and in that instant, I knew that teaching was the path I was meant to be on, because I truly felt everything Taylor said in that video, and I knew my talents would be best used in teaching. Today I am a junior at Arizona State University. I declared my major (Early Childhood Education) my freshman year there, and I have stood by my decision. In a few weeks I will start my field experience in the community! Many (and I mean a LOT) of people have discouraged me from entering this field because Arizonas education system is in a very bad place. But Im not in this for the money, I am doing this because I love it and am meant to be here. Im proud to be going into this profession. I also plan to teach in Uganda for a few years after I graduate. I did just that this summer, as depicted below. This picture is of the children in the classroom in Uganda where I taught all subjects with a heavy focus on English. Loved every second of it! My heart belongs in teaching, and it may very well belong in teaching in Uganda! Thank you Taylor for the inspiration!

796. Caroline M. (CA)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

For the longest time my parents pushed me to look at jobs that payed well. Sure I would have been good at them, but none of them held that personal significance I was looking for. It wasn't until my 11th grade year after watching "What Teachers Make," "Like Lilly Like Wilson" and some other videos that I realized I would love to teach and that I could make a difference doing it. I am now on my way to being a part of the educational revolution that needs to happen in America. I will be attending Willamette University to study English and theatre and then go on to the graduate program at Willamette to teach those subjects. I wrote one of my college admissions essays about wanting to be a part of this list and now I'm here. Thank you Mr. Mali...

795. Katie G. (MI)

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I was in 10th grade, and I was still fixed upon becoming a writer. I told my parents that I would be a teacher just to appease them, but I didn't really have any intention of doing so. Then I saw "What Teachers Make", and I thought that that sounded like one of the best things ever, and teaching became a great idea for my future, in my mind. As the years have passed, and I'm about to go to college, teaching still is something that I really want to do, among the many other things that I want to do, because I've noticed how much I enjoy teaching people new things and how important a good education can be for so many people around the world. So thanks, Taylor, for inspiring me to be a teacher. I don't think I'll ever let that idea go.

794. Adam M. (WI)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

I am 23 and have almost completed my undergraduate degree in History. I've had some really rewarding volunteer experiences teaching, and also worked for a year and a half at a before/after school program for grade school children. Becoming an adult myself, I have been questioning who I am and what it is exactly that I value. For a long time I feel like I've been confused about what career I've wanted to pursue because I held two contradictory voices in my head that 'money is the root of all evil' and 'well, i would like to be rich/successful myself'. I have decided that having a positive influence on my community is worth more than any high paying salary, and is the true measure of success at the end of the day. Taylor's videos such as 'what teachers make' and 'like totally whatever' were a huge inspiration, seeing a teacher speak with authority on the value of the vocation - especially in a time in America where education seems to be undervalued. He honestly helped me make up my mind, and I will be starting the grade 6-12 social studies education program this year :]

793. Robert B. (TX)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fall of my Junior year, a friend who was in the Education programme at our college showed me your "What Teachers Make" video. I began reflecting on the people who've invested in my education to get me where I am today. Starting with my mother who homeschooled me for 7 years; then both my parents who worked night and day to put me through private school; continuing with teachers at that school who pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of by making me work harder than I'd ever had to before; to professors at college who taught me the delight of academics as well as the discipline necessary; and most recently my pastor who has shown me what it means to be a Christian and a scholar. They have truly made a difference in my life, which I would not have recognised apart from your poem. I am now in Teach For America, and will begin teaching 4th grade in 3 weeks. I wonder what difference I will make.

792. Nick C. (FL)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Taylor Mali held a seminar at the State College of Florida right when I decided I wanted to do something with English Literature, but I wasn't sure what. Mr. Mali actually borrowed my "geek" glasses to help with a poem and, although I couldn't see what he was doing, I enjoyed the poem nonetheless. Comedy aside, Mr. Mali's work gave me the finishing touch on my decision to become a teacher. In fact, during my next two years studying at the University of South Florida, I hope to perhaps work as a substitute teacher to supplement my studies.

791. Alli M. (CA)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I was first introduced to your poetry during my first year in college. My English professor showed our class "Speak with Conviction" and "What Teachers Make". Tears of inspiration welled up in my eyes. I had never been moved so deeply from a poem. Teaching has always been something I've been interested in doing, but that interest deflated after a rough high school experience. You replanted that passion in my heart with your words. Now, I am in college and on my way to becoming the teacher I've always dreamed of being. I want to teach high school film and English. I feel those two subjects compliment each other very well. They can be used to help students form their own ideas as young adults, as appose to stating their mother and fathers opinions as their own. You re-ignighted my passion and I truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Your name will be very well known in my classroom one day.

790. Dan D. (VA)

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm not a poet, I surely know it, and that is all you'll get from me, Dan D. Taylor, I have been working toward my MAT at James Madison University. Ever since I switched my degree from Finance to Elementary Education, I have found purpose in every action I take within the classroom. Even outside the classroom, I strive to better myself as an educator. I have always believed in the power of a great teacher, thanks in part to a mom that was a teacher, and a fortunate series of encounters in my own schooling with great teachers. I am researching what it means to be a professional teacher in one of my classes. I led my fraternity in donating recess equipment for an entire elementary school. I work with my college to help improve our program so that we are sending the best teachers possible out into this increasingly complex and diverse society. I thought I had the ultimate drive, and then I watched "Make a Difference". Ironically enough, I don't have the words to describe what your words did for me. From my picture, you will see I'm the only guy in my ELED cohort. I am often in a situation where I'm biting my tongue outside of college, but today I decided that is through. It's time to stand up to the critics, and teach them too. Information is today's currency, and it is time to acknowledge the true brokers.Thank you for your inspiration.

789. Tabitha M. (PA)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I cannot honestly say you were the reason I started taking teaching classes. Depression was the reason. However I can say, with all certainty, that you are in part responsible for my continuation on the path to an elementary education degree. Whenever I waver in my thought process about staying the course especially now I've done a lot of the exciting education elective classes and am stuck with general ed math and science classes I listen to you perform or read What Learning Leaves and you inspire me to stick with it. Your poetry and my college experience converged around the same time, so I know you have been influential in the choices I have made. Growing up in England, I didn't seriously consider becoming a teacher when I grew up, though I always felt the ability to read and a love of books was important. I love reading, reading aloud and reading with children. I am unsure of what lies ahead with teaching. I may end up teaching preschoolers rather than fourth graders. I feel early education is really important for a good solid foundation in life. I have a background in health counseling and writing. If it turns out I am not one of your one thousand teachers, I will still be a teacher. Who and what I teach and where.. well, that remains to be seen. I want to thank you for sharing your life with us through your writing, because try as I might, I cannot coherently describe how deeply your writing and performing has moved me and enriched my life.

788. Peter B. (WI)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

While I already had started as a teacher in a "Teach for America" like program; (Missouri Province of Jesuits' Alumni Service Corps) the spring of my first year of teaching was rough towards the end. Until a colleague and friend of mine sent me your video which reminded me why I wanted to risk myself on this career in the first place instead of a cozy job in public relations - it's always about the students and making a difference. That's all that matters.

787. Emily C. (MA)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Before watching "What Teachers Make", I had always undervalued teachers. However, after experiencing Taylor Mali's performance, I realized that true teachers do what they do because it's more than just a job; it's a calling . Taylor Mali kindled this passion in me which I never knew I had, which is to teach English and make a difference. Even if it's just one young person whose life I change, it will all be worth it!

786. Brandee B. (CA)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

For the past 2 years I've been lost. But after watching "What Teachers Make", I knew what my life's calling way. Taylor is brilliant. I absolutely adore him.

785. Taeke S. (The Netherlands)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dear Taylor, Although I had decided to become a teacher independently of your influence some 6 years ago, you have been an inspiration. My road to the classroom has been a long one so far, and not without its hurdles. My first experience with the Dutch higher education system was not entirely fruitful, to say the least. The school I was attending was subpar, which I might have overcome were it not for my inability to properly live independently from my parents for the first time. Having a place of my own led to too much alcohol and marijuana abuse, which of course led to failure. My second try was a bit more succesful. I went to a different college, closer to home, and entered a partially internation course, the International Degree in English and Education (IDEE). During my first year there I quit smoking pot and toned down my consumption of alcohol. It all went more or less the way it was supposed to and after I got my foundation year certificate I was allowed to study at the University of Wolverhampton in the UK. The course consisted semesters there alternating semester at the Dutch Hogeschool van Amsterdam (vocational university). Again I began to develop problems, one of them a result of my earlier lifestyle and the other plain old dumb luck. I was struck by Pfeiffer's disease, perhaps better know in the US and the kissing disease or 'mono'(?), and a rather severe case of agoraphobic anxiety disorder, which I can trace back to my early childhood and substance abuse in my adolescence. Once again I was forced to quit the course, and I was really close to giving up. This is where you come in: I crashed and burned, so to say, and was looking forward to a life of unskilled labor to pay off my debts. Instead, you inspired me to keep at it. I got therapy, medication which has helped me a great deal (turns out I have ADD as well, which my mother always suspected but never really was a problem because I pretty much breezed my way through secondary ed

784. Kayla N. (MI)

Monday, July 18, 2011

As I'm beginning my internship year in Lansing, MI, I have watched "What About You?" at least a dozen times to remind myself that while this will be difficult, overwhelming, exhausting, and seemingly impossible at will also be rewarding, inspiring, wonderful, and WORTH IT. I stumbled upon Taylor Mali a little over a year and a half ago, as I was truly struggling with my decision to be an elementary education major. I was so moved and excited about his words that I shared the clip with my classmates. Thank you, Taylor. Even as a student teacher, I WILL make a difference to these fourth graders.

783. Susan S. (CO)

Friday, July 15, 2011

I was sent Taylor's link by a former college classmate. Although I have already taken and passed my 'alternative teaching license' for secondary social studies, I am not there yet (i.e. not licensed) but Taylor has really firmed my resolve. I want to treat students like I assume they are intelligent, and give them reasons to care about the world they live in and will be safeguarding and saving as adults. I am so enthusiastic about this prospect that I am already devising lesson plans and ideas to make this happen. I plan to battle complacency and smug ignorance in every class I teach and replace it with interest, curiosity, and enthusiasm!

782. roland o. (United States)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

When I was 16 I dropped out of high school. The teachers I had said that I was a smart kid but lacked any direction. It was this negative influence that led me to believe that I could never be more than a blue collar construction worker. This was far from the truth. I worked in the fire sprinkler industry till I was 25. It was then I realized that this would never make me happy. Lucky me, I have a amazing grandmother who inspired me to go back to school. During my first semester at college I fell in love with school. Still I was lacking direction. It was then that through a random YouTube search I found your "What teachers make" spoken word. after I wiped the tears from my eyes a light bulb went off. I knew at that moment that this was my calling. I finished my AA in a year and a half taking a average of 17 hrs a semester plus every mini semester I could. I am now a year away from my BA. My goal is to become a professor of cultural anthropology before I'm 35. Even if you do not add me to your list, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have made a HUGE impact on my life. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. Again thank you for all your doing to make the world a better place. (the picture is of me giving a juggling stix demo for kids at the Ft Worth science museum )

781. Kayla S. (MN)

Monday, July 11, 2011

About four summers ago, I was miserable working a dead-end job at a printing company. I heard an ad for Teach for America on the radio with some of the lines from Taylor's poem in it- and the line "I make a difference, what about you?" has penetrated the depth of my heart ever since. Today, I am on the final leg of my college journey, hoping that I will make a difference by teaching young men and women come next fall and the many years that follow.

780. Max P. (NY)

Saturday, July 09, 2011

I first became aware of you and your work when you spoke at Binghamton University's convocation for new students in 2004. I found it somewhat odd that you had been chosen to speak there, as Binghamton didn't have a teacher education program for undergraduates! Nevertheless, I had been considering a career in education and your words helped to motivate me. To make a long story short, I have since completed a master's degree in education and have begun my teaching career. Your poetry helps to remind me that teaching is a very challenging but rewarding profession, and I thank you for the inspiration.

779. Kelley C. (CO)

Friday, July 08, 2011

I had no idea that I wanted to become a teacher until college. After TA-ing for a few years and enjoying it, I still wasn't sure if teaching was what I wanted to do with my physics degree after I graduated. It was my poetry teacher, Toni Lefton, that really sealed the deal. My absolute favorite unit in her class was the slam poetry unit. She showed us "Slam Nation", which is where I first heard of Taylor Mali, and fell in love with his humorous teaching poems. The most inspirational, however, was "what teachers make". It really opened my eyes to the satisfaction that can be gained through teaching. Three years after that class, I finally decided to join Teach for America. I fully believe in our mission that all students deserve an excellent education and CAN achieve greatness despite their parent's income or the color of their skin. I finished institute, our 5 week teaching bootcamp, exactly 36 minutes ago. To close us out, the TFA staff played us an inspirational video-- "What teachers make" by Taylor Mali. Naturally, I had a quick flashback to my poetry class, where I first heard the poem. As I keep the students that I had this summer in my heart, and as I look forward to meeting my future students this fall in the Rio Grande Valley, I believe that I WILL make a difference. What about you? PS- Sorry I am not very eloquent with my words. I was a physics major, after all.

778. Carlos G. (FL)

Friday, July 08, 2011

I am currently a junior at the University of Florida. I initially came to study Physiology and Kinesiology and intended to go to medical school. I have always been involved in sports, however, and felt that being a doctor was not going to make me happy in life, so I decided to drop pre-med and continue to become an athletic trainer. After watching your video in UFTeach introductory course, I knew that I could not have found a better career to go along with athletic training. I am now continuing to pursue my Applied Physiology and Kinesiology degree along with a teaching minor so that I can teach high school chemistry and be an athletic trainer. When I told my mother, she laughed and the first thing she said was, "what does a high school teacher make?" In response, I sent her one of your renditions of the poem, along with the Spanish translation found on your site to ensure she didn't miss any points. Thank you, Mr. Mali!

777. Amanda F. (MA)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I started tutoring my freshman year of college, and someone sent me a video of Taylor's "How much does a teacher make?" video. And I declared my education minor that week. I've always known I've wanted to make a difference, but for the longest time, I thought that would mean I was going to cure cancer. But between tutoring and Taylor's video, I knew that becoming a physics teacher was the best move I could ever make.

776. Ben A. (NY)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Hearing you perform "Like Lilly Like Wilson," "What Teachers Make" during my first year at Sarah Lawrence left a huge impression on me, as did your kindness when I approached you after the show. A few months later, my grandfather took me out to dinner and told me that he'd been stirred by a poem that Thomas Friedman had quoted in his Yale commencement speech. Once I realized what poem he was quoting, I told Grandpa about you and e-mailed him "What Teachers Make." We talked a little further about teaching, and he told me that there was "no higher calling." In the following years, I've taught at over 20 schools all over New York City. I couldn't even begin to capsulize how this happened, but your words helped push me off the diving board, and I really admire and appreciate you for it.

775. Connor M. (IL)

Monday, July 04, 2011

I have swapped notions for a while as to what I wanted to be. Years ago I did want to be a teacher, but soon that was cast aside. It was because of your video "What a teacher makes" that I am currently in school to become a teacher. You are one of the primary reasons I picked this job. --The picture attached is one I find to be the most inspiring for intellects of action. Dr. King's mug shot, while bitter and controversial, teaches so much to the viewer while portraying almost nothing of artistic value. I find it wonderfully interesting, something that should be used to push us and hold us to a higher belief than that of what "looks right".

774. Emily E. (CO)

Friday, July 01, 2011

I had thought about being a teacher, but had lost most of my motivation due to things that people had said to me. Listening to Taylor's poem "What Teachers Make," and especially the last line, resparked the passion I had and made me remember why I had once wanted to be a teacher. So thank you, Taylor for writing that poem.

773. Celeste Maril A. (Paraguay)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The poem "What teachers make" give me the final push to become one, I am a nurse studying to be a doctor... and thanks to you I'm a college teacher to. I teach Medical Ethics and I love it. Its a shame that I can not tell you briefly what teaching means to me, or how your work help me to finally decide; because English it is not my native language, but I will try it, is the least I can do. The poems "What teachers make" and "Like Lilly like Wilson" truly marked me in a way a can hardly describe... it made me realize that maybe I can too make a difference. You see; in my country, medical ethic is something tremendously rare... doctors are usually treated like gods and patients are the little toys animals. We have lost somewhere in the path of medicine our humanity in treating patients and I'm intended to return it, one student a the time if it is necessary. So... what I'm trying to say, very poorly, is that I want to make a difference and make medicine human again. The image below represents teaching for me because is away to help someone and yourself to fly. Cliche I know but still true for me. Thank You Mr. Taylor. Please keep inspiring us all, and sorry for my English. GRACIAS EN VERDAD.

772. Brian K. (NY)

Monday, June 27, 2011

I first heard "What Teachers Make" when I was in high school, and around that time the first seeds of becoming an educator were planted in my mind, partly due to Taylor's poetry. Entering college, I thought I was going to go into politics. Toward the end of college I became disillusioned with the political scene but still wanted to do something to give back to my community. Those seeds had slowly but surely been growing all that time, and by the time I graduated I knew for sure that teaching in an inner-city school was what I wanted to do.

771. Audrey B. (NC)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

For a while I have considered teaching but after witnessing firsthand the frustrations that come along with the profession, I decided not to...until I stumbled along Mr. Mali's poems. I've always known that teachers really do make a difference, they made a difference in mine, I jsut never thought that I was capable of doing so. So thank you Mr. Mali. I hope to teach one day. Right now I'm in college and on the Teaching Fellows alternate list. You have definitely made a difference in my life. The picture of I have attached is with me and my sisters who I have taught to swim, read, and to love math, writing, art, and poetry.

770. Cameron R. (WA)

Friday, June 24, 2011

My name is Cameron, and I wanted to take a second to share my story with you. To put it simply, you are the reason I made it through my teacher certification program and into the classroom. Since I was in high school I have known that I wanted to become an elementary school teacher. I made it all the way through my first two years of college and into my teaching program when I sadly lost the heart to teach. As you might understand, being a male in the elementary teaching profession isnt always welcomed with open arms. I finally quit because I was so sick of the negative images that were piled on me after I told others about my choice to be come a teacher. I filed to take a semester off from my program and spent the next two semesters working towards my English and creative writing degree. During this time I was very unhappy with my classes but I had convinced myself that I had made the tough, but right, choice. I needed one more class to finish and I decided to take an English teaching course (only because it fit into my schedule). The class itself was truly unremarkable except for one point. On the last day of class our professor showed us your What Teachers Make video, which had been emailed to her the previous night. Right then I realized that I was on the verge of making a huge mistake. I reenrolled in my elementary education program the next semester and graduated with honors this last December. I am now a substitute teacher in Washington and know for certain that I am right where I belong. There are no other words to say besides, Thank you Taylor. This is the is logo of the school that taught me how to teach. You are the reason I am a Teacher.

769. Andrew S. (CA)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Simply put, not one person in my entire family has a college degree. I knew that was going to change when I witnessed your passion through poetry,for the art of teaching. School used to make me sick to my stomach and I was on the 10 year college plan but I finished. I jumped head first into the teaching profession at perhaps the worst time for teachers but, after surviving my first year in a Mod/Severe E.D. class, I can say with pride, I am a teacher! I look forward to the many years of shaping minds and for that I thank you Mr. Mali

768. Alec B. (MS)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I am a new teacher with Teach for America. I heard Taylor perform multiple times while I was a high school student at Dalton. I have an autographed copy of What Learning Leaves and I admit I consulted "What Teachers Make" when I was considering applying to TFA. I'm very happy with my decision. (Explanation of my image: a sunrise represents endless possibility and new hope.)

767. Dylan R. (MI)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I am a 20 year old kid who still does not know which direction to take in life. However I'm writing this more about my girlfriend of two years than I am about myself. Her name is Brooke Olson. My sweetheart started to go to college for education about a year ago today. She knew that that's what she wanted to do. However I continually have reminded her..."what teachers make." And about the economy and how maybe she should go for being a professor or something that made more and had a more secure place. She started to waiver in her decision and then she seen your video. And showed it to me. It reinforced her decision and changed my mind likewise. I'm proud to say that because of least partly she is going to continue her dream. And maybe just maybe ill teach to. If this doesn't make it on your list, that's ok. I just wanted to thank you personally.

766. sydney b. (IL)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teaching was something that was always in the back of my head, but i never actually wanted to pursue it. I remember in 7th grade when God specifically told me that my calling in life would be teaching... but just like anyone else- I thought of every possible way to avoid my calling. I am now a sophomore in college, and I just switched my major from English to Elementary Education. One of the major reasons for switching to an education degree is the mere fact of watching Taylor Mali's: What Teachers Make. Not only was this video hilarious and completely entertaining, but it also explained exactly what I want to do with my life. So many reasons why!! I want my kids, my future students, to not only leave my classroom more educated, but as better people. I want to make an impact of 20 or 30 children, who then can make an impact on 20-30 of their friends... and the ripples keep going. My picture is of my youth group at church. Me? You ask? Im the tall blonde, 3rd from the left. The rest of them? A few of my co-leaders... and then a bunch of sugar-hyped 6th graders. This picture was taken the last day of our Fall Retreat, Click. This picture represents teaching to me. It represents the time and effort it takes into persuing kids and trying to make them better people. I remember when this picture was taken. I was exhausted. I was completly worn out from long nights of church services, followed by impacting bonfires, and then talking and hanging out with some of the 6th grade girls.

765. James C. (VA)

Monday, June 20, 2011

I believe and agree with my whole heart and soul in your "what teachers make" writings. As an Art teacher I feel as if I relate to what you say when you state how you make children think, imagine, and create - how you make them believe they can do more than they may have ever been told they can do. The greatest thing you can make is a difference in a child's life, the path you help them along will have ripple effects that you can never imagine.

764. Chase E. (IN)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hello there, Mr. Mali! First and foremost, I must express my many thanks and gratitude to you, for reminding me why I am enrolled in the secondary education/English program at my university. I had forgotten why I decided I wanted to become a teacher. I am currently entering my sophomore year in college, and I had been contemplating a slightly different career after college. I got distracted by the recent attack on educators, and I let it scare me (the budget cuts, salary cuts, union-busting, etc.) I saw your "What teachers make" video on a friend's Facebook page, and immediately clicked on the link. I realize now that letting petty political ignorance get to me was a mistake; I should've taken it as motivation! I should have taken it as motivation to be an educator that proves all of them wrong. And I WILL be that educator. Thank you for everything you do, and I cannot wait to begin my career!

763. Samuila M. (Bulgaria)

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm a sixteen year old girl, and I've always wanted to become a teacher but had thought it impossible. I don't know why, but I had always seen it as something I'm not supposed to do, because I go to a private school, and most of the students who graduate there become doctors or lawyers or businessmen or something else "serious." However, last Wednesday, there was an Open Mic night, and my (completely amazing) Geography teacher performed "What Teachers Make." It was truly wonderful, and now I am absolutely sure that I will become a teacher, no matter what. Although you are not directly involved in the whole situation, I think my teacher is actually greatly influenced by you, so you are, in a way, the prime cause of my decision (which I am really happy about).

762. Victoria M. (NC)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I was sitting in my Educational Psych class at WCU wondering if I had chosen the right career. It wasn't too late to change my major and I was really considering it. My friends and family were trying to talk me out of it because I, "could make more money doing practically ANYTHING else." Our psych teacher played "What Teachers Make" in our class after a particularly depressing look at statistics that showed us how many of us would quit before teaching for ten years. I remember feeling like I completely understood every part of the poem and could not wait to start teaching, so I could make a difference. It was the moment I knew that I had, in fact, picked the right career. Every time I meet someone who asks me why I want to teach I make them watch "What Teachers Make." Okay okay, I make people watch it even when they don't ask me why I want to teach. Picture Explanation: My dad wants me to do something that makes me happy and I want to do something that makes him proud. Teaching meets both of those requirements.

761. Christine F. (NH)

Friday, June 10, 2011

I was one of those people who had always been jealous of kids that have known what they wanted to do with their life since they were in first grade. I used to find the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" one of the most difficult to answer. I had always loved writing, but it wasn't until my junior year American Lit class when my teacher introduced me to Taylor Mali and What Teachers Make that I seriously considered becoming an English teacher. I am now a recent high school graduate, heading to DC in the fall to study Secondary Education, for English. I don't think I would be doing so if I hadn't heard Taylor talk about teaching as a profession that goes beyond just a low salary and sometimes little appreciation, but as one that can bring great meaning and change to others.

760. Jasper A. (The Netherlands)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Good day to you Sir, I am currently finishing my first year on a college in the Netherlands to become a teacher of biology. In the first quarter of the year i discovered your "What teachers make" poem. Before i heard the poem i didn't know for sure if i made the right choice, but after 1 day i noticed that i watched the youtube movie for over 20 times. It worked very inspirational for me and since that time i really know for sure what i want to do as a teacher, and maybe more important, that i want to be a teacher. Thank you for all inspiriation your poems are given me and i keep my fingers crossed for you, that you will make your deadline. Also with high hopes i am looking forward to further and future poems of yourself.

759. Andrea D. (MO)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

My freshman year of college I declared myself an English major because it was easy and I knew I was good at it. Not knowing where to go from there but falling into the trap of believing what my fellow students claimed about a BA in English, I promptly started in on the teaching track. I'm not ashamed to say there were a few hiccups along the way, and I soon found that "easy" college plan of mine to be anything but. When I realized a break from my formal education was necessary, I went in search of a job I could have for a little while that might help my future career goals. Long story short, I spent two years as a paraprofessional in a preschool classroom. In that time I shed an inordinate number of tears, along with nearly as much sweat and even a bit of blood. As I sat in a former professor's office one day, sobbing my eyes out in terror that I would never be able to enact the kind of change I so desperately wanted, I was told that I needed to listen to the poem "What Teachers Make." This poem has become somewhat of an anthem of mine. I have played it for many a teacher myself, sometimes to laughter and other times to tears. In the years since I have discovered many other poems of yours that touch me just as deeply. But every time I'm having a bad day or I start to feel like I may never see the change in the world I so desperately want to help shape, I listen to that one familiar poem and remind myself that I'm already well on my way. So, thank you Taylor.

758. Danielle H. (MI)

Monday, June 06, 2011

I was shown the video "What Teachers Make?" in my ENG 111 class. We watched a version that did not show your face, in order to show us our own judgments and misconceptions of people; reminding us that people are not things, and we've closed our minds to what we've decided we won't accept. My assumption notes were as follows: "Black, self-righteous motivator. Intolerance for intolerance, and slightly jaded." I was taken aback at my own judgments, racism and general closed-mindedness. I had to share. And after sharing this video with so many people, and doing what I do for work, and seeing the injustice of poor parenting. The attitudes of unfit (unwilling) parents to their unwanted children (paychecks), Ive come to a grave understanding that the children I work with dont need medication and therapy, caseworkers and psychiatrists. They need someone to believe in them, to push them beyond what theyve ever assumed (or have been told) they were capable of. To let them be uncomfortable. To let them get angry and frustrated and fight it out. Go ahead and scream. Yell. Yell at the top of your lungs. Be angry. And when youre done, well learn how to your shoes. Ive also noticed a great decline in our cultures use of language. Making up words-ish, rather than acquiring and making use of proper vocabulary. Were becoming a culture of Google-smart, use-of-knowledge-dumb people. God forbid we forget how to think and connect ideas. In the words of someone Ive never met on Twitter, Jeff Goldstein (@doctorjeff): I used to tell students knowledge is power. No longer. It isn't. It's all just a Google away. Power rests in how to use knowledge. I will teach because we dont have to accept the flow of the world. And others need to know they dont have to either. Thanks Mr. Mali, for your "intolerance for intolerance." It gave me courage. It will be saddening to see the hair go, but it will happen.

757. Mike E. (NJ)

Sunday, June 05, 2011

After scouring the internet for some time attempting to find the profound lyrical roots of hip-hop, i had instead ran into a series referred to "Def Poetry Jam." The appeal to the program, containing names of rap artists who i had come to respect and support, was instantaneous. Strip the beats and catchy hooks of rap and you have found its distant relative... poetry. Indiscriminately watching artists, i found a particular poem entitled "What Teachers Make." Previously i had considered the occupation, but wasn't completely sold on the idea. There were still just a few nagging worries. However, after watching the performance, how could i not? This complete stranger seemed exactly like me... LOVED sticking it to arrogant, money-grubbing, brown-nosers who had a serious lack of social tact. Beyond this one highly commendable trait, it was obvious that being a teacher is one of the most important jobs in the world; you create the future. You have the greatest responsibility of all. And knowing that i would be paid to help create positive change, even on a small scale, just seems to be too good to be true.

756. Steven P. (NC)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Initially, I did not have interest in being a teacher. For that matter, I had only a passing interest in education at large. I was obsessed with writing, and it was mostly my girlfriend watching videos of you performing your poems that made me realize it's a legitimate option- and that teaching is already something I sort of do, anyway. It's still a while before I can make this new dream of mine come true, but it's certainly something I feel I will be happy with, and without a doubt Mr. Mali's works and readings had an effect on tipping me in that direction (that and the several people that told me I sound like a teacher..).

755. Caleb H. (NC)

Friday, June 03, 2011

I went to two different high schools, on private, and on public. The private school was small, and didn't really foster in us a drive to be anything. Most of the kids, besides me, were legacies, going into businesses they were being groomed for. But I wasn't. However, I moved from Virginia to North Carolina, and in my junior year of high school, my creative writing teacher introduced me to your work. Since then, all I wanted to do was become a teacher, and as she did with me, help students find a passion for their futures, to instill in them the drive to reach or their goals with unending desire and strength of heart.

754. Lacey A. (WA)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Dear Mr. Mali, I wanted to thank you for what you've heard 753 times. I have decided to become a teacher. I may teach literature, I may teach science, hell I might only teach my son how to live right and tie his shoelaces. As you said in "what teachers make" it doesn't really matter how much money I make, if I get paid at all. But I want to see the lights turn on in a child's mind. I want to see students honour their viking warrior, and know that I've learned more from them than they ever will from me. I want to make a difference. I want to teach

753. Elizabeth R. (IL)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Journalism. That was my career of choice. After all, what can you do with an English degree besides be a starving novelist? For some reason, teaching never really crossed my mind, probably because I'd so hated my years in high school. Then, one day, I heard your voice through the wall of my classroom. The Introduction to Education class was next door and the professor was blasting your poem. Next semester I was in that class, absorbing all of the passion for the profession that my own teacher could offer us. Your poem was our Pledge of Allegiance, our motto, and our prayer. I went home and looked up every other poem of yours that I could find and for the first time in my life I felt like I could be part of something bigger than myself. I'm a Junior now, accepted into my university's education program, and looking forward to the day when I can make a difference in just one kid's life and pass on all of the wonderful things that my teachers have done for me. Also, the apple is a drawing of mine. I had to draw a fruit in art class and I forgot to bring one, so I asked another teacher for something from his lunch so I wouldn't be counted off for not being prepared.

752. Derek R. (IA)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

In my senior year of high school I had my heart set on becoming an aerospace engineer. However, I then started working in a 5th grade class everyday and I loved it so I switched to elementary education. Although I made this choice before hearing about you, I came to college at Iowa State very unsure of my choice. I heard your \"What Teachers Make\" poem and it boosted my confidence through the roof. I bought your books and when I feel my confidence deflated from my college classes I get your books out and read your poems and I feel like I can take on anything. Although you weren\'t the initial inspiration for me to become a teacher you are like a lantern that lights the path and says, \"keep going.\" My picture is from my spring break trip where I worked at the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, SD. It was an amazing experience and it showed to me that teaching is about giving kids the opportunity to explore the possibilities. On that reservation, children don\'t have the opportunities I had, and they sure do not receive the love my classmates and I received in school and it\'s one of your poems that says kids need lots of love. In the few observation classes I\'ve had, I see great potential in every child, and teachers have the power to show children they can learn anything and do anything, not just seeing if they can add some numbers it goes much more deeper than that. There is no greater feeling than to have someone believe in you, and I want to bestow that on my students. I know I am not necessarily in the exact criteria listed above, but working with kids is my passion and it only grows stronger when I read your words Mr. Mali. The poems reassure me that it\'s worth it and teaching is going to be the greatest reward I can receive.

751. Zainab K. (VA)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm smart. Straight A, academic letter smart. Teachers and friends are certain that I should go into medicine or law or politics so that I can "change the world." But I already know how I'm going to do that: I'm going to teach. Whenever that makes people furrow their eyebrows or look at me like I'm crazy (or tell me as much) and I get discouraged, I go back to Mr. Mali's poem, "What Teachers Make" and I remember why I want to do it. He gives me courage, because teaching isn't about me or money or prestige. It's about my students and what I can try to give them and what they will give to me, and at the end of the day, that's what matters.

750. Brittany T. (FL)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I took a few semesters of American Sign Language with a professor (Mike Tuccelli) at the University of Florida. He always said, "You have to do what brings you joy." My junior and senior year, I volunteered at a local elementary that had Deaf classrooms. Although I enjoyed being with the kids, essentially teaching them in some ways, I didn't think I could be a teacher. My degree was in psychology after all. I was supposed to be a counselor. As winter break of my senior year of undergrad approached, I was confused as to what to do next. A decision had to be made. The job market was terrible and I had no idea what I wanted to do, let alone where to apply to grad school or if that was even an option. During the holiday time, a girlfriend of mine majoring in education sent me a YouTube link. She said, "This video is so moving." I clicked on it and it was "What Teachers Make" by Taylor Mali. She was right. The poem made me realize that I wanted to teach. It seemed to be perfect timing as I was completing last minute grad school applications at the time. I applied to Boston University's Education of the Deaf program and I am proud to say that I just finished my first year. Thank you Taylor. Your passion has inspired a fire within me.

749. Gabriela M. (Mexico)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I started teaching English as a foreign Language when I was seventeen in an effort to pay my way through college-engineering at that time. unfortunately, I could not finish my degree and had to continue teaching, because it was the only thing I knew how to do. For years, I was "stuck" teaching, trying to find a way out. Until I heard Mr. Mali. I had an opportunity to finish a career, but after reflecting on Mr.Mali and the importance of teaching he conveys, I am happy to say that I chose to finish a degree in education. Thank you Mr.Mali,and my students thank you too, because you not only made me a teacher, you made me a better person, you are one of my great inspirations...

748. Shad H. (NY)

Friday, May 27, 2011

I have always been teaching in some way or another, but didn't really see it as a legitimate career choice. Not challenging enough, and I wouldn't be making a big enough difference. It's taken a lot to change that view around, and make me realize that all of the most influential people in the world were teachers. Your poetry was one of the beginning influences that started me thinking along the lines of, "Maybe teaching is important enough,". I don't think I'll teach at a public school, because I don't like the system, but I've already found alternative ways to teach and I am starting to embrace the idea that I am a teacher, that's what I do, and I will make a god damn difference. Good luck with your goals Mr. Mali.

747. Kari A. (NE)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Taylor's "what do you make?", along with my mother, and college friends I have kept in touch with over the years have inspired me to return to school. After working in retail for 7 years, it was time to go back and earn the Bachelor's Degree I was working toward years ago but never finished. I have returned to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to acquire a degree in Secondary Education - Special Education. I selected an apple as my image because of a favorite Freidrich Nietzsche quote of mine. "Anyone who has declared someone else to be an idiot, a bad apple, is annoyed when it turns out in the end that he isn't."

746. Jessiah M. (CA)

Friday, May 27, 2011

I got all the way through my first year of college without any idea for the future. All summer I thought about not going back, and the sad fact that I had no realistic goal for the future. It hit me one day all at once, no exaggeration. I want to be a teacher. My father is a teacher, I enjoyed school, I love reading, I like explaining things to people. I want to be a high school English teacher. I went back to school rejuvenated, but still a little worried about my future. Teachers don't get paid well, the system is corrupt, the students will hate me... Then in the last day of my "Education in a Changing World" class, a girl put on your video "What Teachers Make". I was hooked. He's right. I can make a goddamn difference, I can connect with kids, screw the long hours and the bad pay. Today I'm a week away from finishing my AA in Literature and moving on to the next step. Thank you Mr. Mali for your brilliant poetry, and your inspiration. The picture I submitted is of me and my father at an Ultimate Frisbee game. He teaches high school, and at lunch goes out and plays Ultimate with students. He loves the game and he truly cares about his job. Not so much teaching kids how to spell, or do math, but teaching kids how to be better people. That's what a real teacher should teach.

745. Melissa M. (Australia)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I was unsure about becoming a teacher because of how low the pay was, but I still loved being with kids. After I heard your "What Teachers Make" I knew I had to follow me dream and become a teacher. THANKYOU

744. Samantha B. (VA)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I went to college, originally, to be a marine biologist. I took courses and went through a year and a half of the program when I hit a wall in statistics. I went to my counselor that semester explaining my situation and he asked one question: Who was your favorite teacher in school? I answered, "My english teacher, Mrs. Woolery." He then suggested I take some educational classes to see if teaching was for me. I scoffed, but signed up for some education classes. The first education class I stepped foot in, the teacher introduced the course by playing "What Teachers Make" by Taylor Mali. At that point, I remember feeling my brain and heart clicking together...that I should become a teacher for the kids that need one.

743. Katia R. (OH)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Although I have not started my teaching career yet, after watching Taylor's What a Teacher Makes poem on an old Def Poetry Jam DVD, it has confirmed and made me more confident in my decision to attend Grad School in the fall to attain my Education Degree. And I have made a mental note that if one day any of my peers asks me what I do for a living, I will be able to show them a video of What a Teacher Makes, and that be just cause for no further questioning. Thank you. The photo is a picture of my niece, whom for the past five years I have been reading to, or showing colors to her, teaching numbers or doing anything at all to help her learn. I have loved helping her learn and I can't wait to get started with other children.

742. Jennifer M. (MN)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Growing up with a math-teaching mother and an english-teaching grandmother the thought crossed my mind a few times to become a teacher, but never for any length of time. I thought about being a band director since that was my biggest passion throughout middle and high school, but my inability to multiple instruments left me to decide I was inadequate for the job. Eventually after years of contemplating all the different subjects I love I landed to where I am now. As of June 17, 2011 I will be a college graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design. About a year ago after watching "What Teachers Make" repeatedly I realized that not only do I have tremendous respect for my mother and grandmother, but that I wanted to follow in their footsteps. A year later this desire is stronger than ever and there's no turning back now. So here I am ready to enter the "real world", to gain my experience and a Masters degree to prepare myself for the next step - becoming a teacher. Whether it be High School or College the future is unclear, but one thing is for sure; I will have a classroom of my own one day. The attached picture is of me and my mother. :)

741. Chester O. (CA)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I took my first education class at UCSD with the goal that I would eventually teach college students, mainly because they tend to not require discipline. My thoughts were that I could teach math without having to worry about behavior issues with the students. However, on the final lecture of that first class, I was shown a video of you performing "What Teachers Make" on Youtube. Your poem speaks to teaching in general, but really focuses on interacting with students on a personal level and making a difference in not only their mathematical education, but also in their life as a whole. I realized that though college teaching lacks behavior problems, it also tends to lack the connection and impact a teacher can make with and on a student. Your poem gave me the motivation and inspiration to teach students and try to make a difference in their lives. I have been apprentice teaching at a middle school in San Diego for a few months, and though the behavior problems are frequent and frustrating, trying to make "the difference" your poem promotes is definitely worth it. Though collegiate teaching still interests me and may one day be my career, I am currently entering UCSD's M.Ed/Credential program and plan to teach secondary school for at least a few years. I am graduating from UCSD minoring in math education, and my last undergraduate education class luckily ended the same way the first did, with your poem. I am happy to say, that your poem's effect on me has yet to fade. I still and will continue to have the want to teach my students mathematics, but more importantly to make a positive difference in all my students' lives.

740. Gillian S. (Canada)

Monday, May 23, 2011

When I was a child, I wanted to be an actress. Then, I wanted to be a popstar. Then, I wanted to be a writer. Then, I had absolutely no clue. I was in 10th grade when I saw "What Teachers Make" for the first time. I stumbled upon the video on Youtube, and I must have watched it at least 100 times since then. Seeing the passion that Mr. Mali had for teaching reminded me of my own teachers, and their intelligence, patience and dedication. In that moment, I knew that I wanted to change someone's life the way my own had been changed. Mr. Mali's poem, while not the sole inspiration for my decision, was definitely the catalyst. Throughout my life, all of my teachers, whether in school or out have had a profound impact on my life, and I am eternally in their debt. While I'm not quite a teacher yet, I know that I will spend the rest of my life working to become one, and hopefully, be one that will make my own teachers proud.

739. Suzanne M. (NJ)

Friday, May 20, 2011

I am 45 years old, recently divorced, and was having trouble finding freelance graphic design work to support myself and my two little girls. So, with all this time on my hands and budget cuts in their school, I have volunteer-taught 98 K-4 students, Fine Art since September. I have Kindergarteners that can pick out Van Gogh's Starry Night. It amazes me. The birth of my children aside, teaching is the most fulfilling experience. I am so glad I have found it. Coming across your video on YouTube, I will now move forward with sending off those college transcripts that have been sitting here, and getting my certificate. That image is a mosaic created by my 2nd graders. Each was responsible for colorizing a section of something that they did not know of... we pieced them together in utter amazement. And this week, each one shall crawl under the art tables and draw on paper attached to the table's underside, for two minutes. Then they will really feel what it was like for Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, and remember it. :) I love this. Thanks for validating...

738. Michael O. (OR)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I appreciate what you do. Your dedication to the service of other people by inspiring more teachers is admirable. Teachers have such a strong influence on students, both through admiration and resentment, and we need more of them like you. I first heard your poems, which i can't remember the name of for the life of me, in a poetry class at the University of Oregon. One was about the boy with cancer building a viking ship. The other ended in "the red penis your friend." I've been hooked on your poetry since. I like the way you addressed the belief in a quantifiable, tangible validation of a life choice in your poem "What teachers make." Emphasis on economic security is a soul-killer that adds an element of fear to all of us who choose to follow our passions. Your poems help me to re-focus my intention. I have always felt enjoyment and satisfaction from explaining things well and getting to the bottom of a question with another person. My interests in language, music, acting, and all forms of communication stem from my deep love of learning and teaching. I have not decided exactly how it will manifest itself, but I will teach for the rest of my life. Your poems helped me to solidify this decision, and are a constant reminder of where I came from, and what I believe in.

737. Kate L. (MA)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

All my life, people have been telling me that I would make a good teacher. I was a bookish and smart kid and I spent plenty of time playing "school", but I wasn't sure that I wanted to make a life out of it. I wasn't sure that teaching would be worth it. You came to my school (Newton North) in 2009 and recited "What Teachers Make" and it changed my mind. Today I read it to a class of fifth-graders and their parents, as well as my former fifth-grade teacher before I told her that I was going to be a teacher. I graduated from high school a week ago and I'll be pursuing a minor in education when I go to college. I hope to be teaching as soon as possible. Now I know it's worth it. Thank you so much. -Kate

736. Erica C. (KY)

Friday, May 20, 2011

I am 55 years old and always said I would NEVER be a teacher. I have worked for profit; not for profit; owned my own business (in Freeport, Maine - right across the street from L.L. Bean) When we relocated to Kentucky, I begain substituting and found out I learned SO MUCH (more than the kids would ever learn) and that I really enjoyed it. I was offered a job teaching freshman Biology at Lexington Catholic High School (private schools can hire nontraditional folks like me!) and now teach Anatomy and Physiology to juniors and seniors as well. Again, I have learned SO MUCH. I know about you since I did a lot of growing up on Orr's Island, Maine and was a waitress at the Rock Ovens Restaurant and the Log Cabin (I know you are a Bowdoin grad - did you ever get to Orr's and Bailey Islands?) I have friends who work at Bowdoin and tell me about Bowdoin grads - thus my knowledge of you and what you are doing.

735. Jason D. (OR)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Taylor Mali is a brilliant speaker/poet. This individual has enlightened me with the pure elegance of the spoken, and written, word. I have always loved learning, and what better way to learn than to teach someone else. When I first heard Taylor's poem "the the impotence of proof reading" I nearly lost my mind with the elegant use misused of words. Taylor has opened my eyes to the need of teachers with his poems and speaking. I have always been a delver of lost knowledge, and I feel that teaching will allow my compendium of information to expand exponentially, all while allowing others to thrive and prosper with what meager insight I may or may not provide. I am currently in college for electronics, but as I continue through my program, I have discovered that no amount of schooling can educate you like the teaching profession. Taylor you have opened my eyes and mind to the need that is out there. I am sorry to not have presented a picture of myself, but I have no adequate picture to portray my idea for teaching. This picture is the epitome of education to me. The ability to learn and grow is what matters most to me, and hopefully to the students I will someday teach!

734. Ali C. (WA)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

In 7th grade I had an English teacher named Patrick Colonna. And he introduces me to literature, and spoken word, and poetry, and writing that literally saved my life. After he was fired that same year i gave up on writing and gave up on being an English teacher because of the way he was treated. I just spend 2 hours watching all of Taylor's work on Youtube and after the first one I watched, "What do teacher's make?" I wanted to look back into teaching. My the end of the first hour I was deciding weather or not it was actually going to happen. 15 minutes later I was thinking about what grades i want to teach, weather i want to focus on literature or poetry or writing or a bit of everything. Tomorrow I am going to my Dean at my college and changing my major from Media design and Business, to Education. Thank you Taylor Mali, for helping me to remember not only my passion for literature and helping kids, but for helping me to remember the 7th grade English teacher that saved my life.

733. Tara V. (NV)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Taylor Mali's poetry reminded me what a positive impact many of my own teachers have had on my life. His words served as an inspiration to show the joy and power of education. After listening to much of his poetry, I am finally getting a degree in secondary education, and will receive a NV state teaching license in December.

732. Gabrielle K. (Australia)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

For all of my life I have felt lost. I didn't know what I wanted to be and frankly have done a lot in y past that I probably shouldn't have done. :) I came across your poem one night "What teachers make" and was blown away by your passion and honesty, and then promptly pushed it to the back of my mind. However your comments and ideas sparked something which I couldnt put my finger on, but that continued to gnaw at my subconscious. Festering thoughts about wasting my potential started to pollute my happy minimalistic cruise through life. And would often awake from my sleep thinking to myself But what does a receptionist make?? Nothing! Long story short, I am now a single mother with an amazing son who I love more than I could ever have thought possible. I love to watch him grow and learn! The light in his eyes when he experiences or connects something new is indescribable! This amazing feeling was something I wanted to nurture. I am now completing my second year of my Bachelor of Education, and feeling a little bit anti-climactic at the completion of my first year went in search for some inspiration and what do you know, I found some! It was once again your poem What Teachers Make that re-ignited my passion for learning and inspiring children to become the best conceivable versions of themselves. So, Mr Taylor Mali! Thank you! :)

731. Sarah B. (WI)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My name is Sarah Baebler, when I was 16 my mother told me to be a teacher but that wasn't what I wanted to do at all. I wanted to help animals. It's taken me 8 years and I'm still in school. Right now I'm pursuing a teaching degree in Elementary and Special Education. I plan to be a teacher of the visually impaired or special education teacher. When I transfered schools I decided to take some general ed classes. One of the classes i took was a beginner education class. One day we saw your "What A Teacher Makes" and it inspired me. I've been legally blind since birth, and I've never had teachers that taught me well or understood how to teach someone who is blind. After I saw more of your videos, I knew I needed to get into the field and help those that are pushed under the rug and not given any expectations. Thank you for inspiring me, and like I said... I had horrible teacehrs so please forgive the spelling and grammer. Thanks again! SARAH

730. Heather T. (NY)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I was a semester away from graduating from college with a straight English degree. I accidentally got placed in a class that had a field component in a high school English classroom. The very first day, the teacher I was with played me a clip of Taylor Mali performing "What Teacher's Make". I changed my major to secondary English education the next day. I graduate in four days with a Master's degree and I am job hunting like crazy. Thanks, Taylor Mali! You have definitely inspired me more than words can say.

729. Mark V. (SD)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mr. Mali, I have "taught" for years . . . seminars, lectures, teams. I was a soccer coach, a basketball coach and, most recently, a debate coach. But I was not a teacher. I was, horror of horrors, an attorney. In my defense, I was a prosecutor, something I viewed for 25 years as being an attorney with a calling. I have left the law behind. In the fall (after a self-created sabbatical), I will be teaching Rhetoric at one local college and Critical Thinking at a VoTech. So where did you come in? I am a debate coach, always on the look-out for Interp material. I have no idea what Google search turned up "What Teachers Make," but it reminded me why I wanted a job that was a calling, not just a profession. Prosecution had ceased to be that. It has become increasingly a creature of the media and a stepping-stone for political ambitions. Your obvious passion was a catalyst and the beginning of a process that saw me leave the courtroom. Ethical rules precluded me from applying for teaching jobs until after I left prosecution, so this was truly a leap of faith. You reminded this son of a professor that teaching is one of the few places left where inspiration isn't a side-effect; it IS the job. You helped give me the courage to join you in making a difference. The image is one that we have adopted as our mascot on our debate team. Like penguins, debaters are often over-dressed, frequently ridiculed, but surprisingly graceful in their natural environment. Yesterday, my debaters presented me with a picture much like this so that my future students would know that "we were your first children."

728. Mark M. (NY)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I came across a video of "What Teachers Make" in 2004. I had just been made redundant from my computing job, and I had no clue what I was going to do. I had twenty-five years experience in information technology, and I was burned out. Taylor's impassioned words about what it really meant to teach, gave me a perspective on life and a new goal to aspire to. Six years later, I graduated with my Masters degree in teaching, and I now tutor math and science to disadvantaged students in northern New York State. Thanks Taylor, I now know what teachers make, and I also know what makes a teacher.

727. Alicia S. (ME)

Friday, May 13, 2011

I stumbled upon my love for teaching by accident. A schedule flaw placed me in Education 101 my sophomore year at Bowdoin. I was hooked, however could not quite shake the fear of money. I was questioning my future career plans when a friend forwarded me the youtube video of "What Teacher's Make." It reminded me of everything that got lost in the language of money; that teaching isn't about the money. Thank you Taylor Mali for giving me the motivation to follow my dream career!

726. Nicole T. (NJ)

Friday, May 13, 2011

I didn't always wanted to be a teacher, in fact, up until this year, I didn't really know what I wanted to be when I "grew up". Seeing your work, hearing your words, and listening to you speak, has made me realize that this line of work is for me. The lesson plans, grading papers, field trips, tests, homework assignments, everything: it what I want to do. It is the career, profession, job, whatever you want to call it, that I want to be a part of. I am 21 years old and a Senior at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ. I will be graduating in December 2011 with a degree in Psychology and Elementary Education/Special Education, and this is partially because of the influence your work has had on me. Thank you, Taylor Mali. PS: Reasoning behind my picture: my smile. Becoming a teacher has encompassed some of the happiest and most rewarding moments of my life.

725. Evan C. (United States)

Friday, May 13, 2011

I first heard What Teachers Make at my YMCA summer camp the summer after my freshman year of high school. It was recited by one of my counselors and role models, Lucian Bessmer (who could be on your list, and if hes not, then he probably should be), and I was amazed by the passion he had for helping others learn and grow. It forever changed the way I looked at teachers. That poem, combined with my own personal growth I had experienced because of my counselors, inspired me to be to dedicate all of the last two summers, and the one upcoming, to being a camp counselor myself. Ill be the first to admit I am not an academic teacher, per say; but I do more than teach kids how to shoot a basketball or get a bulls eye in archery. I teach kids how to live responsibly, and to be honest and caring, while having the utmost respect for everyone around them. I teach campers to take care of their bodies, to never be afraid to try new things, and most importantly, to be themselves. That being said, I am only an 18 year old freshman in college, and I do not know what the coming years will bring. What I do know, however, is that I will become a math teacher sometime in the not so distant future, because your work has helped me realize that there is no better way to make the world a better place, than to have a positive impact on the lives of children as a teacher.

724. Matthew L. (NY)

Friday, May 13, 2011

I am not actually sure if I count because I am currently a student. I am currently a Freshman at Bowdoin College, where you just performed and I got the chance to meet you which was a huge honor. I have wanted to be a teacher since my Sophomore year of high school. I will hopefully become a high school math or computer science teacher after I graduate. The seed was planted by my sister, Liz, currently getting her masters in education while teaching an after-school program in a Spanish Harlem middle school. Liz gave me a love of teaching, but she also instilled in me a love of Slam Poetry and showed me your work for the first time. I heard two of your poems "Miracle Workers" and "Undivided Attention" on youtube and at the suggestion of my sister my sophomore year in high school and it is not a coincidence that was the time I started to want to be a teacher. Your poems about teaching make me reflect on all of the amazing educational experiences that I have had and if I could inspire one child the way some of my teachers have inspired me I would be so happy. That is why I will become a teacher

723. Cuthbert T. (ME)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I am currently a senior at Bowdoin College, your alma mater. I have been teetering on the brink of whether or not I want to become a teacher. I had always thought I would major in Biology and just work in a laboratory for the rest of my life. However, I took an Education course here at Bowdoin and started to consider teacher. What sealed the deal was a classmate of mine sent me a link to "What Teachers Make." From then on I have dedicated myself wholeheartedly to becoming the best teacher I can be. I owe you a lot. Your passion has truly inspired me. I attended your poetry reading at Bowdoin on 5/12 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you so much everything.

722. Anh L. (CA)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I have always thought about being a teacher, but after having the privilege of hearing your wonderful words on Youtube, my decision has been confirmed. There are no other jobs that I want more than a teaching career. You are awesome and inspiring. I aspire to be a teacher just like you.

721. Kiran M. (CA)

Monday, May 09, 2011

I’ve never had someone to really encourage and inspire me to become a teacher until I watched “What Teachers Make” by Taylor Mali. Growing up as a little girl I would love playing the role of a teacher. I would have my two brothers’ play as my students and I would help them with their homework that I would create. Every time I bring up, “I want to be a teacher one day” or “It would be so fun to be a teacher and inpire students” around my family members I would get a negative reply “that’s good but it’s not good enough”, “teachers don’t get paid well” or “they have to deal with so many problems”… I'm about to turn 23 in June. I went from majoring in nursing to human resources management. I like how human resources have teaching involved, but it just isn’t good enough for me… I want to inspire and motivate students to believe in themselves… And I will! I just recently applied for a summer class to help me get there, thanks to Mr. Mali. I was bound to do this. Thanks again. You’re amazing!

720. Patrick M. (PA)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

In high school, I thought I wanted to be an actor, so I performed on the speech/debate/performance team. One day, my coach handed me a collection of "Teacher Poems" by Taylor Mali. My life was never the same. I fell in love with the work and wanted to include education in my life, so I became an actor and acting coach, but it wasn't enough, something was still missing. The analysis? The classroom? The desk? YES! I am now going for my Masters in Secondary English Ed. Thank you, Taylor.

719. Margrethe Aas J. (Norway)

Friday, May 06, 2011

I work as a substitute teacher in a local high school. I have a bachelor degree and working on my MA. I did not know that I wanted to become a teacher, but working as one has made me make my choice. I will be doing teacher's training, starting in the fall of 2011. Your poem, What Teachers Make, is so powerful. Thank you!

718. Kelly V. (PA)

Friday, May 06, 2011

I was always going to be an Engineer. I went to college, worked a while as an engineer and then went on to graduate school for engineering. While in graduate school, I realized that I kinda-sorta-maybe liked teaching our freshman lab courses more than doing my own research. The idea of becoming a teacher lightly tiptoed through my mind. I was filled with doubt, however: doubt about how my family and friends (and colleagues) would view me, doubt about whether or not I could do it, doubt about how to afford it. In those months, I started searching the internet about how to become a teacher, and what it really meant in practical terms to be a teacher. It was then that I came across your videos on youtube. I remember watching them all in a row. Your words filled me with a resolve that had, until that moment, been mild trepidation. My family is still not happy with my decision - they did, afterall, pay to send me to private engineering college - but after seeing the kind of resolve that I have developed to stand up to their criticism, they are starting to come around. This confidence and drive is something that I would place as originating absolutely on the day that I watched your videos. I am NOT yet a teacher. I am still finishing my PhD in engineering while taking education courses at night. I will begin my student teaching in 6 months, after defending my PhD. And I am scheduled to be licensed and practicing next summer. Thanks!! and good luck with the challenge :)

717. Peter H. (Denmark)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Dear Taylor, It may already have come to your attention that your message has long since reached far beyond yor homeland. Such is the nature of the internet medium, such is the nature of truly authentic and meaningful messages. So, too, to Denmark in far away yet so electronically close Scandinavia, where a young boy of forty-five, weary of consumerism, populism, materialism, immediatesatisfactionism, fore- and afterthoughtlessness, individualism, egotism, whybotherism, whyshouldIgiveashitism, and nevermindfulness has left the corporate world, abandoning a promising pointless business career to pay forward for whatever misconceptions, misunderstandings, miscomprehensions, and missed opportunities, of the world at large of which he may have made himself guilty in the past, the present, and the future for that matter, with hopefully a suitable balanced amount of clarity of vision and humility toward the task at hand; not to become a teacher so much as to be a teacher, to make a difference that makes a difference. The message I hear you carry I already heard from myself, yet you have lent meaningful words to its meaning and, in doing so, you have helped cement my determination to go ahead and do what I have set out to do. At a critical point in my teachers education, your words have helped me stay on track without losing track and helped my education stay unhindered by my schooling. So count me in. Ill consider myself honored and privileged to be reckoned among your one thousand. Respectfully, Peter

716. Krista D. (MA)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

You remind me a lot of one of my favorite teachers, Christopher Aukerman. You have both shown me that education must be more than transferring data: Education must be original. It must be guidance. In his words, "Different people learn differently, and that is a beautiful thing... If we really know what we're teaching, we can recognize different ways that students get it." I can think of nothing more worthy of my efforts than helping students to grow into their own ideas. As I don't have any photos of him, the photo I attached is of a younger version of myself and two other integral teachers to me from UArts in Philly's pre-college summer program. They pushed me farther than I thought I could physically go in my acting, but all the while I felt comfortable enough to trust them in it. I was introduced to your work by one of my teachers in high school and it has stuck in my mind ever since. As a student, I have looked up to all of you and thought how joyous it must be to oversee these breakthroughs! Now completing my freshman year of college, I can say that I have decided (many thanks to you) to teach. It will not be easy, but I can think of nothing I would enjoy more than working to see students reach their potential. I sincerely thank you for your work, and wish you luck in your quest!

715. Andrew L. (NC)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I fell into Taylor Malis work in College 9 years ago. I was searching for material for my senior project and a mentor of mine handed me 'What Learning Leaves' with the poem 'What Teachers Make' bookmarked. The next day I emailed Mr. Mali asking if I could perform his work. I never received a personal response but later, on his website, I found a section giving permission to do so. Since then I've been sharing Mr. Malis poetry to anyone who would listen, at benefits, parties, around campfires. Taylor taught me about art, love, and discipline through his writing. Mr. Mali's poetry gave me confidence in my abilities. After college I made the decision to attend grad school where I first started teaching. I teach acting and performance. I give my students a Taylor Mali poem to work on. Great writing inspires great acting. I teach at different schools in and around Asheville, NC as a teacher artist for the NC Stage Company. I also coach and teach private tap lessons, guitar lessons, and audition prep sessions. Without Taylor Mali I would not be a teacher. Thank you Taylor! The Picture is from a play called I Killed My Mother by Andras Visky, dedicated to my mentor Christopher J. Markle

714. Michelle Z. (IL)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I first heard your poem "What Teachers Make" when I was in 6th grade. At that time I was throwing around many possible ideas for what I could be in my future life, but after being exposed to your poem I put teaching on my list. Through the rest of middle and high school I began narrowing down my list, but because of you teaching stayed on that list. Now, as i'm completing my freshman year in college, I couldn't imagine becoming anything but a teacher. Thank you so much for writing down and speaking your words, they truly have made a difference.

713. Amanda K. (TX)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I never really wanted to be a teacher growing up, but then I got older, went to college for one thing and came out with a degree totally unrelated and ended up in a job I hated. I was talking to my mother about changing careers and she suggested teaching since I can talk about the same esoteric things all day. I briefly considered and then dismissed her suggestion until I found Taylor Mali's videos on YouTube. The first one I watched was "What Teachers Make". It and the other videos I subsequently watched inspired me so much that I enrolled in a certification program that week. I hope to start teaching high school science in the fall, providing the TX budget doesn't totally screw over our kids' education. Thanks Taylor, I owe ya one. I have found my passion.

712. Neil G. (NY)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

"What Teachers Make" shattered all of my preconceptions about what teaching could be. To this day, chills roil through me every single time I watch it. Mr. Mali, you've made a teacher out of me. Since I discovered your work in the 10th grade I've known beyond any shred of doubt that teaching is what I want to do with the rest of my life. Currently, I am studying English and Education at Potsdam University, and it is because of you that I have come this far. You changed me for the better. You inspired who I am. Thank you, from the sincerest place in my heart.

711. Khai E. (Singapore)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I was undecided on whether to take up teacher or do other things in life first. I knew that I loved to educate and inspire people, but I needed the final push to take the first step in entering my local teacher college. Fortunately, I saw your video "What teachers make" on YouTube and that sealed the deal for me. It's been 3 years now and I've been teaching for a year in a Primary School. I'm loving every minute of it. :)

710. Amy T. (IL)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I am currently freshman attending the University of Iowa as a Spanish major, English minor and in the process of applying to get into the Secondary Education major as well. At the University of Iowa students are not allowed to apply for Education majors until they are of sophomore status. However, I have already taken and passed the Praxis 1 exam and have also done observation hours in the classroom. The video of you performing the poem "What Teachers Make" definitely influenced my decision to go into teaching. I was first shown the video at the end of my junior year of high school in 2009. The video and talking with teachers and my parents are what influenced me to go into teaching. I always knew that I wanted to give back what I have been privileged to learn, but I had always been told that the career I go into should to be one that you earn a lot of money doing. Watching your video was when I realized that making a difference and doing something you love is 100 times better than making a ton of money. Some of the best and smart people I know are teachers and I have the utmost respect for them. You have greatly influenced me in my decision to become a teacher and in realizing how much of a difference I can make in the lives of my future students. Your poem helped me stand up to my parents and make the decision to go into teaching instead of becoming a lawyer, which they were hoping for. I know that I could have done well as a lawyer but teaching is so extremely important and vital to every one of our futures. I am not exactly sure if I count towards your list, as I am not a teacher yet. You cannot even begin to imagine how much of an impact you have had on so many others, and on myself. For that I thank you wholeheartedly. Sincerely yours, Amy Tristano

709. Rebecca F. (OR)

Monday, May 02, 2011

When planning for college, I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do as a career. I knew for a fact that I did not want to be hiding in a cubicle crunching numbers for my boss. Going into college with absolutely no direction, I saw your video, "What Teachers Make". Right then and there, I knew that I wanted to become a teacher. I am currently a student teacher at a child development center (from infants to kindergarten) on my college campus. Seeing the smiles on their faces makes my day that much better. When I graduate from college, I hope to become a lead teacher in a classroom. And I have you to thank for helping me realize my true calling. :]

708. Liliana M. (NY)

Monday, May 02, 2011

I have always admired the teaching profession, but ever since the pressure of settling on a career in high school crept into my life I've felt torn between the thought of doing something valuable as opposed to doing something that would lead to a salary far from what my inner-Queens family has ever made. It was at a perfect point in my college education, after feeling a passion reignited for English literature and the written word, that I stumbled upon Taylor's video "What Teachers Make". Each word struck a cord and as I rushed to show the video to all of those close to me, I realized that the reason that they were reacting so calmly while I was inspired was because he had been able to articulate what I'd been searching for and admired as the core of what teaching truly is. It isn't standing in front of a classroom and deciding who gets an A or an F. Teaching is about broadening horizons, making connections in individuals and molding it into a connection between communities, it's about inspiring. Taylor, you have greatly inspired me and I can't wait to spread this gift of lively inspiration in any way I can.

707. Karlisia B. (NC)

Monday, May 02, 2011

In my 10th grade English class, I watched and listened to Taylor Mali for the first time on Def Jam Poetry; he performed "What Teacher's Make". That poem has had a lasting impact on me and now, as a graduating Middle Grades Education major, I have an ever greater understanding of the place the poem has derived and I have an even greater respect for it. I LOVE Taylor's mission and I am in FULL support of it! Thank you! Teacher's do make a great and positive difference.

706. Chelsea B. (CT)

Monday, May 02, 2011

I was a senior in high school when my AP English Lit. teacher introduced me to Taylor's work. I had always loved tutoring my peers, and the idea of becoming a teacher had crossed my mind, but the negative connotations that go along with teaching made me reluctant to pursue such a career. Hearing "What Teachers Make" made me realize that the connotations were irrelevant--teaching is one of the most influential yet challenging careers a person can have, and I look forward to making a difference in the world through my career as a teacher.

705. LeAnn R. (TX)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Taylor influenced me to become a teacher by showing me that the money's not important,but what I do to change the world that's important. I hope I can spend my life showing people the wonders of math and helping young live's prosper to their full potential. As a fifteen year old girl in a small town, I know how it feels to have some one tell you that you won't make it. I want to be that teacher thats tells you, that you can. I want to show people theirs more to life than just what they see in their towns. I wan to open their minds to more than just what the state requires of them, because they are more than just a statistic from a test.

704. Christina S. (PA)

Monday, May 02, 2011

I brought equal spoken word curriculum to private and public school children. In an open slam, we proved that equal access to education provides equal outcomes. We sent the first - an probably only - public/private school team to Brave New Voices thanks to The Grable and The Buhl Foundation. Later, on a fluke, I was chosen by Historic Royal Palaces to be an Outreach Artist. I took "at risk youth" and gave them a chance to speak about their history.. We delivered four projects. (One of which is a permanent poetry installation at Hampton Court Palace and was opened by HRM Prince Charles. What I learned from Taylor is that you bring enthusiasm, honesty, open mindedness and respect. In return, you are gifted with whatever the children want to return. You demand that they make demands of themselves. You let them know that they have choices. And if they choose not to have choices, you ...the teacher... will make them for them. They work. And so do you. (More if they choose to work....imagine the research just to answer a simple question. You stay up late, pump the internet and flip through books. The question must be answered and "I don't know, but I'll find out is a great answer.) Now, I prefer to spend my time amongst the home educated. It is harder. I have learned not to ask if anyone has an "idea." Because they all do....and then....class is over because we heard everyone's idea.. My home educated kids are rich, poor, Black, white, girl, boy or whatever gender they assign themselves. The only unifying factor is we want kids who ask questions, have ideas....and sometimes obsessively focus on a topic. And we want all of them to be be creative, engaged and critical thinkers. So - I teach - but never to the test. And even in schools...I teach the same way. And in some small way, I am happy to have taught teachers how to teach. To say, "I don't know." To say, "Let's find out." To shout, "We've got a great big problem which n

703. Kimberly P. (NH)

Monday, May 02, 2011

I was 17 years old when I heard \'What Teacher\'s Make\' on Def Poetry Jam. It was my senior year and I was considering medical school at the time. This poem not only inspired me, but reminded me of how important your life\'s work regardless of salary. Because of this poem, and your work, I became interested in spoken word and began writing for myself. This grew into a love of English. I moved from California to New Hampshire and in January 2011 received my official NH teacher certification for English (5-12). In the picture attached is myself (far left) and my 3 fellow co-counselors at a camp in NH. In the middle is our camper Rachel. This picture represents teaching because, to me, education is about community. It\'s about working together as a team to better the life of each INDIVIDUAL child. Because of you, and other wonderful poets, my new dream is to create a network of youth slam poetry teams in the state of NH. Ultimately, I would love to see NH represented at the Brave New Voices national competition. Thank you for your words and your inspiration.

702. Shaun B. (KS)

Monday, May 02, 2011

A few years back I had returned to college with a wife and child. I wanted to make money to support them but also wanted to have a career that better the world before I left it. I tried going to a Chiropractic school and hated it. My passion is history, I wanted to study and teach it, but I was afraid of never getting paid. I watched Mr. Mali's What Teachers Make. It was a turning point for me. I decided money wasn't as important as being a good person and better the world. I am still in college working to becoming a history teacher, because we don't know where we are going if we don't know where we've been. Thank you Taylor Mali.

701. Chelsey L. (FL)

Monday, May 02, 2011

It was his poem, "On What Teachers Make" that inspired me and essentially sealed my desire to become an educator. I don't care about the money; that's not what is important here. It's about getting people to realize their potential, to make them think, criticize and analyze, form educated opinions and to help them WANT to learn and grow mentally. It's to inspire them to see how "definitely beautiful" their minds are when they explore the power of thought. If I could get even one person to feel the same connectedness I feel when I read, I think that would be simply amazing. I couldn't imagine a more rewarding experience.

700. Shelby M. (CA)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I always wanted to work with children in some way but was afraid of the phrase "those who can't, teach." Taylor's poem "What Teachers Make" and "Miracle Workers" changed my view points forever. I saw him perform two years ago and decided my major would be in Elementary Special Education, and tonight I had the pleasure of meeting him. Thank you for everything, Taylor. You have truly changed my life.

699. Amy G. (CT)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Taylor has helped me finding my inner teacher. You don't have to work in a school to be a teacher. We are learning every day from everyone, even if they are 4 years old. They can still be a teacher. Taylor has taught me that teaching and learning can be fun and you can smile and laugh while teaching.

698. Brian M. (IN)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I am 43. I have made money all of my life. Three years ago I left my career and started down the path of making a difference. I am a junior at the IU School of Education in Indianapolis and lately my enthusiasm has been waning. I am married and have two children. Money is tight and I have thought long and hard about leaving this path and going back to making money. At 4 a.m. when I am writing some inane paper about some theory that will never be applied in the classroom, I listen to Taylor and am rejuvenated! Thank you, because of you I not only will continue onward to my calling, but have now began to proofread!

697. Cassie L. (FL)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It was my freshman English teacher in high school that introduced me to Mr. Mali and so I suppose I have both of them to thank, but since the moment that I heard that poem, it buried a deep drive in me to make the same difference to other children that was made to me by "What Teachers Make." Since that day I have taken every opportunity to teach, be it tutoring, music lessons or a few life lessons that were a little too hard to learn alone. It is my call to arms and I decided that I didn't care if I lived in low budget housing or worked two jobs and 70 hours a week, I was going to teach. I'm currently finishing my B.A. in Theatre and Creative Writing with an intention to teach freshman English, hopefully at my Alma Mater. I want my kids to believe that they are as epic as Jason and the Argonauts and eloquent as Mercutio, I want them to question the world around them and reach into the shadows to pull out knowledge and life that no one has ever seen before. My calling is to give the next generation an idea and open the doors to let them fly away with them.

696. jacqueline F. (AZ)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I was in my Sophmore year at Arizona State University and declared many majors before I finally decided that I would become a Teacher! My parents and relatives were greatly disappointed by my decision, I mean, after all, what does a teacher make? At this time in my life I was considering walking away from it when a friend showed me Taylor Mali's "What Teachers Make" on Youtube. I was so moved and I realized that I have "this" and I would follow "this" and if someone ever tried to judge me based on what I made, I would give them "this" :) . My family was not so pleased when I showed them the same video :) I am now HAPPILY pursuing my degree in Secondary Education with a focus in Chemistry. I plan to teach high school while I work on my masters degree. I know I won't be making a huge salary. But I have confidence that this is where God wants me and He will provide. I cannot wait to get out there and make a difference!

695. Nick L. (VT)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I was a Sophomore in high school when my English teacher started the poetry unit of our year. To start off, she showed us the YouTube video of "What Teachers Make" and from that moment on, I was hooked. I went out and bought "What Learning Leaves" and was inspired by all the stories of the different ways to learn and teach. That year, I got jobs as a tutor in a couple different subjects and in the summer, I found a job at a college near my house helping teach Japenese kids English and I've been doing it every summer since then--and loving it. I'm a freshman working on my degree in English at the same college where I got my first job teaching and I hope to go back to my high school and teach English.

694. Anna B. (OR)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I knew from an early stage of my life that teaching was important, seeing that my mother is one of the soldiers who goes into that battle of teenage angst and education every day of her life - including the weekends! What I didn't know, until I had almost graduated high school, was how much I enjoyed it myself. I had heard Taylor's poetry in the film SlamNation, and there was something about 'What Teachers Make' that struck me very deeply. At the age of 12 or 13, I can't remember quite which I first saw it at, it didn't ring clear yet. Now it does, and continues to. From one teacher to another, thank you, and never stop giving hope to those of us inspired to teach!

693. Lisa T. (NY)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dear Taylor Mali, Poet/Teacher/Buccaneer Scholar who talks about god/God and vikings and death and valhalla fear? love? Bring it on! It’s time to surrender our suffering… unfasten our joy…. and notice what happens We met at the Unitarian Church in Schenectady....after that night, I was so sad because I didn't think I fit the criteria to be one of your teachers. Then I took this snap of my son Henry, 14...I don't have a building or a salary with benefits. In the world, I'm known as a yoga teacher, poet. I create space where mind, body, and spirit can PLAY, FLY. I create an experience where you can remember who you are -- GOOD...complete....whole.

692. Matthew H. (IL)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I started college recently at the age of 27. I got back in to support my daughter that I had on the way. In my english class my teacher was obsessed with slam poetry. Taylor kept coming up in the videos we watched in class. Knowing nothing about him before, I started watching his clips online. When I came across "what teachers make", it got me jacked up to say the least. I had started taking gen ed classes and with my next meeting with my counselor, I expressed to her that teaching was my calling. Thank you to Taylor for making me realize what I wanted to do. I now am taking the teaching classes and frequently watch "what teachers make" when I hit wall and wonder if it was the right choice. AND EVERY SINGLE TIME IT ASSURES ME I MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE!

691. James B. (WA)

Monday, April 11, 2011

I had heard your poems before, and I don't know if you inspired me to start but you definitely inspire me to continue to become a teacher. Oddly enough the last post I saw was of a 45 year old graphic designer who was changing careers, which is my history as well. I'm almost a year into my MAT at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) with an endorsement in Special Education. 2 a.m. I'm tired I'm doing homework I watch "What do you make?" I'm inspired That is a true story. I had two young children and I work full time while attending grad. school at night. When I have doubts and I need a break I watch a video or two of yours, and I realize it's worth it. Thanks man, like definitely beautiful. James

690. Brett P. (GA)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Teaching was always a career I considered, but was not sure about. One day my friend showed me a Taylor Mali video that lead me to his work, "What Teachers Make." Any doubts I had until that point seemed to fade away after seeing that video. Today I own two books signed by the man himself and have seen him perform once. I am now in my third year at KSU. Taylor Mali helped motivate me and will always be one of my heroes.

689. Ryan K. (WI)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Like many college students, I have had doubts about what road to take in the journey that is life. I came across "What Teachers Make" through a friend on facebook and have become obsessed with it. I am now over two years through my college years and will be student teaching this time next year. It's a profession that often gets picked on by ignorant people and it's nice to see someone on our side!

688. Cait B. (NY)

Friday, April 08, 2011

I had considered for a while being an english teacher but wasn't so sure of it. After the workshop at my school I know that's what I want to do.

687. Brittany N. (TX)

Thursday, April 07, 2011

I began at the University of Houston majoring in the field of Computer Engineering. After a year and a half, I knew I wouldnt be happy in that profession and changed my degree plan to elementary education. During my first semester of education courses, I had a professor hand out copies of What Teachers Make as a journal response topic. If I needed something to confirm that I had chosen the right career path for myself -- that was it. I am in the last weeks of my student teaching now and cant wait to begin my journey in education. Thanks Taylor, for inspiring me to make that difference!

686. Jacob S. (MN)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I just dropped out of the Architecture Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to move back to Minnesota to become a teacher and/or a minister. I saw your "What I make" video and I knew what I was doing was the right choice. Thanks for everything you do. The picture shows Jesus sharing the gospel with a young man. In the bible, Jesus asks two fishermen to be his disciples. Matthew 4:19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Jesus has called me from being a designer of buildings to being a designer of men. Whether it's in a school or in a church, I'll go were he calls me.

685. Najma P. (Malaysia)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Hello, I am training to be an educator To be more specific, an educator For children.Im studying Early Childhood Studies; Because it is more than merely duties That are to be delivered if we are to Teach about love, responsibility, Integrity That along with possibility Comes infinity and creativity. The sky is not to limit your ability. If we are to nurture a future that would know how to base on innate love, they would then Believe in how definitely beautiful They could be when they are trustful In knowing that they have all the answers To cleaning the mess left by their elders Because we are the ones that got you into This mess, now you are our only hope! Yes, you truly have inspired me, Mr. Mali. I will teach with a purpose. Najma P. here, from Tanzania. Respect to Mr. Taylor Mali and all the educators across the world. Much love.

684. Ricki S. (GA)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I've always played with the idea of being a teacher, but I've never really *thought* about it. I'm currently getting ready to go back to school, and I've really been debating what I want to go for. I've spent the last 10 years in the tech support industry, and I know I want out. I love helping, but I hate not being able to interact with the people I'm helping. After hearing "What Teachers Make", I knew what I wanted to go to school for. I have decided that I'm going to go back to school to become a teacher. I'll start off with computer classes and then go from there. Thanks for the help, Taylor!

683. Brooke A. (AZ)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Mom said, "Be a teacher." I said "No." But the idea nested birdlike in my mind, making messes and babies and song. I suppressed it, even the tender fantasies of teaching a class on Nabokov, til sounded a surprising clarion catalyst: Taylor Mali said, "... I made my classroom a 'like'-free zone." I said "GENIUS!" I clicked away the afternoon while poetry scattered seed for the birds in my brain: "Speak with conviction." "... how to change her mind." "intellectual simulation" (ha ha- Public school system TESTIFY.) "I make a goddamn difference." Never 1 for numbers, on March 23rd 2011, I, heart-throated, suddenly did the math: (passion + ideas + knowledge - satisfaction with the status quo) x hope for a better future - "like" = me. I'm adding a second major in Secondary Education. I'll graduate in 2013, and I want to teach.

682. Karen W. (Ontario, Canada)

Monday, April 04, 2011

Hello Mr. Mali, I discovered your poetry a few years ago, and enjoy your work very much. I wrote poetry many years ago, and have recently taken it up again. My husband encouraged me to email you because of something that happened about a year ago. I'm a mom of 3, and my 2 boys attend a small, private, multi-denominational Christian, classical school. I'm the chair of the Parent Committee and volunteer quite a bit with the school. Every year we have a spring social evening for the faculty and parents. It has come to be known as the "Classical Evening at the Improv". We dress up, make fancy appetizers and desserts, share some wine and coffee and have a little talent show. We've had a lot of classical pieces sung, piano played, a couple of skits, and even a dance performance. The favourites, however, are always the poetry readings/recitations. Last year, because things are so very "classical", I chose to do a couple of your poems. The recitation went so well that I am now the Drama teacher at the school. I had one class this year, and next year, because of the growth of the school, will be teaching two classes. In the first month of Drama, we discussed elocution and the "tails up" form of speaking so common in our culture. I then performed for the class your poem "It's Like Totally Whatever" and it was very well received. So well received in fact, that one 8th grade student asked permission to perform it at the Advent concert as her poetry recitation. The school community was in awe of a young girl performing with such conviction. So, in short, thank you, Mr. Mali. I am now teaching and bringing you one teacher closer to that haircut. Your poetry has also opened the door to modern poetry and the idea of Poetry Slams into a classical school setting and the larger community. Although I am very committed to the classical model of education, I also believe students should not be divorced from modernity. As a matter of fact, I am writin

681. Joseph M. (KS)

Friday, April 01, 2011

I made my decision to become a teacher in my Sophomor(e/ic) year of high school. I went to the University of Kansas to study Classical Language, and added an English major so that I would have an excuse to read and study great literature. University presented an interesting and terrifying world, one where teaching might not be the only thing I want to do with my life, where Latin may not be my greatest love. But my roommate, whose current absence from my life I do not bemoan, showed me 'What Teachers Make' across our dorm room. And the eloquence of that poem, the eloquence and humour of other poems as I continued to consume your online works, showed me not only what writing could be like, but what beauty can come of creation. That beauty edified my resolve to teach. My texts would be discussions and conversations eternally half-remembered.I would create beautiful things in the minds of students. And I'll probably show them clips of your poetry, just to show them what you can do with a performance and with language. What's life but a performance, and what language but its code? (taradiddlish sentence is taradiddlish)

680. Giuliana C. (FL)

Friday, April 01, 2011

I am a sophomore at Florida State University working as a sound tech at our on campus club. Last night Mr. Mali performed and I had the wonderful opportunity to hear him speak. I just happened to be scheduled to work, not knowing what I was getting myself into. Half way through his performance I thought, "This man is pure genius, a connoisseur of the English language." By the end of his set, when he ended with "What teachers make", I was wiping the tears from my eyes. Yesterday I was an Italian major. Today I am starting the process to get certified to teach English as a second language. Thank you for coming and performing, but more than that, thank you for changing my life. I can say with confidence that I was not the only person in that audience touched by your experiences.

679. Stephanie S. (FL)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I came out of the eighth grade having no drive, no ambition, & no goals. The only thing I wanted to do was sit around all day and write. It wasn't until I entered high school & met my freshman English teacher that all of that changed. She ignited within me a desire to learn & absorb everything, to breathe Shakespeare & bleed words. One day, at the beginning of our poetry unit, she played us The Seventh Grade Viking Warrior. That day, after class, I hung around to ask who that poet was & she played What Teachers Make for me. At the line describing the phone call home, I was shaken to my very core. It embodied everything I cherished & loved about my mother, a high school teacher, & this English teacher, & every other wonderful teacher I would ever have. I knew I had to teach. The one thing I plan on doing is pursuing many different paths and settling into teaching a wise, irreverent fireball with a passion for teaching more than just writing, but about how to take life and make it into the most beautiful messed-up adventure you can possibly imagine. I'm currently a college freshman on track for an English degree with a focus in editing & writing. Lots of crappy internships & a microscopic bank account may be in my future, but I look forward to the day that I can be one of the miracle workers. And every time someone balks at my career path, I'll just smile & tell them that teachers make a goddamn difference. Now, what about you?

678. Rachel O. (FL)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I actually have always wanted to be a big shot journalist or magazine editor but then I stepped into a classroom as an educator (through a program called Jumpstart) and I felt much more passionately about it than anything else. Long story short, I have recently been debating what I actually want to do with my life. If I actually want to teach or not. After watching Taylor perform tonight, there is pretty much no doubt it my mind that teaching is what I want to do, more than anything.

677. Gustavo M. (GA)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The first Taylor Mali poem I ever heard was called, "What Teachers Make". At first I never gave it much thought, every now and then I'd think about the degree of satisfaction every great teacher must feel when their students ace their tests or win competitions, in which the students were influenced to enter by the teachers. So, I thought to myself, "I want to do that for a living, I want to feel that feeling everyday for the rest of my life. I want to be able to "change the world one 8th grader at a time". And so, that is how I decided to become a teacher, and Taylor Mali was the spark that set it all off. Thank you, Mr. Mali.

676. Berkley S. (MA)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Since I left the Carroll School, I have known that going there was a gift, more than a gift, Carroll was my chance at success. There they taught me that being dyslexic did not make me stupid, but it made me smart in a different way. I want to be a teacher because I want to give those kids who are similar to how I once was, a chance at success. I want to prove to them that they are worthy of making a difference in the world and that they CAN do good. Taylor's work has confirmed for me what I have always believed. Teachers are miracle workers, they can make you really believe in yourself when you should and they make you work harder when you need to. "What Teachers Make" is the essence of what I want to do. I want to see that lightbulb go off and know that it was partly because of my doing. I don't care about the money, I don't care about the status, I care about the future and I know that we can make it better by helping kids who may otherwise go under the radar, succeed.

675. Michelle P. (ND)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It made me see that it is possible for one person to make a difference. Even if it is for one person. That is all that matters. Teaching should be fun, and teachers should have fun while doing it.

674. Michelle S. (GA)

Monday, March 28, 2011

When I was in eleventh grade, my english teacher, showed us Taylor Mali's "What Teachers Make?". Up until this point in life I was very adamant that I would be different from most women in my family and I was NOT going to be a teacher! However I watched this def jam poetry and my entire life changed from there. The following year I enrolled in the teacher cadet program at my school. The first day in that third grade classroom made me realize that the Taylor Mali video had led me in the right direction. Fast forward- Now I am in my junior year as an early childhood education major at Georgia College and State University. In this program I have already had the opportunity to begin my student teaching. I plan lessons, teach all day twice a week, and have the wonderful experience of working with children. Everyday when I walk into the classroom I am thankful for that english class when I saw Taylor Mali's poetry, because it made me realize who I was and what I had the potential to do!

673. Richard C. (NC)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I am a graphic designer with 20 year experience, and I decided several years ago that what I really wanted to be when I grow up, was a college instructor. So now I'm in my third semester of Graduate School, pursuing my MFA. Your work is a REAL inspiration to me, and has given me a turbo-boost in my resolve to finish my degree! Although I'm 45, and getting into the teaching game a little late, I consider it a calling, and hope to someday be the sort of inspiration an influence on some student that you have been to me.

672. sean g. (united states)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Before finding your website, I was not sure if becoming a teacher was right for me. I\'m going to be a history teacher and I feel that there are not many jobs, where history is the main focus, but after going on to your website, I saw that being able to inspire kids to do great things would be a wonderful job to have. Thank you for that.

671. katherine m. (CA)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I first heard your poem "what teachers make" and i was completely blown away. Just recently I've been on the brink of following a path to becoming an english teacher. But I've felt when I tell other that I intend to study english they look at my with that face, "really? who would want to do that?" Then I speak up about teaching and the "oh well good for you," comes out of their mouths. Teaching isn't respected anymore, but listening to that poem a power of confidence has taken over. Teachers do a hell of a lot to influence the world and I am going to do my best to give the world an impact. Thank you !!!

670. Robert P. (IL)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mr. Mali has a passion about teaching that only one other person I ever knew had, my fifth grade teacher. He passed away in 2006, but it was that passion that made me want to teach. I am 22 years old and currently a student at Illinois State University. It was the other day when my one professor showed us "What Teachers Make" and it really had an effect on me, as I am passionate about teaching and I write poetry (also with long hair). I as well stand up to my family members when they want to scoff at my decision to become a teacher. "Why don't you do something useful with your life and become a doctor or lawyer," they tell me every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I tell them "Why would I want to destroy my life with things such as that, when I can teach a kid something he or she will take with them for the rest of their life and put a smile on their face?" It is my true belief that there is nothing better than the smile one gets from a child when you have taught them something and they understand it and love it. It would truly be an honor to be included on Taylor's list, because I see fellow students in my teaching classes that look as if they want to be anywhere else but there. I come to class every day with an excitement that I am one day closer to becoming the teacher I want to be. It's a shame that more people aren't as passionate about teaching, but that's what makes teachers like Mr. Mali, my fifth grade teacher, and hopefully me in a few years the ones who stand out in children's lives.

669. Sarah X. (Australia)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I could be really good at this, I thought. I am passionate about learning and I have a gift when it comes to explaining things. Theatre directing had shown me that I had a knack for implementing kinaesthetic and aesthetic learning experiences, and there was pure joy to be had when things came together and someone 'got it'. Yes, I could be good at this, and I could really change peoples lives. I became really excited about the thought of teaching. And yet I hesitated. Something held me back. Something niggled at me and stopped me from saying this is me, and this is what I want. As much as I hate to admit it a big part of that something was the underrated status of teachers. You know what I am talking aboutthose who can do, those who can't... I mean, what about all those years of work and study? Did I really want to just throw them all away? (oh yes, one family member did actually say that to me.) Yet I continued to talk to people about my dream, hoping that someone would give me permission to follow it, and that perhaps those family and friends who expressed concern about my decent into mediocrity would change their minds and see how important teaching really was. And then one day I heard what teachers make. Things came together and I 'got it'. Time to follow what was in my heart. Time to stop judging myself and listening to the judgements of others. Time to make a difference. I am now halfway through my dip Ed and will be teaching, with pride and passion, next year.

668. Dustin S. (OR)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In November of 1995 I decided being an acting/music major wasn't for me. Politics of a school whose departments couldn't see eye to eye. I chose history as my liberal arts major. I loved learning about characters and time periods. I also knew I would teach. I graduated in 1999 and did what I thought I needed to do. Work. In business. Sales. I made a lot of money. I moved away from Connecticut to Oregon in 2003 and started a job in mortgage. In 2007 I watched the industry burn. May 2007 my mom was retiring from teaching. I traveled home. On this trip I was presented a poem, "What Teachers Make." It spoke to me. I spoke to my wife and said, "What do you think about me going back to school. I want to make a difference." She said, "We can make it work." The dead line to apply to grad school for an MAT had passed. I called and asked to be let in - I need to make a difference. 3 months later I was standing in front of 30 five year olds wondering what the hell I was supposed to do in my first student teaching experience as seen in the picture I've attached. Miracle workers inspires me more now- It always lifts me up to wherever it is I need to be. I now teach 4th grade for three 34 I have the best job ever.

667. Amy G. (OH)

Monday, March 21, 2011

I went to college to become a mechanical engineer. I love the profession, but not as much as I love kids. Teaching is the most rewarding thing in my life next to my own kids. I don't have my license yet, but I've nearly finished my first year as a science teacher in an urban high school. Once we got through the part where we each thought the other was trying to kill us, it has been amazing. I am blessed to spend my days with talented students who I expect great things from. Thank you. This is a picture of some of my students with Geoffrey Canada after he spoke at the University of Dayton.

666. Zach H. (OK)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I have spent a fair amount of my life actively trying to make a difference. In the lives of friends and family, the lives of strangers, or in the world in general. It was not until I discovered your work, and the sheer passion and fire behind your words in "What Teachers Make", that I began to think that teaching would lead me down a path that I could make a difference on. I am currently finishing up an undergrad degree in art with a minor in art history, and I intend on pursuing education in graduate school to become an art teacher. While you have inspired me to teach and shown me that it is a path that I should be walking, I will be doing it in honor of my friends in Nigeria and South Africa who strive daily to make it out of the slums and townships. I would like to go back and help them, to go back and give them a platform, to go back and show them that they are worth it, and tell them no don't give up, and to hand them the stars.

665. Lauren W. (CA)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"What Teachers Make" was shown in one of my introductory education classes at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. I was honestly touched by thisI dedicated myself to my studies and finished my BA in English and my credential three years later. Over the past three years of teaching, I have sent this video to various friends, family, and teachers on my staff. On a personal note, I watch What Teachers Make whenever I need that kick in the ass to remind myself why I chose this profession. I wanted to extend many thanks to Taylor Sometimes one needs that kick! (The picture is of me in my class during sustained silent reading...)

664. Samantha A. (KS)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I came to K-State as an education major. Not out of higher purpose, but out of the volition that I had no idea what else to be. I almost dropped out because I was so lost. Then one of my education classes had us watch a clip of Mali and I realized that there is a difference between teaching students and making differences in students' lives. I want to make that difference. My degree now has a purpose.

663. Crystal M. (MO)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Your poem What Teachers Make is truly inspiring. I currently have a year and a half to go before I will acquire my degree in Elementary Education and your poems inspire me to continue on. Thank you for creating such beautiful and inspiring poems.

662. Molly-Kate W. (Australia)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

I am studying to be a teacher and I'm half way there. Your inspirational and truthful words leave me in awe and admiration. Thank you for being you :) Thanks to you I will be very proud to one day call myself a teacher.

661. Jillian D. (CA)

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Poetry gives anyone with a pen a voice. As a junior in college, I have seen kids who do not have one. I volunteered in one classroom who learned figurative language by memorizing dictionary definitions. The lesson was thorough, and the students listened and recited. "On What Teachers Make" made me realize that I want my students someday to leave my class knowing that poetry is not something that only the greats like Shakespeare wrote. I want them to leave being able to see figurative language in the music they already listen to.

660. Saira N. (CA)

Thursday, March 03, 2011

As a kid I used to play teacher, and taught my classmates math concepts they didn't understand. As I grew older this game disappeared as I aimed at becoming a doctor. Little did I know I was in the wrong field. I struggled through Science courses, and questioned my miserable self every day. Why? Until I watched the way Taylor Mali spoke about teaching, I looked back at my college transcripts, my only A was in English 100. That's when I knew. Thanks to Taylor's poems I was given the courage to tell everyone I wasn't going to be a doctor, I was going to teach them. I was going to follow the childhood dream that had been extinguished by they way people rank "honorable" jobs. Now I'm working on my BA in English Education and love being in classrooms. I know I was meant to be a teacher, which to me is the most rewarding job in the world. I may not earn lots of cold hard cash, but I'll earn Karma Dollars which are far more important than material wealth.

659. Sam F. (CO)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Your poetry inspires me to teach by reminding me that teachers should be numbered among the heroes of our society. We carry a heavy burden of responsibility, but with that comes amazing possibility for human growth and imagination. As I start my student teaching, I remain extremely grateful for reinforcing my decision to teach.

658. Tom H. (RI)

Monday, February 21, 2011

You're work has inspired my teaching, pedagogy and life. Thanks for that...and keep doing good. I teach Middle School English in Rhode Island.

657. Laura A. (KY)

Friday, February 25, 2011

I had entered high school with the ingrained idea of becoming a lawyerI say ingrained because, as my father had pushed the value of a high paycheck, I imagined that my path was to be a doctor/lawyer/brain surgeon, or bust. Now a Junior, I can say with the utmost conviction that teaching History to high school students is my new life goal, one that had been festering within me from the day I started my freshman Holocaust class. I had started to become both disillusioned with the inequality found under the lawthe ultimate irony in some regardsas well as realize that, regardless of what path I chose, I wanted to make a difference using my passion for the past. When I heard your poem, one that serves as one of the best written explanations of what teachers truly do, it helped only to solidify my conviction from 99.99% to 100%. I've already mapped out my college plan, and I've got the two best teachers I've ever had to help make sure I'm taking the right stepsmind you, they're not holding my hand by any length, but they are there for whenever I have a question, as well as simply there to support me. So, Mr. Mali, I salute you and your poetry, as well as all the others who picked a road not often traveled in order to make a difference. You have helped to ignite passion in someone who had become completely pessimistic about life itself. A quick side notethis bird is representative of the fact I finally realized a paycheck won't set you free. Making a better world serves as a much better lock-pick.

656. Dustin B. (AZ)

Friday, February 25, 2011

I was about to give up. I have been studying for two years now to become a high school orchestra director/educator. I was seriously thinking about switching my field of study into something else. However, I stumbled upon your poem, "What Teachers Make" out of coincidence and it completely revitalized my want and ambition to become someone who makes such a huge impact on the world. I give you my thanks.

655. James S. (MD)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fear. Fear holds me back. It cradles me in it's arms like an over protective mother. "No, you're not ready yet," she says. "When?" I ask. "Soon, but not yet." Then I see him, Talyor Mali. He screams with all the rage and frustration that I cannot express, for I am cradled by fear. Your words, Mr. Mali, have made me fearless.

654. Susan B. (FL)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I can't remember when I saw Taylor perform--if I was still in high school or at one of thousand colleges I attended as an undergrad--but I remember absolutely bawling after hearing his poems. Bawling because I'm a huge sap. Bawling because all I've ever wanted to do since I was a sophomore in high school was to teach secondary English and make a difference like my teachers did for me. I'm currently continuing my studies in English education as a traditional Masters student at Florida State while searching for a full-time instructor position. Thanks, Taylor, for your poetry and your inspiration. And for cursing; I always take elegant cursing seriously.

653. Kassie W. (PA)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I decided a few months ago that I wanted to pursue a career in teaching. I've been afraid of the sentiment that Taylor expressed in "What Teacher's Make" that "those who do, do, those who can't, teach." But now I've found exactly the sentiment to say back to anyone who questions my desire to teach. Thank you, Taylor. You have definitely strengthened my decision in just three minutes of time. I would be honored to be counted as one of your teachers. I want to make a difference.

652. Abisai S. (NJ)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Taylor Mali's work has helped me in deciding to become a teacher due to a simple phrase he said "teachers make a God damn difference now what about you?". This has echoed deep within me and made me question why I did not pursue this sooner. In the summer of 2005 I was honored, and privileged enough to work with a camp as the driver and a camp counselor, and can recall the comments made to me by the children there, hearing Mr. Mali speak I was able to relate as both on both sides. The ability to make a difference in someones life to me is worth more than any amount of money, the ability to make a difference in a child's life...I have no metaphor to express that it is just amazing. I have graduated from a Massage Therapy school only to be told by employers "we don't hire people like you" changed majors twice and still am not happy, yet I always find myself drawn to helping people and want to make a difference in the lives of children it is one of the few things I am passionate about and regret not pursuing sooner. A person who sits back and does nothing equally if not worse than the one doing wrong and I can no longer do nothing. Mr. Mali if you feel my description is not appropriate I want to still say thank you for your words and your time.

651. Emily L. (NY)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I have always been discouraged about becoming an English teacher, my parents believed that it didn't pay enough and others just looked at me as though I were out of my mind for wanting to teach, but English has always been my favorite subject and I refuse to be discouraged. When i read Taylor Mali's "What Teachers Make" it truly inspired me, here was the answer to all those who questioned what i would make of my life by becoming a teacher. Literature is my passion and I will no longer be discouraged by all the negative remarks I receive when people ask me "What are you majoring in college?"

650. Petra C. (CO)

Monday, February 14, 2011

I thought about becoming a teacher, perhaps. The one thing that held me back was the having to deal with ignorant children and people who don't try. I thought that those frustrating kids wouldn't be worth it. I really awesome teacher of mine introduced me to your poetry through showing the class your poem, Totally Like Whatever, You Know? So I looked you up and listened to several of your poems, and they touched me. They communicated the emotion and pride that comes with being a teacher. And so I decided, after I graduate high school in the summer, I plan to major in education and minor in art and become a high school art teacher, so I can make a difference. Thank you for everything, Mr. Mali.

649. Christopher M. (HI)

Monday, February 14, 2011

I had for a long time gone back and forth between being a lawyer and a teacher. My mom and sister both teachers, I was exposed to the true meaning and joy of teaching at an early age. I also do realize the large amount of additional work and often needless monotony that teachers are forced to do in order to continue their work at such a low pay. I was in a performance of literature class, part of the gen eds here in Hawaii, and the guest speaker showed the Def Poetry performance by Taylor Mali of What A Teacher Makes. At that very moment something clicked, and I have been adamant and determined about pursing a career in teaching. I will be applying to the School of Education at UH Manoa as soon as I hit all the pre-reqs.

648. Natalie G. (SD)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

In 2009 I was trying to decide if I wanted to become a teacher with Teach For America. I was pretty sure I wanted to join the program. A friend that knew of my intentions, sent me a link to a Youtube video of your poem "What Teacher's Make". I listened to it with growing excitement. By the end of the video, I thought, "I want to feel that way. I want to be able to say something like that one day." In August 2010, I started my first year teaching 6th grade science at Todd County Middle School on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

647. Jonathan O. (FL)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I have always felt that my calling was to enlighten people. For a long time, I thought I was going to do this through journalism, but I realized that I didn't want to report the news to an anonymous crowd. I wanted an intimate connection with my audience, so the only way I figured I could possibly do that is to be a teacher. Teachers are miracle workers; they strive to inspire. One day, I want students to come visit me in my classroom to tell me how I inspired them. That will make me feel whole.

646. R. Paul D. (NC)

Monday, February 07, 2011

I am a first-year teacher of English at a Community College in Asheville, NC. I saw a video of you performing "What Teachers Make" and I knew I wanted to "make a difference" too. I became a teacher because I enjoy education. I will be a great teacher because you inspired me to be better than I thought I possible. Even if you don't add me to your list, please know that you are an inspiration to our profession, and to the countless students inspired by people just like me. Thank you.

645. Luzeana A. (FL)

Sunday, February 06, 2011

I heard Taylor's poem 'What Teachers Make' 2 years ago while researching videos on for my biology class. I was a pre-med major at the time. Since I was younger I have always wanted to be a teacher but I thought becoming a doctor would make my family proud. After hearing his poem, I knew from that moment on that I wanted to make a difference. The next day I changed my major to Elementary Education. I come from a family of educators, teaching is in my blood, and this poem inspired me to do what I love and makes me happy! Thank you!

644. Allen J. (OK)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Dear Mr. Mali, I am an MFA candidate from Oklahoma, in my first semester. I've always known that I wanted to be a writer - telling stories is what I've done since I was a small child. I have passion for the English language, a passion for reading, and a sometimes embarrassing passion for talking to people about it. I never seriously considered being an English teacher before I heard your poem "What Teachers Make." I stumbled upon it completely by accident, while I was looking for interesting kinetic typography videos. I've always thought that having a so-called "real job" would interfere with my writing and creativity, but your poetry inspired me to go out and substitute teach a little bit, and I walked away on the first day feeling as if I had found a second calling. You have made me realize that I don't have to give up one passion for another - you are living proof. Alas, I don't have any formal teaching instruction, so I'm having to go about it the hard way (without the guiding hand of a university), but I WILL get certification within the next two years. I seem to have rambled on a little to long about my own past, so I'll get to the point. Thank you for being an inspiration. You are part of the reason I'm on the path I am now. Thank you so much. A note on the picture: It's not just of me, but also of my Grandfather, at my high school graduation. My Poppy always called me "the professor." I guess he knew I was supposed to be a teacher before I did.

643. James S. (United Kingdom)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The image I post is stereotypical of what teacher will do to you. Some people focus on this negative idea of teaching, believing teacher's to be people who must be masochists who's job is really just helping them prepare for a long stay in hell...but in reality a good teacher does what others can't do, would never do and sometimes criticize. I've always planned to be a teacher but recently I questioned my intentions and whether I would be a good enough teacher. I then found Taylor Mali's 'What Teacher's Make'. There will be no CV and no words that I could use to better showcase what teaching means to me. Taylor has also inspired me to be the best teacher I can be and that's what makes a good teacher. Someone who cares and is willing to do things to inspire and get his pupils interested in their subject. Teaching is a noble profession as so many of Taylor's poems show and although not everyone in the world may share the same view, they will not have the job of teaching the next generation. But it's not just about teaching kids and teenagers. It's about teaching the world and anyone willing to listen. We can all be teachers and change the world one person at a time like Lily, like Wilson. I'm currently still at university and doing work experience training to help kids in tough inner-city schools in there last year. Next year I will take a gap year to learn and do more work experience to become the best person I can be and ready to train to be the best teacher I can ever be. For your kind words, Mr Mali, I thank you X

642. Tammy M. (IN)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

WOW! What little I've seen on your website today envisions many of the same reasons that I have been working for four years to become ann elementary school teacher (IUPUI Class of 2011). When my son, a Purdue Sophomore majoring in electrical engineering, makes jokes about my "homework" (that often includes smelly markers and posters), I remind him that I will be "building people", which is much more difficult than any project he could ever imagine! Thanks for sticking up for the teachers!

641. Andrew L. (US)

Friday, January 28, 2011

As a current 5th grade teacher in the inner city of Peoria, your poem "What teachers make" defines what I believe my goal in life is and why we are so important. You really have said all there needs to be said about the thing we love called teaching!

640. Kathryn H. (TX)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It has taken a great journey to bring me to this point today. I am proud to say that I have finally become a teacher. Many obstacles have come into my life, but the greatest was my own free will. I grew up thinking that I could never be happy as a teacher, never really feel like my life and true worth had been fulfilled. The biggest change in my life happened when I was a freshman in college and I marched into the College of Education at Texas Tech University and decided to change my major. I have never been happier, never felt more fulfilled. But my reassurance came when a fellow teaching candidate introduced our class to Taylor Mali and "What Teachers Make". It made a difference in my life, and gave me the confidence I needed to know I had made the right decision.

639. April C. (TX)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Your video never fails to make me feel proud of becoming a teacher, and I always share it with everyone I know. It's not about what you receive, its about what you give. At the end of the day, I don't care about how much money I make. What is important is that student that now believes in him/herself, that now strives to give only their best, that is sure that they can accomplish anything.

638. Erin T. (NC)

Monday, January 24, 2011

I have always loved English but it was psychology where I found my calling. Throughout high school I was told to decide on a career, that I had to make a decision right then at the age of fifteen. I was in the poetry club when a friend introduced me to Taylor Mali's work. His poem, "What Teachers Make" spoke to me then and as I built my education in college as a psychologist it hit me. I want to teach people this, I want to do the research and make them think. I want to inspire others with learning the way I've been inspired. I want to spark passion in their hearts, so they read and ask questions, and form opinions from what they have learned. I am currently enrolled at Appalachian University in Boone, NC where I am studying Psychology and English, which I plan to one day use as a professor. The picture I am putting with this is me studying in my school's solarium. It is an open bright place, the way a child's mind should be.

637. Ashley K. (KS)

Monday, January 24, 2011

I am a senior in high school. I have been tossing around ideas for a major for years now. Becoming a teacher has always been in the back of my mind, but I was deterred because of a teachers salary. After I stumbled upon "What Teachers Make" my decision was made up; I was meant to teach. I am now going to go to college to major in Elementary Education. Taylor's poem reminded me of all the wonderful teachers I have had and the influence they have had in my life. I want to be that influence in a child's life.

636. Cecilie H. (MA)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I grew up in a snooty suburb of Boston, where most people's parents went to Ivy league schools and became lawyers or psychologists. There was an extreme stigma associated with low income jobs like teaching and art, two things that I loved to do! It seemed as if there wasn't much of a choice. After hearing Taylor Mali's "What Teachers Make", my doubts and fears were gone! Teaching was the ONLY thing that I wanted to do. Why would I waste my time doing anything else? Thank you Taylor Mali!

635. Jacob M. (SC)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Taylor Mali has been an inspiration to me, from showing me "the the impotance of proofreading" to explaining to me "What teachers make." It is that idea of building character in future generations that has inspired me to pursue teaching. I have been a writer for a few years. It was upon researching modern poetry that I came across the voices and minds that have been in the Urbana Poetry Slam. After hearing "What teachers make" I entertained the idea, and upon finding out about the 1,000 teacher goal, my mind was made. I would like to thank Mr. Mali, and gladly say "Put my name on that list."

634. Danielle V. (IN)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My brother wanted me to be a chiropractor, to make money, and to live comfortably. I told him I wanted to be happy. I was in an undergraduate education course when I first viewed "What Teachers Make" and it changed me forever. I was dumbfounded. Taylor managed to articulate everything that my heart didn't know how to say. It gave me goosebumps. In that moment, I knew I was meant to be a teacher. Taylor took away any doubt in my mind and any fear about answering questions that brothers or anyone may ask about salary. I turn to Taylor's works in discouraging times-to remind myself I make a difference-to remember to "speak with conviction." I survived my first day of student teaching today. I graduate this May. I will be a high school teacher in a matter of months. Taylor's words helped place the art and craft of teaching in a place inside myself that could never be destroyed, a place I protect and nourish. Taylor, you changed my life and brought me to a happiness words do not begin to express. This is not what I do. This is who I am. Thank-you so much!

633. Josh A. (NY)

Monday, January 17, 2011

When I was finishing high school, I told my social studies teacher, one of my favorite teachers, that I wanted to do what he did. I wanted to teach. He looked at me and said, 'Why?' And rather than giving me a moment to create an answer, to think that this might be some Socratic means of inspiration, he simply said, 'No, you don't. It's hell.' So I went off to college, instead, to study physical therapy. The desire to teach never really left. I became a writing tutor, never touching a pen but rewriting countless essays with frustrated med students. And I would go back to my dorm room and rewatch and reread Taylor Mali's poems. I watched minds change about writing, heard Mr. Mali speak of the same (notably Like Lilly Like Wilson), and realized this was what I wanted to do every day. I changed my major. I became a teacher. And I do see what these poems said I would. One girl, after an exam, told me she was worried before, until she remembered what I told her about keeping a positive mental attitude. "I thought, it's like Mr. Austin said. I just have to have that PMA. Stay positive, and I'll do well. And I did really well." To which I could only respond, "Katie, you've got that attitude." Every day, I go to work and I see children grow and learn and demonstrate how PROUD they are to do both. And I am to. Of them, of course. And of being a teacher. Thank you, Mr. Mali, for helping me get here.

632. Mila A. (NC)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

From an early age, I fell in love with the idea of becoming a teacher. However, as I got older and people would ask what I wanted to be, I found that my response was met with negativity. Time after time, I've been called an underachiever- as though teaching is an easy job. I've been mocked, antagonized and disrespected for my chosen career path. I've heard "You're going to college to learn how to babysit?" so many times I've lost count. Considering that every lawyer, doctor, and other highly esteemed profession requires a large amount of education, you'd think teachers would have a little more respect. These comments can be so discouraging, and I've wondered if I should change my career path just so I no longer have to listen to the ignorance. Taylor Mali has reaffirmed my faith that I am meant to be a teacher. His passion has shown me that teachers shape the future. I am grateful every day that I have come across Mali's work. His poem "What Teachers Make" has changed me. He has provided me with a wonderful retort to those who criticize teachers. I will no longer ignore the insults, I will quote Mali and show people just what teachers make. We educate, we inspire, and we possess the ability to change the world through every student we teach.

631. Sam R. (GA)

Friday, January 14, 2011

They say that the pen is mightier than the sword. This is true although in my mind rhetoric is supreme. People reach the emotional heights normally relegated to clouds when they get up in front of the masses and shout their beliefs. I always put my thoughts on paper, and told myself that this act was good enough. But many things I saw and heard started something that was finally pushed to the precipice when I began to listen to your poetry. It is, as you say, a necessity to not only question authority, but to speak with it as well. It is not enough to write ideas and thoughts, but it is a necessity to share them with confidence as well. I always wanted to be a teacher in the traditional sense of school and grades. But the view is no longer a 3x5, but a panoramic. I will one day hand out grades, but that does not mean that I can not be in a teach capacity until I get a Ph D. Thank you for your empowerment and I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor of a thousand teachers. I set off on a path to empower and inspire other as you have inspired me. One day I hope you return to teaching if only for a little while. Thank you again. I proof read it before I posted.

630. Anna Lee W. (SC)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I first heard Taylor's poem "What Teacher's Make" in the 11th grade, when a student teacher played it during an English unit on slam poetry. At this point in time, I always thought I would grow up and become a lawyer, but this poem moved me to tears. I graduated high school, with the intention of majoring in History at a small liberal arts college in SC, but teaching was always on the back of my mind and "What Teacher's Make" was on iPod. Finally, after careful consideration and lots of thinking about how to tell my parents, I took the plunge. I applied to the education department, got accepted, and began a journey that has culminated in student teaching. I have loved every minute of it.

629. Mary Jane B. (GA)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I was in school learning to be a high school English teacher when I discovered your work. I had become discouraged having learned that students do not develop the ability to think in the abstract until they are in their twenties. The ability to learn and understand many, if not all, concepts in grammar as well as literary analysis depend on abstract thinking. How on earth was I going to teach these abstract concepts in a "concrete way?" Your poems showed me how. In fact, I used "Totally, Like Whatever, You Know?" as material for a lesson during my student teaching to show the importance of end punctuation. Not only did the concept become concrete, but it became fun (and funny). I knew then that I could and would find a way because "I'm a teacher. That's what I do." I stuck with it = continued and finished my education, and am now teaching at Adairsville High School in Georgia. Whether or not I make "the list" is not important to me. I just want to thank you for the inspiration you have been to my students, to my colleagues, and to me. Keep up the good work and let me know how *I* can help *YOU*!

628. Hannah R. (CT)

Monday, January 10, 2011

I've gone halfway down a lot of roads that I thought lead to my future. The one road I've let bounce around in my head the longest has been teaching. I have been in school for fifteen years and had five great teachers in my life, that's a not a great ratio. I remember those that pushed me and encouraged me when I didn't believe in myself and decided on teaching to have the chance to count myself among them. I'm a college student still struggling with my identity, and the idea of committing myself to one occupation for the rest of my life is tough. However, whenever I start to feel like I'm on the wrong road I listen to "What Teachers Make" and it immediately reinforces the reasons I'm working for this goal. "What Teachers Make" is the best reminder and has been the best encouragement I've found since my last great teacher. Thanks Taylor Mali.

627. alexandra p. (NY)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

i've been saying that i want to become a teacher since FOR EVER! and now i'm in my last year of high school. i was going to change my mind and give up all together. just finish high school and be whatever job hired me. Then I found Taylor Mali. I told myself that i wasn't going to give up. I want to feel that feeling of satisfaction that Taylor Mali talks about.

626. Alexander F. (NJ)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

I want to go to college next year, hopefully majoring in math, going through a 5 year education program which will, with any luck, give me a good idea of what teaching high school is like. But between college and a teaching career, I find myself hoping to be a motivational speaker. I want to inspire people and make a difference with peoples decisions. Whether it is about drug abuse, alcohol abuse, high school decisions, or even God, I want to help people who are lost, find what they are looking for. I came up with this plan near the end of Junior year. I've always wanted to help people and be remembered as someone who made a difference. I found out about you only three days ago, but since then, I have listened to your poetry and heard almost everything you have to say about teachers. While I knew I wanted to be a teacher, I knew the career was being attacked. People claimed that being a teacher was not exactly something to be proud of. It should be more of a last resort. After listening and reading "What Teachers Make" all doubt from my mind has been obliterated. I intend to memorize that poem and recite it to any lawyer that thinks he's better than me.

625. Sarah V. (NC)

Saturday, January 08, 2011

After years of public school systems, I didn't think much of most teachers, but after hearing Taylor talk about how much of a difference he made in the lives of his students, I was inspired to want to make that difference too. Many teachers are somewhat apologetic about their profession, but Taylor talked about it as if it were the highest and most honored calling a person could pursue. Now that I have begun to study teaching, I am even more convinced that all that Taylor has said honoring teachers is well deserved, and I am happy to be one of them.

624. Tiffany C. (IL)

Friday, January 07, 2011

I've been engaged now for over a year and people are constantly asking me when the big day is. When I tell them it's not until June of 2012, their jaws drop and I get a "what the hell is wrong with you" look. They don't understand that my fiance and I want to buy a house and have stable jobs. They also don't realize how insanely difficult it is to get a teaching job these days, especially if you don't know someone. I graduated college with my Bachelors in Secondary English Education in June of 2010--quite possibly the worst time to be a new teacher in a struggling economy. I am working now as a paraprofessional in a middle school, a job I got by the grace of God and a hell of a lot of online applications. I love this job more than anything, just because I'm in a school and working with students to make an impact on the world. However, I have been thinking, from time to time, especially now when it's starting to become "the hiring season" for teachers, whether I should go back to school to get another job, in case I can't get a full time teaching job for next year. Then I watch your video, "What Teacher's Make" and realize that there is nothing I'd rather do in life than work in a school environment. I make $10.69 an hour and apparently I could make more working at Costco. But I choose to work with my students because I love them and they complete my life with a happiness that I could get from no other job but teaching.

623. Monica C. (NJ)

Friday, January 07, 2011

When I was in eighth grade, my English teacher encouraged my love of writing and showed me how I could learn to relate to myself through literature and poetry. Since then, it has been my desire to similarly inspire students of my own one day with the written word. Last year, my ninth grade English teacher Ms. Humphrey gave me your poem "What Teachers Make" with the comment: "Monica, Since this is where you're headed, and this field is so under attack, I thought you might like this." I stuck it on my bulletin board of inspiration, right above the desk where I do most of my writing and studying. I read it every time someone looks disappointed when I tell him/her that that I want to become a teacher or another tells me that I am "too smart" to go into the profession. I cannot understand why teaching is not exalted--I believe it is the most worthwhile and ultimately the most fulfilling profession that exists. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you, Mr. Mali. My eighth grade English teacher may have inspired me to teach, but it is you, Mr. Mali, who keeps me confident and passionate about my decision. I will be forever grateful.

622. Joseph G. (MA)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I first encountered "What Teachers Make" when I was taking ED 100 at BU and trying to decide whether or not to become a teacher. It was this poem that helped inspire me to become an education major and teach. I am now teaching theater in Boston and love almost every moment.

621. Stephen H. (UT)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

In 140 characters. I'm told it won't pay well, and no gay man will find a job. Teaching is its own payment and worth it. You reminded me.

620. Cassie W. (MO)

Monday, January 03, 2011

I began my journey "pretty sure" that teaching was something I was interested in. I mean, teachers get the summers off, right? Then in an Introduction to Teaching class my second day of college, my instructor brought in the poem "What Teachers Make" by Taylor Mali. I read that poem and immediately knew that I wanted to be, that I COULD be that teacher. Since then I've received my BS in Secondary Education and I now teach Language Arts at a rural high school in Southeast Missouri. I love teaching and keep the poem posted in my classroom to remind me of why I chose this profession.

619. Charles K. (CT)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm an ex-Computer Science major who could see the dull humdrum life ahead of me if I continued down that road during a very well paying internship. I soon switched to English, which has always been my passion, despite voices telling me how much less money there was to be made with that degree. I've been interested in teaching for a while but every time someone asked me about what I wanted to do I'd say, "Teaching or..." as if I needed an alternative. "What Teachers Make" is one of a few things that has made me proud to aspire to such a profession. I show it to my friends and my relatives, and I don't say, "Or" anymore, instead, I say, with conviction: this is what I want to do.

618. Sean P. (FL)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I have been in band for the past 9 years and I absolutely love everything that has to do with band. I thought about being a music teacher, but friends and family were discouraging to the idea due tot he fact that music teacher dont make good money. So when i graduated high school and went off to college i studies criminal justice for my first year and hated it, a friend of mine showed me a video of your poem \\\\\\\"What a Teacher Makes\\\\\\\" and i was so inspried about changing my major to Music Education. Ever since i listened to your peom and heard some of your other work and saw you live at Broward College in Hollywood Florida, i will never doubt my decision about wanting to be a teacher. No matter what subject Math, English, History or Music, teachers are very impiortant, and make such a difference in a young persons life. I thank you so much for your work, and i hopw you ger a million people to write back to you.

617. Irene I. (FL)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

As a college freshman I was truly - and ironically - considering going to law school after I attained my Bachelors in English. I was not particularly thrilled with the idea, but I thought that my aptitude for the field would replace passion as a factor to my happiness in the future. During a period in which I indulged in self-doubt, I was sent a link to Mali's Youtube video of "What Teachers Make". Immediately I was moved to change my convictions and am very proud to say that I have never been so sure of what to do with my life. I want nothing more than to be a teacher and make a true difference in the world while doing something I thoroughly enjoy. For this, I owe Taylor Mali my fervent gratitude.

616. Abby V. (IA)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You help me realize what I can do because I will be teacher. Originally becoming a teacher was a back up plan because I am a history major and you can't really do much with it. I originally wanted to do big things with my degree, go to D.C. and change the world. But then I realized that I will be changing the world, one 7th grader at a time. So thank you.

615. Emily A. (IA)

Friday, December 10, 2010

I am a junior in college well on my way to becoming a 9th grade English teacher. My sophomore year I took a poetry class, and my professor showed us videos of Mr. Mali competing in Poetry Slams. Since then I have also had professors use videos of his poetry in education classrooms and it has not only inspired myself to continue to pursue my career, but I know that it has also inspired my fellow classmates! You are an inspiration, Mr. Mali. Because of you (and the other great mentors I have had through the years) I cannot wait to have a classroom of my own and give to my students everything I can. Thank you, for everything!

614. Margaret Tracie M. (TN)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I've always known I wanted to teach. But I had my doubts about following through because I was concerned about making money. However after having to waste an entire year listening to a man who openly had distain for the subject he taught I changed my mind. I had frequently noticed a lack of teachers who had true passion for what they were teaching. And I knew I could be one of those few who would be absolutely enthused about my subject. When I told a close friend about my change in major he responded with, "Oh. Well that doesn't pay very well." The hasty, "But it is super rewarding" didn't really settle with me since I had the same doubt. A more supportive friend was kind enough to show me a recording of Mr. Mali performing "What Teachers Make" and it made all the difference in the world. Teaching isn't about the money. It's about sharing information with people and hopefully helping them to learn not just about the subject, but also about themselves. A truly successful teacher is a philanthropist, they don't see their success in dollar signs. It's when another person regardless of age displays understanding or even better, excitement about what they are being taught. I want to be that person who gets the quiet kid that sits only in the back of the classroom to move to the front and ask thoughtful questions. I want to make a that one student who states "I hate history" at the beginning of the year to tell me they hate to leave my class at the end of the year. I want to give people confidence by helping them realize what they previously considered impossible can be achieved by something as simple as a few hours of uninterrupted concentration. I had the mentality and the passion, now I have the confidence thanks to Taylor Mali's poem.

613. Nathan C. (Australia)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I was in the first year of my journalism course when I discovered your poetry. I had already decided that the media industry was not where I wanted to be, and I knew I would be changing courses in the next year. But to what? All I knew was that I wanted to make a difference. The next year, I enrolled in an education course. I wanted to thank you for helping me to make that life changing decision. As I begin my career starting in 2011, your poetry continues to assure me that teaching was the right choice.

612. Rachel T. (MI)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Today I only let one student go to the bathroom and only because she said so dramatically that it was an EMERGENCY! After watching 'What Teachers Make' last night, the line, "No you may not go to the bathroom because you're bored..." repeated in my head all day. That is obviously one of the most comical lines in the poem but it rang so, so true and gave me confidence in my strict rules and general "meanness". Technically, I am teaching but am not yet a teacher. I'm a long-term sub at a charter school in Detroit. So do I count if I honestly say: Taylor Mali, your video about teachers solidified my decision to get certified and make teaching a career, not just something I'm sort of trying out? I recently sat at school day-dreaming about opening up my own coffee shop and/or wondering if a terribly dry-sounding "data person" position would be available next semester, but Mr. Mali, for the first time since I started, your poem made me feel very proud to teach. Even if I can't technically count and be included in your list I wanted you to know that. Note about photo: I took this in early spring a few years ago. When I was looking for an image, though, I thought 'This is really a teacher's perspective...(or should be)' We're not looking 'down' at them...but looking up as they grow above and beyond us...

611. Kayden C. (Canada)

Friday, December 03, 2010

I've always loved teaching others. Whether they be classmates or even teachers, being able to educate others in a way that will enrich their lives. However, I was unsure about whether or not I really wanted to teach in a school setting. After seeing your performance about what a teacher makes, I finally made my decision. I'm currently at university to become an elementary school music teacher. Thank you for your insights to teaching. Kayden

610. Malory P. (ME)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I was about half way through my student teaching, and I was lost. I didn't know if this was where I wanted to be. The students I had were wonderful, but I was losing hope in myself. Then my mother, the greatest woman in the world, sent me a link to Mr. Mali's poetry. I had found it, the whole reason I wanted to teach. I was drowning in a classroom that was not my own, there was no challenge. Now, like Mr. Mali, my students work harder than they knew they could, and they leave my classroom everyday better than they had entered. Then last year as my first year of teaching had ended, one of my student's, the really rough one I will never forget, turned to me and said thank you for showing me I could. So i needed to pass that on to you Mr. Mali, thank you for showing me I could.

609. Daniel S. (FL)

Monday, November 29, 2010

My friend Joey turned me on to Taylor's poem "What Teachers Make" as I was listening to the words it inspired me to pursue a career in teaching and I am currently studying music education at Broward College and plan to get my master's degree and possibly my doctorate to teach at a university level

608. Heather R. (IA)

Monday, November 29, 2010

I am a junior at Upper Iowa University in Fayette studying to become a political science teacher at the secondary level and I have had a really hard year. My grandfather is in and out of the hospital, I was pregnant with a man who I thought loved me, and miscarried; not only once, but twice, because I was with twins. Because of all of this, I was on the verge of giving up on my dream. A professor showed my class your video, The the impotence of proofreading, and I fell in love with your poetry. The more I listened to the more I saw that I can do this if I stick with it and preserver through the hard times. Thank you for showing me that I can help my students through my trials as well as teach them the required material.

607. Sarah C. (MA)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

While student teaching in the Bronx, I had the tremendous opportunity to intern for Mr. Mali and see the broad impact that he has had on countless educators. Now that I have a classroom of my own in Massachusetts, I have been struck once more by the impact Taylors poetry has on my eighth grade students. They are empowered by the relevancy of poetry about the middle school experience. Taylor's poetry has been a tremendous hook in delivering the love of poetry to the thirteen-year-old heart. For that, I graciously include myself on the list of 1,000 teachers.

606. Kelly S. (NY)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I was a corporate slave and although I made great money, I wasn't happy. I wanted a job that meant something. I wanted to make a difference. Not too long ago a friend sent me a copy of the poem "What Teachers Make." I thought it was a sign, so I enrolled part time at a local university. As fate would have it, I was laid off from my corporate job and now I'm a full time grad student. I am overjoyed to say I graduate this spring with a M.A. in English Education! Thank you for being the inspiration in helping me take that first little step.

605. Aubree H. (VA)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I have been studying to be a teacher for the past four years. I get my Master's in May 2011. At times I question, is this too hard? Why did I choose a profession such as this? This poem reinvigorated me. I will teach to change lives. I will teach to show students what they can be, not what they can't. I will teach children to be the best at everything they do. I will finish my Master's and change lives, one day at a time...

604. Melissa G. (IL)

Monday, November 22, 2010

I found out about this amazing project through a video on youtube. I have been watching Taylor Mali's videos for a while now and am extremely impressed with his work. I wasn't even aware of this project when I first heard my favorite poem by him entitled "What Teachers Make." It was introduced to me in my first college course as an icebreaker to the beginning of freshman year. Little did my teacher know, that this would be what sparked my love for teaching. I am now pursuing a degree in Special Education with a minor in Bilingual Education. I keep that fire for teaching burning by helping as a tutor, working at a Special Education summer camp with children ages 5-14 and even working with a non-profit organization to raise money for a school in El Salvador to support impoverished children. I'm ecstatic to visit the school sometime soon! The picture attached is of the school I am currently raising money for and creating books for. I thank Taylor Mali for his inspiring words and I'm sure one day, the children in El Salvador will too! :)

603. Lindzee M. (SC)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I come from a line of teachers, but wondered if it was right for me. Well I heard "What Do Teachers Make?", and not only did it bring me to tears it let me know right then that I was to be a teacher. That dream of helping children acheive their best will become reality when I graduate college on December 9th, 2010 with my degree in Elementary Education. Thank you, sir!

602. Clara H. (Japan)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Taylor, I saw your youtube performance about what teachers make. My parents are educators and I've been under influence of many great teachers. With that, I am now in Japan teaching elementary, middle and high school students English. I'm not a teacher yet, but this experience and your awsome clip has fully motivated me to wanting to become a teacher. I learn every day and I love every single day of it. Go, Taylor!

601. Stephanie S. (PA)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

When i entered college I began studying to be involved in the medical profession. I hadn't decided how but that i kept telling myself Id figure out eventually. From the time I was 11 I had a series of involved surgeries. Through my experience at the hospital and dealing with doctors and the other staff I noticed not many people had gone through anything similar to this. I was irked by the I know how this feels attitude and sympathy. When I knew none of them really did know. I decided that I wanted to be involved with kids going through similar procedures to what I had experienced and let them know that I truly understood. For the first year and a half at college I really struggled through all my classes. I kept at it, not wanting to quit. Half way through my sophomore year I had an opportunity to volunteer at an elementary school across the street from my college. That experience opened my eyes to teaching. Because of this experience I decided to change my major, and about a week before it was time to register for my classes for Junior year i completely changed my major to Special Ed/Elementary Ed/Early Childhood and History. Being so late in my college career I doubted my decision greatly. I would essential have to start over again. I became involved in the PSEA chapter on my schools campus, and in the spring I attended my first PSEA conference. At one of the breakout sessions the organizers of the session played for us What Teachers Make In listening to that poem I knew instantly that teaching is what I wanted to do. I was looking to inspire and encourage kids in some way, and I realized that teaching is the way for me to do that. I look to be that teacher, and now with only a little more than a month to go until I am done student teaching I hope that I am living up to what it truly means to be a teacher.

600. Kieran S. (Scotland)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I didn't actually know about this project of Taylor's until today. I did however hear "What Teachers Make" some years ago. At the time I had been debating whether to become a teacher for quite a while. I could have decided to do the 4 year university course but didn't out of fear I'd have made the wrong choice. I took a 3 year Philosophy degree instead and then thought of doing the 1 year post-graduate course but then, once more out of fear, didn't take it this last year. Instead I decided to work with special needs children in Sri Lanka. After a week of even more fear than ever before. That I wasn't cut out for my chosen career path that I couldn't even fully embrace. What the hell was I going to do? A week later I couldn't wait to be in a classroom full-time as a profession. I couldn't wait to drive my class of 30 odd kids to do what they are capable of doing. I couldn't wait to help them grow as people and make realisations about themselves and one another and I couldn't wait to do it 30 times over in the course of my life. I couldn't wait - ultimately - to make a difference. I knew what Taylor was talking about when he went on about what teachers make. They make a difference.

599. Tom P. (CA)

Monday, November 08, 2010

I earned my credential in June of 2001. My first week as a full time teacher in "my" classroom started Sept 10th, 2001. My first Tuesday was obviously one that many people will never forget. I know it was a crucible, it defined how my students related to me and how I related to them. We spent a long day mesmerized, frightned and furious with the images presented to us. I was lucky enough to teach that group a number of times before they graduated in 2004. A number of those kids have gone on to serve their country and I worry about that entire group, my first, nearly every day. I'm proud of all of them every moment of every day. Throughout the last 9 years I've often considered leaving my profession. I just cannot seem to either gather the courage to walk away, or find something worthy enough to justify such action. I've listened to Taylor's "What teachers make" an uncountable number of times throughout my career, and while it didn't ignite the fire inside me that lead me to teaching in the first place, it has been a huge part of maintaining the flame. I am a teacher today because I can relate to that message, it is mine as well. So, maybe I don't really count here, I knew I was going to teach before I heard your message,but I'm definitely still a teacher because of your ability to communicate my passion to friends who don't really understand. Thanks

598. Shelby A. (FL)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

I was sitting in my Creative Writing class when my teacher showed us "What Teachers Make". It was amazing since I had never seen poetry like that before. I looked at a few more and it really moved me and made me want to become a teacher! I hope to help students create works of poetry of their own.

597. Shane W. (NJ)

Monday, December 13, 2010

I first heard of you in 2004-2005, from a student teacher who wanted to read some of your poems to our class. He read, "What Teachers Make" and I instantly fell in love with your work. He also read, "Like Lily Like Wilson," "The The Impotence of Proofreading," and I forget the title, but the one that is about the boy in which you are dedicating to donate your hair to Locks of Love. Your poetry moves me and it was early in the summer I was reminiscing and I then realized I haven\'t heard one of your poems in a while, so I went on to YouTube to watch you perform \"What Teachers Make.\" I am now coming to the end of my first semester of college, after graduating high school 5 years ago. I am majoring in Physics, and which to teach Physics and Astronomy. I will make a difference, and not just in my students, but in the world. Thank you for all of you motivation from the passion you give to your poems.

596. CherrieAnn L. (KS)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Inspiration comes in many ways. I had three extremely influential teachers in my life and one amazing poet (Yes, Mr. Mali that would be you) that came into play years later, and the good Lord on my side. I have always loved British Literature, so much infact that I earned my degree in Literature the first time through college. I had wanted to be a teacher but was nervous so opted for the Liberal Arts degree instead. After seven years of working I was about to be laid off. I very clearly remember sitting on my couch watching Def Poetry Jam and thinking, \"well I better enjoy it because tomorrow my cable is going to be shut off\" and then you walked out on to the stage. Sitting there listening to you reminded me of those teachers whom I loved so much. It also made me see that I too could make a difference. I was literally blessed with the opportunity to go back to school and I decided to become a teacher. Your poem spoke to me and I realized I could do this. It isn\'t about the textbook but about the connections I have made. I have been teaching for six years now. To see a student who wouldn\'t try start to think maybe I can is the greatest reward. I treasure all my golden moments. I use one line in your poem in my classroom. I can make a C+ feel like a congressional medal of Honor. I tell the students the first day I value effort just as much as I do ability. We may not all have the same level of understanding but we can all give 110 percent of what we have and when we do amazing things can happen. I have a spot in my room called examples of excellence. There I place any assignment that is a letter grade or more above the students average. So when a D student see\'s their C+ work their they swell with pride. I leave notes on my A student\'s work asking them to keep stellar assignments to use as examples for the students to follow. We are creating a legacy of learning in my room. I line my room with quotes about Truth, I

595. Rachel J. (NY)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I'm in school for education and Taylor is everything I want to be. They're teaching me theory, but education is not theory. It is about making a difference each and every day in the lives of the children who God has given me the privilege of teaching, and showing them how they can use the gifts God has given them to make a difference. My students WILL know what a declarative sentence is and they will never be afraid to express themselves.

594. Derek D. (WA)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Taylor got me to go BACK to teaching. I taught ESL overseas for seven years and came home tired, frustrated, disillusioned and burned out. Lately, though, I kept looking at all my old class pictures, thinking ... and then I stumbled on "What Teachers Make", and realized: I MISS TEACHING! So I've just started working at a tutoring center in Edmonds, WA, and I'm preparing to go for my certification. True vocation - so named because IT calls YOU.

593. Dan R. (FL)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Having recently graduated from college in Actuarial Science, I considered the obvious choice of becoming an actuary. Having attempted the exams after literally hundreds of hours of studying for each exam, I realized that this is not something I want to do for a living. Being constrained behind a desk from eight hours a day seems so boring. After watching two poems in particular, "What a Teacher Makes" and "Miracle Workers," I felt inspired that I could make the world a better place by being there for children that are struggling through math, as this seems to be a more common phenomenon everyday. For example, I recently found out that I have friends with Bachelor's and even Master's degrees that still struggle with fractions. I saw this as both a tragedy and an opportunity. Now I will do my part in making sure that all of my students from now on will be able to so their arithmetic with fractions in confidence instead of with frustration, along with any other math that they may be having trouble with. Thank you Taylor, and good luck finding the rest of your 1000 teachers.

592. Jennifer C. (MI)

Monday, November 01, 2010

I have always wanted to do something involving kids, I have an "I will save the world" attitude, and kids are the future of the world. With that being said, I was introduced to Taylor's "What Teachers Make" video by a good friend of mine. I can't stop talking about it, and I have posted it on facebook twice and have shown everyone within my personal group of friends. That video has inspired me to finish my schooling in teaching. Some of the experiences I have had made it seem that maybe teaching is not what I was meant to do with my life, but "What Teachers Make" restored my passion and confidence in my ability to be the best teacher I can be. The picture I decided to post was of a sub job I did last year, to protect the identity of the students I posted this picture. These kids are the reason I get up in the morning.

591. Meghan M. (Canada)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

For the last 10 years of my life I struggled with my place in this world. As an artist, I found the egos at art school too much. But society's messages about doing a "real job" actually convinced me to quit art school(sadly). I could have used a teacher like Taylor Mali at that moment. Sadly, I rejected myself and my identify and joined the ranks of the cubicle-world of the public service. I was not happy there. Seriously depressed, in fact. But boy, I was doing what "society" demanded and had plenty of cash for SUVs. Then one day I decided I needed to distill my experience in life and boil it down to what actually matters. What I came out with was that I want to live a creative life, in the service of others, enabling through service and my artwork, a better society for everyone. I realized that my happiest moments in life have been those when I helped someone to understand what they didn't know before, or saw a themselves potential that they thought didn't exist previously. The things that excited me most were moments when I was able to help people to disrupt their own expectations about who they are and what they consider to be their own limitations. I knew then, that I was meant to be a teacher. Then I discovered Taylor Mali and every word that I've ever heard of his, has spoken directly to my soul. I am now a teacher candidate in a program for artists that want to teach. Every time I meet someone and they ask why on earth I'd want to be a teacher when they are so underpaid and there are no jobs available and why would you want to work with teenagers...I think of Taylor Mali's What Teachers Make. And it gives me inspiration to keep on trucking despite the judgments...and today it was worth it because in my artroom, one girl called Ashley (that rarely comes to school) showed my class...for the 10th day in a row...because she wanted me to teach her the next coolest thing in printmaking. ...and tomorrow, she'll show up again, and I'll teach her again. Th

590. Sagar J. (Canada)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

During my third year of my undergraduate degree I gave up a paid internship in Virginia where I would be working with the president of the the United States aquaculture association and I chose to pursue a career in teaching. I had always wanted to be a teacher and because of Taylor's video "what teachers make" I was completely reassured to follow my dream. Thank you Mr. Mali for freeing my mind of any doubts I had about teaching.

589. Rachel B. (NY)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I was searching through youtube and typed in "Teachers" when Taylor Mayli's talk on "What teachers make" came up. I saw for myself the incredible amount of passion Taylor expressed for what he did, for what difference his everyday teaching actions made. I need that type of career, where the kids matter more than life itself. Taylor, you reaffirmed my belief that good teachers still exist! That there are those, like you, who gave a damn for the kids. Watching your piece, reminded me why I was considering teaching. Those exact same reasons.You hit the nail on the head. Your sheer love of teaching was evident, and I wanted to share that passion. His words were so powerful and encouraging. Its not just about the paycheck, its more so. Because of what you said,I began to contact some of my other teachers and thanked them for their help over the years. I felt they needed acknowledgement. I also found that my teachers encouraged me to become a I've signed up to do Theatre and English Education. Thank you, thank you Taylor Mali! Be prepared to pass the banner on.. :)

588. Emily R. (CT)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Before starting college, I accompanied my mother to one of Taylor's shows in Storrs, CT. Upon hearing him recite his piece, "What Teachers Make", I thought to myself, I would love to be that difference. I began my college career with no idea what exactly to pursue but I knew I wanted the end result to be teaching. I went after an English degree and got it in May of 2010 and am continuing from there to become a Special Education teacher and will be graduating in 2012 and being that difference! Thank You Taylor Mali!

587. rebecca p. (northern ireland)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Whilst going through a period of transition, I forgot what my passions were and what I wanted to achieve in life. I desired a career which imprinted my stamp into this world. Then when I read Taylor Mali's poems and watched his videos, a burning desire which was always there, but just needed to be set alight, rose from deep within me. And now, since this passion has been ignited, I am aiming with everything in me, to become what I was created to be. I just needed inspiration. Currently, I am studying an undergraduate programme of English and Education. Additionally, I am currently in the process of applying for a Post Graduate Certificate of Education. And if I don't get in, I will apply again and again, because there is nothing else I would rather be!

586. Courtney P. (VA)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I am currently pursuing my BA in English and secondary education certification. The other day in class, my professor played "What Teachers Make," and I was in awe. I felt the deepest pride I have ever felt in my life when I was watching the video and tears were threatening my eyes as I watched in silence. I have always been warned about what teachers make-- as if I don't already know-- and I now have a new answer that I will provide when asked if I know how much teachers make: "Go look up Taylor Mali." Taylor, you are an inspiration and I pledge to be a teacher-- the best I could ever dream of being.

585. Michelle B. (OK)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Although I have not been fortunate enough to see Taylor Mali perform live, I have watched him perform many of his pieces online. "What Teachers Make" has been a huge influence on me by helping to remind and reassure me that it is possible to make a difference in the world by teaching. I am currently pursuing my teaching degree, and hope to someday be as passionate and convicted a teacher as Mr. Mali seems to have been. Being eager to "get my feet wet," I also work as an online tutor for the web site As an online tutor, it is my job to assist students in finding their own answers to their assignments, and there is nothing more rewarding to me than the "a-ha" moment when the student really seems to fully understand the material.

584. Anne A. (MA)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I currently work as an Instructional Assistant with Behaviorally Disturbed children. I come home exhausted and beat-up (physically and mentally). I was pursuing my master's in education, but began to doubt myself and whether I could do it, or if I wanted to. I saw the video "What Teachers Make" a few days ago. It renewed my desire to become the best teacher I can be. I am going back to school, and I WILL be a teacher in the very near future. Thank you, Mr. Mali...for inspiring me to follow my dream! I included a picture of myself and my daughter... because she (along with the kids I work with) is my motivation to be the best teacher I can be

583. Scott U. (TX)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I was rapidly approaching thirty and I had no definite goals in my life. I am married to a beautiful, amazing woman who has allowed me to wander a bit, to try and find where I "fit in." She is a teacher, and one day she showed me "What Teacher's Make." That was it. I had been on the fence for a long time, considering education but wondering if it was the right place for me. Your poem, along with the encouraging words from my wife, has inspired me to return to college, earn my degree, and become a high school teacher. I think it is great that you are inspiring so many people to become teachers. Thank you for all that you have done.

582. Nathaniel D. (NY)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Although I had chosen to be a teacher by 11th grade I have felt a great deal of uncertainty about teaching, especially in college. In fact, I dropped out of the education program my sophmore year. Three years later I started Graduate school in Education. Now, on the eve of student teachnig (Dear God!), Taylor Mali lit a fire so few teachers were able to do inside of me that I feel reenergized and even more proud of the fact that I WILL BE A TEACHER. Thank you.

581. Sandi F. (IL)

Friday, October 15, 2010

I first learned about Taylor Mali in my first course in Grad School. I enrolled in Introduction to Teaching. Once, I saw his video "What Teachers Make", I knew for sure I wanted to continue my dream of becoming a teacher. Thank you Taylor for inspiring me!

580. Miguel Angel G. (Spain)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

After working for ten years in the Industry as EHS manager, I felt my job done at the sites in which I was involved, an one day I heard the words "You have got to find what you love, your work is going to fill a large part of your life..." Two years ago I decided to drop out the company and started to "make a difference", teaching English language at school in my country. Ive seen now taylors work about what teachers make and it is exactly the same explanation I give to some old colleagues at dinners. Thank you Taylor for your work.

579. Tatiana G. (CA)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I experienced a bad childhood, which gave me an advantage, because my safe-haven was school. The problem was, I never thought I was smart enough to become a teacher, because when I was at home, I wasn't allowed to do my homework. In 2006 I moved to California with my father, my grades weren't perfect still, but at least I could pass 7th and 8th grade. In 2009, my freshman year, I totally messed everything up and failed most of my classes. Now I know, this doesn't sound like a person who would ever want to become a teacher, however, in my sophomore year I realized that I was able to work with my classmates and even tutored them into passing all of their classes - at the expense of my Algebra 2 grade, but at that point I didn't care. This year is my junior year. The year you figure out where you want to go and all that jazz. I was thinking something along the lines of SPCA animal cruelty investigator - but I found out I could teach at the same time, and I thought "Well that might be nice, but I doubt I would be a good teacher because of how I treat people, parents would whine about how high my standards are." And that's when I saw "What Teachers make." And I LOVED it. I proceeded to watch "Miracle Workers," "Undivided attention," "The The Impotence of Proofreading" and various others. Not only has this sparked a love for teaching, I've also become infatuated with slam poetry and have started writing. Thank you so much Taylor, and God bless you for what you've done for people around the world.

578. Samuel C. (AK)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I had already completed my first year teaching when I was first introduced to Taylor Mali. While attending a state writing consortium I saw several of Taylors performances on youTube. I was largely resistant to returning my second year as a teacher. I work with a very difficult population of rural Alaska students, in a pretty harsh environment both physically and emotionally. I will say Taylor taught me teachers can be cool, because the moment I first saw him, I thought this guy exudes confidence and is pretty freaking cool. I came to teaching after 5 years serving in the Army. I thought I was pretty cool in the Army, I did it all, and Ill leave it at that. Teaching had a few initial highs, but not what I was used to. I also failed to find an identity in teaching. Seeing Taylor, then looking more into his story, reading his poetry and essays, really had sway on me returning for a second year. Thanks.

577. Jennifer N. (TX)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I started out as an English major, not quite sure what I wanted to do. As an undergrad, we watched "What do Teachers Make" and well, my prior plans of law school changed. I finished a masters in literature and started teaching English. I show my students "The the Impotence of Proofreading" every semester before their first paper is due to remind them of the importance of language and saving face.

576. Brenda N. (CA)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm in my first year of college, but I've never really known what I wanted to do with my life. After seeing "Like Lily Like Wilson" I felt inspired for the first time in my life. I would love to open up a child's mind, watch their minds change, and see them grow. I want to be a teacher. Thank you, Taylor.

575. Marc G. (RI)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Upon graduating high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. While browsing slam poetry on youtube I came across "What Teachers Make." My family was somewhat skeptical based on how low a teacher's salary is. However, your video pushed me over the edge and made me realize it's not about the money, it's about the difference you can make in someone's life. I'm attending Rhode Island College for Elementary Education/Special Education and can't wait to make a difference.

574. Jackie M. (MI)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Growing up I always wanted to play "school" and be the teacher, and knew that in the future I would go to college and become a professor so that I could influence the minds of many different people from all kinds of backgrounds. When I started college my family strongly urged me not to major in English. They would always remind me that teachers don't make a lot of money, I'm never going to be satisfied with the choice I made, etc. After watching Taylor's video and his response he gives to what he makes, it made me feel even more certain that I am on the right path, regardless of what everyone thinks. Money will never buy me happiness, influencing the lives of people daily for years to come, will.

573. Candi H. (ID)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I teach alternative education in a school of 180 students in a district of less than 4000. It might seem like easy business, but these are the kids NO One else wants to deal with and with that thought, they are the 10% many teachers find acceptible as a loss. I do not accept this loss. I have a wonderful student who is now a student teacher; she was a gift and continues to be one. She sent me a video of Taylor Mali because she knew I needed it and I thank her. He may help me find my courage to stand up for what is right, to be the person who is suppose to teach and lead and learn from her students. Please consider Crystal and I as a team in yoru 1000 teachers; we are a generational event and we are here to change the world.

572. Matt S. (Australia)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I am currently in my 2nd semester of a Masters of Teaching (Secondary) at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Recently, a classmate sent me a youtube clip of your poem. After watching it, I was speechless, impassioned and inspired! For nine years prior, I had worked with youth, as a manager of a charity. In all of that time I remember thinking to myself, "there has got to be a better forum to make a difference." As I pondered this, I thought back to my high school years & instantly remembered the teachers that had made a difference in my life! And so I began to desire becoming a high school teacher. Now, halfway through my professional training, your poem has reminded me that the teaching profession is a domain that at the end of my life I can truly say I've made a difference. A difference in individuals, as well as my community! In this sense, you are accurate in saying that teaching is both rewarding and noble in nature! Your poem has both inspired and impassioned me to continue with my journey of becoming a teacher and making a difference! As the old African proverb says: "It takes a community to raise a child!" Thanks for your courage, vision and creativity!

571. Alyssa M. (NY)

Monday, September 27, 2010

I would not say that your work specifically has inspired me to become a teacher. For most of my life I have wanted to be a teacher, but once college started for me I have been feeling like my classes do not challenge me enough. I look at my friends who are studying to be scientists and I feel as if what I am trying to do is not as important. Today I listened to your poem "What Teachers Make" and it reminded me that teachers make a difference in the world and that is exactly what I want to do. Thank you for giving me back my desire to become a teacher. The picture I am including is of me graduating from high school. So far this was the most exciting point in my education, and I cannot wait to see my future students reaching the same goal.

570. Nicole D. (Australia)

Friday, October 01, 2010

I am nearing the end of a gruelling one year teacher training course called the Graduate Diploma of Education (in Australia). A lecturer played the video 'what teachers make' in class, and tears welled up in my eyes watching it. Before I had watched it, telling people I wanted to make a difference through teaching had sounded 'corny'. Now, I revel in the fact that, next year when I begin teaching, I can change things and make a difference EVERY DAY THAT I AM AT WORK. I don't know many workers who can say that their job allows them to do this. Mali's videos have, unequivocally, inspired me. Anytime I wonder if the job is worth it, I watch his videos. Thank, Taylor for helping me realise that this profession is worth it.

569. Bruce B. (MA)

Friday, October 01, 2010

I graduated Boston University in 2008 with a degree in secondary English education. More than that, I was certified by the state to teach. Sadly, as I graduated, the city of Boston laid of some 700 workers, with four hundred something being teachers. A week later, my father was in a severe motorcycle accident on the same day my grandfather suffered a stroke. That day, I hit a crossroads...a crossroads that took not days, not months...but years to cross. And one day, I was scanning youtube, and came across your works, as if it were my first if I had not seen, had not read, had not owned them prior. And I found myself crying. Not how I cried when I received my diploma, not how I cried when I found out my dad was in an accident, and not how I cried when my grandfather died...the tears that are shed when one realizes one had always been on the right path, and never lost sight, despite all that had occurred. While I am not yet a teacher, I pledge to you and to my grandfather's memory, I shall become one.

568. Sarah U. (MO)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Currently I'm a sophomore in college pursuing a dual degree in biology and secondary science education. I was pretty sure that I would stick with this plan for the rest of my undergraduate career. But I heard stories about people switching their major seven times or starting a career only to discover it was the worst possible place for them. I worried that I wouldn't like teaching, that the students wouldn't like me, that I would never have IT. The stuff that you can't describe or pin down but that every great teacher has--IT. That is, until I discovered Taylor Mali's poem, "What Teachers Make." Every time that I hear it, I want to recite it as loud as my lungs will allow. And every time I say the words out loud I get choked up, every single time. The fact that I have such a strong visceral and emotional reaction made me realize that there's nothing else I can do, nothing else that I would rather be than be a teacher. Everything that I'm good at, that I cherish, that I value was taught to me by a great teacher. Thanks to Taylor Mali, I have no doubt that I will be one of those teachers. Thank you.

567. Eric H. (OH)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I have always had a love for teaching, but it wasn't until I saw my other love, poetry, combined in "What Teacher's Make" that I decided the time had come to follow my heart and become a teacher. I am currently enrolled at the University of Cincinnati, and am working towards my BS in Secondary Education. Mr. Mali, your poetry has inspired me to do what I now know I was put on this earth to do, and for this, I am both humble and very grateful. Thank you.

566. Joshua D. (MA)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Watching Mr. Mali perform his poetry made me imagine a younger version of myself sitting in his classroom and for once enjoying the fact that I was in school. I imagined being intillectually stimulated- made to think, forced to learn and for some reason relishing it. I can only imagine that school would have been vastly more enjoyable and productive were there more teachers like Mr. Mali. I thought to myself, I would love to be a teacher in the likeness Mr. Mali, though I lack the lyrical and grammatical excellence that he posses and my passion and enthusiasm seem weak by comparison. However, Mr. Mali did more than make me imagine his kick-ass classrooms; he taught me as well, taught me that there is room to grow. So I have choosen to walk the path leading to the front of a classroom where I hope to grow into an inspiring, thought provoking, mind changing teacher.

565. Erin F. (AL)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

I have been a substitute teacher since November 2007. Substitute teaching is my full time job. Over the years I have had children beg for me to be their real teacher. I have even had other teachers tell me I should go back to school to become a real teacher because I am so good with the kids. I love being a part of teaching even if it is a random job. I know I can make a better impact in the life of the children I teach if I wasn't in their lives in a random fashion. After seeing your video about what teacher's make it made me feel even better about my choice to be their real teacher. I am currently in college to become a "real" teacher. The picture is of me at one of the schools where I teach. We are celebrating the forth grade being #1 in their grade in the state for math.

564. Andrew D. (Australia)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The nobility of teaching, is lost upon most people, and in my experience, it's a concept that proves to be foreign to many teachers currently in the profession. But this it to miss an opportunity, to have a say in the world around you, to have a positive influence, on young minds often underestimated and unappreciated, to leave your mark in the world on the people to whom you have imparted wisdom and will shape the world to come. I want to feel the pride I know great teachers feel, in the work that I do, and some day I know now that I will.

563. Collette D. (VA)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I am currently completing my undergraduate studies. For the past two years, I have been unable to decide what exactly I want to do with the degree I have been pursuing (Should I be a doctor? Should I continue conducting research? Should I forget biology entirely?). Until now, I have been unable to reconcile my desire to have a meaningful career while also doing what I love for a living. If I were to say your poem inspired my decision to consider teaching as a career, it would be a discredit to one of my professors who first introduced me to the idea; however, when my boyfriend showed me a video of your performance of "What Teachers Make", I began to remember the great teachers I had who touched my life through their profession and I knew my decision was made. I intend to become a professor, and I plan to teach anatomy and physiology.

562. Bryan T. (TX)

Monday, September 27, 2010

I just watched Taylor's video online this evening and was I blown away with the truth contained in it. I have been teaching and working with high school students for the past ten years. The rewards that come when a student shares with you how you made a difference in their life is priceless. I thank God for allowing me this opportunity in life each day to help challenge my students in becoming all God destined them to be. Blessings to you Taylor. - Bryan Tarjick, Carthage, TX.

561. Megan P. (CA)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Taylor's work has inspired me to look at myself as being an educator, not a money maker. We watched countless videos in my credential block and I cannot tell you how inspired I am!!! I without a doubt want to be a teacher- someone who is there for their students, who creates new boundaries and takes excitement to a whole new level. I will be a teacher, and I will always remember the inspiration from Taylor from years to come.

560. Andy D. (FL)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Growing up I had trouble in school. I decided I want to make other kid's with similar learning disabilities as I had life's much easier. Your what Teacher's Make poem finally gave me the courage to say "Screw the salary. I want to make a difference."

559. William O. (PA)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Growing up I was always a D student. When I got to college I did not know what I wanted to do with my life, then one day in one of my classes, a fellow student of mine showed my class a video of "what Teachers Make" and I fell in love. I realized that that feeling of accomplishment that I have truly made a difference in a student’s life is all I want in my life. Because of that video I went from D's to A's; because of this video I can't wait to go to school. Thank you Mr. Mali

558. Mansul H. (MS)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

If you are reading this Taylor, you, O.S. Card, and Jack Kerouac have changed my life. Your words are driving, your goals are inspiring, and your life and how you use it is moving beyond the capacity of words. My father is a band-director and he was never at a loss of reasons to deter me from teaching. But I love poetry, history and political science...none of which is very useful outside the context of education. So please know, I will follow in your footsteps and dedicate my life to the lives of children. P.S. I know you are a busy man, but please try to come to the Delta State University in Cleveland, MS for any reason you can create. I have 1724 goals in my life and number four on the list is to meet you!

557. Christina R. (PA)

Friday, September 24, 2010

My name is Christina Maria Rodriguez and I aspire to be an English teacher. I am a first year at Arcadia University at which I intend to attain my teaching accreditation. I first heard one of your poems when I was in middle school. I write poetry and enjoy reading it as well so my uncle thought it would make a great gift if he gave the first season of Def Poetry. It was on that very season where I heard you recite your poem What Teachers Make. It touched me because my mother is a pre-school teacher and I understood what you meant in your poem, as I knew she would, so I shared it with her. Your poem brought tears to her eyes because you touched her heart as you did mine and as I am sure you did many others. At that time, I still was unsure of what I would become in life but I always knew that I loved English and to write but even more to help others. My career ideas were scrambled as I went from masseuse to massage therapist to physical therapist to police officer and then to interior designer- I almost settled on that one. When I began my search for colleges I wanted to decide on a major. I started going through my list of careers and interests when I was asked, What do you want to do most in life? My first and only answer without hesitation was to make a difference. That moment was when I remembered your poem. That moment was when I decided I wanted to be a teacher. Thank you for your inspiration.

556. Bruce L. (CA)

Friday, September 24, 2010

I youtubed "poetry" in 2007 during my "sophomoric year." I watched several Def Jam poetry videos until I came across "What Teachers Make - Taylor Mali." The video changed my life. I continued watching Taylor Mali videos in between stressful classes and mundane life. They were an escape from my personal fear of not amounting up to anything. When I decided to pursue teaching as a career and a part of my identity, the words of Taylor Mali puts pedagogy into perspective for me. "Teachers [do] make a difference", but they have to start with themselves first. I barely began my teaching career four weeks ago as a student teacher. I know "The the impotence" of teaching and I want to go above and beyond the call of duty for students and their families. Thank you Mr. Taylor Mali for inspiring me with your poetry. (Picture: Bruce = guy in blue shirt and Queen = pretty girlfriend in yellow)

555. Dasimah J. (singapore)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"teachers make a god damn difference,what about you?" that line is my motivator because i think teachers who care influence the students they teach no matter how briefly the time they spent together. the image is my subtle interpretation of the potentials that every child has and if only teachers really do have the time to polish and bring out the best out of all the students they teach.

554. John P. (NY)

Monday, September 20, 2010

I am in the process of studying for Childhood Education at the CW Post Campus of Long Island University. I was thinking about looking for a different career, but when I saw your "What Teachers Make" poem I was inspired to continue. Thank you!

553. Eleanor O. (GA)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm an expert in the art of being unsure. I'm unsure what to wear in the morning, unsure what book to read, unsure what opinion to take, and most importantly, unsure of what I want to do with my life. I've played with the idea of being a teacher before, but now I am positive for once in my life that I do want to teach thanks to you and your poetry, Mr. Mali. However, I am still unsure what to teach...I'll work on that.

552. David C. (KY)

Friday, September 17, 2010

My love for mathematics has always been my driving force that convinces me daily that I want to pursue a career in teaching. No other feeling can top the emotion I feel when I know that I've connected with and passed on what I've learned to another. However, it wasn't until I began studying Mr. Mali that I began to understand the type of teacher I'd like to be: a teacher that makes students want to learn; a teacher that accepts nothing less than a student's best; a teacher who loves what he does. I've nothing to say about the picture below except that I am in the middle.

551. Graham L. (Canada)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I first encountered Taylor's poetry on youtube near the end of my third year of undergraduate studies, thanks to a professor who showed us "The The Impotence of Proofreading." After that class, I went home and looked it up again, and encountered "What Teachers Make," and my mind was made up about becoming a teacher. The passion that he showed in his performance in the video added extra meaning to his words, which I looked up later on. I have now viewed those poems at least 20 times each. While I am not yet a certified teacher, I am currently attempting a B. Ed degree at the University of Ottawa, and hope to teach at the high school level in Ontario.

550. Mary S. (OH)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Although I was well on my way to becoming a teacher when I first heard of Taylor Mali, seeing him perform "What Teachers Make" on HBO's Def Poetry Jam really helped me understand WHY I had such a strong desire to teach. After working in nursing homes for 10 years, I finally made the connection that I liked helping people and making a difference in their lives. One smile from me was all it took to make their day & I find that the same is true with my students. I now work at Pioneer Career & Technology Center. Many of my students have hardships that I cannot fathom. When I'm feeling stressed out or frustrated, I pop in my Def Poetry Jam DVD & let Taylor Mali remind me why I'm here. His poetry washes over me like fresh rainwater, refreshing my creativity and replenishing my patience. God Bless you Taylor! :)

549. sher t. (Europe )

Thursday, September 02, 2010

My parents truly believe that the value of a person lies in not only how much they make but what they do. My parents don't support my aspirations to become a university professor for that reason. They wanted me to become a lawyer. And I started listening to them, even though I hate law. But no more, I watched your video and inspired me follow what I believe in and make a difference in tomorrows world.

548. Katie M. (IA)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The first time I saw Taylor perform I was amazed. He was phenomenal and he inspired me in so many ways. I had always wanted to be a teacher but there were days where, as a teacher, you wonder what you are doing because no one really seems to care. On those days, I remember what Taylor said in his "What Teacher's Make". I may not be able to change the world, but I can change the life of one student. I make a difference every day that I go to work and I love my job. I still find myself going back and listening to Taylor recite that poem because it gives me the strength I need to continue and every time I have some one that judges me because I'm a teacher or asks me why I am a teacher, all I have to do is refer them to that poem. Thank you Taylor for everything you do!

547. Karla H. (NY)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I first heard Taylor Mali's poem 'What Teachers Make' when I was in 8th grade. At the time I hadn't attended any of my classes in three months. After hearing his poem I decided to return to school. Every school year since then I print out copies of his work and give them as gifts to my teachers. In March 2010 of my senior year in high school 60 of my district teachers were laid off. At the time I was still in doubt of my career choice. Taylor's poem inspired me to fight for my teachers and I organized a rally of 1,600 students to protest the faculty cuts. In that dark time I was scared of my decisions and for the fate of my teachers. But Mr. Mali's words helped us through. Today I remain very close with many of my high school teachers. I'm currently majoring in 7-12 English Education at SUNY Orange. In those uncertain times when my teachers and I doubt ourselves we listen to Mr. Mali's words. They always give tremendous comfort. Thank you, Mr. Mali, for your inspiration. I've found my niche in this world. Although I was originally inspired by my 5th grade teacher, you found me in my darkest time of need and gave me that push to find my way out. I don't know where I would be if it wasn't for education.

546. Alison H. (NY)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When I first saw Taylor's performance of "What Teachers Make," I was attending college to become a teacher. You may ask, then, how Taylor played any role in my eventual teaching career. During my teaching program, I had constant worries about my decision to become a teacher. My professors constantly reminded us of how difficult an undertaking my classmates and myself were taking on. My self-doubt was getting to me. I was considering changing my career path, abandoning my teaching degree altogether. Taylor's poem helped to reignite my passion, my self confidence; his words reminded me of all the reasons I had ever wanted to be a teacher. Since then, I have graduated college, and will be entering my second year of teaching. Along the way, I have watched Taylor's performance a dozen times. It is a constant reminder, a voice in my ear: you can and will make a difference.

545. Robert T. (England)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Whilst you may not have been the original inspiration for my career choice as a teacher, you are a motivator for me to continue this path and to inspire and persuade others to follow. Your poem "What teachers make" was shown to all participants at the 2010 Teach First Summer Institute in the UK. I found it a sober reminder of why I am doing what I am doing and a powerful tool in helping me reflect back on my first year and think of how I have actually made a difference to someone's life, rather than received a tidy sum of money. I have shown it to friends who question my career choice and it usually gets the response "touch". You truly are an inspiration for change and I would be proud to be amongst those you count in your number. You certainly have had a large impact on my career. For child protection reasons I can't attach a photo of me teaching (they have students in). However I will attach something that had great meaning for me. I taught a bottom set year 7 class who ran riots with their previous teacher and were very disengaged with their work. Having taught them for eight months I developed strong relationships with the students. For my last lesson, one of the students decided to ask his grandmother to help him bake a cake for me, which we ate in the lesson. It's those little events such as that which make the job thoroughly enjoyable. Those students enjoyed coming to my lessons and they enjoyed their learning.

544. Christina E. (KY)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

As soon as I started college (in 2003), I declared my major in elementary education. Growing up, teaching had been the only career I really thought about doing. After being in college for a couple of years, my busy schedule, along with family issues, took a toll on me. I began questioning whether or not I really wanted to be a teacher. I considered changing my major, but eventually got so stressed out from school and life in general, that I had to drop out of school just so I could get everything back on track. This was in 2006. About a year later, a friend of mine posted a video of Taylor Mali doing his "What Teachers Make" poem on Facebook. I was so moved and inspired by the end of the video that I had tears in my eyes and I knew teaching was my calling after all; I had just lost sight of that goal. Taylor reignited my passion to teach and I couldn't wait to go back to school and finish my degree. I started taking classes again in 2008 and now I am doing my first practicum this semester! Because I still have to work full time, it has taken me a little longer to get through college than it does for most, but I know it will all be worth it in the end. I will be graduating in 2012 and I can't wait to finally be a teacher!

543. Jordan W. (VA)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The first time I read Taylor's poem, I had no idea that it was Taylor who wrote it. The poem was circulated around in an email during my year in a Masters program in Pittsburgh and the credit had been given to a character named "Anonymous." The poem gave me chills that first time and even brought tears to my eyes because I wanted to be THAT. My dream was to be THAT. I printed out the poem and kept it in my (ever-expanding) planning book and looked at it from time to time during that year to remind me what it really was that was keeping me going through the long and exhausting hours. Now I am beginning my first year of teaching 1st grade in a Washington, DC suburb and just stumbled across this video and website. Finally, finally, finally I can put a face and a name to the author of this brilliant poem. I can give credit to the man who has kept me going when I thought it would be impossible for me to answer that annoying and belittling question: "What do YOU make?" in a polite way. This poem has given me the strength to remember that it is my duty and my passion to make a difference in children's lives. That, if I do my job correctly, each and every student that I meet will work to his or her greatest potential. That if I do it correctly, those children will want to be in school with me and their peers everyday. That, if I REALLY do my job correctly, they will want to pursue a life that makes a difference as well. I still keep that poem with me to remind me why it is I put in 12 hour days and why I never want to complain about working "overtime" (is there such a thing for teachers?). The poem still gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes - the only difference is now that pesky Anonymous isn't taking all of the credit for this brilliant inspiration. Thank you, Taylor, for inspiring me and for inspiring teachers everywhere to become THAT.

542. Laura K. (PA)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I don't know if this counts toward your quest, but, after seeing a viral video of one of your poems, "what teacher's make," I have been re-inspired to continue on my journey as a teacher. At times, I become disheartened about what I am doing, the direction of the education system. But then, like a shining star, I come across something to re-affirm, re-energize myself. This could NOT have come at a better time.

541. ruth z. (IL)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Taylor's passion for giving to, and inspiring, young minds that only appear to be ambivalent and uninterested, gave me a needed boost for my decision to spend the second half of my life as a teacher. There is so much reward involved, besides...the give and the take, give and take.. The photo represents: the moon as the light of knowledge, the large 'teacher' branch touching, showing or pointing to it, and the smaller 'learner' branches reaching toward that light.

540. Jordan H. (NC)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I am currently working towards a Bachelors in Education, Special Education to be exact. So to say that Mr. Mali has inspired me to want to be a teacher would be untrue. What he has done, is demonstrate to me a passion and exuberance for teaching I would categorize as unrivaled. He has inspired me not to want to become just a teacher, but to excel AS a teacher. Not to merely teach, but to change lives. To make a difference. The feeling of working with a student and being able truly affect that students life, is without a doubt the greatest feeling on earth. So that is what I can only hope to strive for. To instill within myself, much like Mr. Mali, a fervor for teaching and the education of children that has the passion to literally change lives. I must add, that I was introduced to Mr. Mali via his youtube channel. And cue three hours of sitting in awe while viewing his videos again and again. As a suburban white boy, I can only hope to construct sick rhymes the way Mr. Mali does. But that is something I shall practice alone, behind closed doors, at night, where no one can hear. And until that day, I will continue to teach with passion.

539. Emily M. (NY)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Throughout High School, I had wished to study Theatre in college and major in acting. That changed when an English teacher of mine recited the poem "What Teachers Make" to our class one early December morning. The day that I heard that poem was the day that I retracted my application to NYU as an acting major, and reapplied to the program in Educational Theatre. It was a shock to my family and friends that I had, so suddenly, decided to become a teacher rather than a performer. But by choosing this career path, I am not discarding my performance aspirations; my classroom will be my stage, and my students my audience. I will strive to be an educator similar to the teachers that impacted my life, shared with me their passion for learning, and forced me to reach beyond my horizons with high expectations. I decided to become a teacher because I hope to return the favor of those who tenaciously believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. And it is because of Taylor's work that I am now working to fuze together my passion for theatre with my desire to "make a goddamn difference."

538. Patrick C. (HI)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Throughout my education from grade school up until my current years of college, I've looked up to my teachers and professors. English, although I am not particularly great, is my favorite and most sought after subject in school. Each English teacher i've had helped me find my voice and conviction in every paper, by every presentation, through every test. All giving me valuable information, skills, and life lessons that have helped me become the person I want to be. "What Teachers Make" by Taylor Mali was the final solidifying piece of evidence I needed to chase after my dream. I know that by teaching students English like how my previous teachers taught me would be a dream of mine. To one day inspire students and find that spark of light to ignite a fire to learn and succeed. I want to make a g'damn difference, and I will with a M.Ed, teaching Senior English!

537. Katie F. (MA)

Friday, September 03, 2010

There are many things that have driven me to pursue teaching, but you, Taylor Mali, were the piece in the teaching pie that made it feel right. Everything you say about teaching rings so true to me, so although I have not yet begun university, I have already started the process of preparing myself for the job. I was a teacher's assistant for my last two years of high school and won a scholarship from my school for people who are planning on going into the teaching profession. I look forward to the day when I have students of my own to inspire.

536. Alyssa G. (OH)

Friday, September 03, 2010

A former teacher of mine posted a link to Mr. Mali's poem 'What Teachers Make' online, and I've since shared it with other people and made my decision and to make the steps to become a teacher at my cosmetology school. That way I can make a difference in the students lives I teach and the clients we service. I wish to do something with my life and that's to make a difference with kids. I cannot express how much Mr. Malis poem made me realize exactly how important teachers are, and how much it made me want to make a difference in peoples lives. The photo is of an instructor cutting shapes into a models hair before a fashion show, teaching us how to use our tools better.

535. Milton R. (FL)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

I have always had a passion for the written word. As a child I would watch Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and would write out my own "fan fiction" to satisfy the imaginings in my mind. I have always believed that there are more to stories than plot, characters and setting. So, having all of these beliefs in my head, I decided that I would major in English. The thought of teaching came to me time and again, but never really settled. It wasn't until I came across Taylor Mali's work in Def Jam Poetry that my ears and mind perked up to the idea of teaching. The passion that he possesses for changing the lives of young adults through education inspired me. I said to myself, "I can do the same too. Kids deserve the best, and I can give it to them. I can show them that English isn't just a boring subject you take to graduate. It's a language rich with ideas and morals, with a life all its own." I went to my school and signed myself up for a minor in education. I graduate in the Spring semester of 2011 and I hope to be teaching by August of that same year.

534. Patricia B. (Philippines)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

I came across "What Teacher's Make" on Youtube when I was still in my first year of college. It made realize how fulfilling this career path is, despite of the small salary that I will be able to earn. Teachers in the Philippines are not earning a lot, to be honest. But the fulfilling part of teaching is being able to touch the lives of others and showing them the greatness within them and how to make the most out of it. I was tutoring children who cannot afford to go to school (in the Philippines) when I was still in high school for free. I taught them how to read, pray, and solve basic math equations. It was the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced. Even if the sun is strikingly hot and the weather humid, I still came back every week to teach them. Through teaching: I made friends, I was happy and inspired, and I felt like I was really a part of a family.

533. Alex G. (OH)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Growing up I had some pretty nasty teachers who would tell students including me that we would never amount to anything. I knew that i wanted to teach at that point, so students could hear from their teachers, people whom they admire and respect, that they were believed in. The poem "What Teachers Make" made me really think about what teachers do and how they can have such an impact. I'm not sure if I want to be a high school teacher or a college professor, but I do know that I want to teach, inspire, and believe in people, and help them to believe in themselves.

532. Aiko B. (FL)

Monday, September 06, 2010

I may be young, but I already know what I want to do with my life. This is because of Mr. Mali. He has inspired me to become a teacher and that is what I will go to college for, no matter how many people tell me I'm too young to know what I want to do...because I do.

531. Rebecca K. (NY)

Monday, September 06, 2010

One night in college, while staying in to work on the piles of reading and assignments for my English Ed. classes, while all my non-ed. roomates went out, I flipped on HBO and experienced my first Def Poetry Jam. I saw Taylor Mali perform his "What Teachers Make" and my enthusiasm for my future career was renewed. It was as if every teacher who had inspired me to go to college was now again speaking to me, reminding me of what was in my heart. On a post-it, I quickly scrawled, "look for a 'Taylor Molly' - poet - teacher poem - AWESOME!!!" One year into teaching, Taylor Mali again refreshed my teacher's heart with his "Speak With Conviction" (Totally Like Whatever, You Know?). I was trying to cope with extremely difficult students and an unsympathetic administrator all while battling cancer (which I was told, by the administrator, not to mention to my students or colleagues, as it would be "too distracting"). I came across that post-it from college marking a place in one of my books. I searched online for his "What Teachers Make" poem, and found not only the correct spelling of his name but several more of his poems. At the end of that school year, I finally spoke up, with conviction, and left for a more nurturing environment. Therefore, at the beginning of each school year, I invite my students to experience Taylor Mali with me as we decide what we should "learn" in English class. We laugh at "the the importance of proofreading," we discuss the dangers of "Totally, Like, Whatever, You Know?," we admire the beauty of the piano and the snow in 'Undivided Attention," and they cheer and applaud "What Teachers Make,' which never ceases to bring a smile to my face as I recall the steps I've taken to hear that cheer. Aside from the notes and emails I've received from students these past seven years, Taylor Mali and his work remain as my "teacher's fountain of youth," always returning me back to that very first night I he

530. Catherine C. (CA)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I discovered Taylor's work accidentally while dawdling on Facebook and looking for inspiration on You Tube. First I found symphony of science as poetry and then Taylor's What Teacher's Make. I had decided to leave teaching. I have been unable to get a job as a teacher for the past two years due in part to the economy but mostly due to the profession's preference for mediocrity. Most of the people doing the hiring are much younger than me and are afraid of excellence--plus I cost too much. I am an excellent teacher, or at least all of my Facebook friends (former students) tell me so. I have now decided to screw the "employers" and open my own damn school so I can give myself my own damn job! Thank you Taylor.

529. Alexandra B. (NV)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

During the winter break after my first semester at college I was going through a minor crisis. Taking the major of "Mathematical Sciences" hung over my head as a weight offering prestige, but no real direction. I love Math, I always have, and I knew I wanted it to be in my life but I wanted to do more. I didn't want to crunch numbers and balance the books, I wanted to make a difference. So when I flew home for Christmas, I explained this to my brother on the drive home from the airport. Without missing a beat he looks as me and says "You've gotta hear this," and proceeds to play "What Teachers Make" on his phone. I was hooked. I was entertained. But more than that I was inspired. That was the moment I decided to become a teacher. The attached photo is Teo and myself at my high school graduation. Thank you Taylor for providing the inspiration, and thank you Teo for pointing the way.

528. Terese Q. (KS)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I started listening to Taylor's cds while I felt "stuck" in the teacher program at K-State in Manhattan KS. His stories reminded me that there was more to teaching than lesson planning and small paychecks. I decided to give teaching a chance. Thankfully his voice continued plague my thoughts during student teaching and still does today when I have a tough moment/day/year with a student, I remember that changing the world starts one student at a time.

527. Jacques A. (Canada)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Taylor's work has inspired me as I was on the fence about being a teacher. I too thought that those who can't: teach. It was in thinking about that line and that poem, that I thought of combining this with that. Not only would I do... I would teach as well. There are so many wonderful teachers in my life, past and present, in school and out. What these teachers show me, is that the character of the teacher is so much more important to the student than the content of the course. So Taylor, I thank you for entertaining me, inspiring me and challenging me to be a teacher. Although my music is what keeps me going, the difference I make as a teacher helps me sleep at night. Thank you. (enclosed is a picture of my band (from my college days.) Oddly enough the band's moniker is "Teach Fire")

526. Thom I. (VA)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Taylor's work as a teacher, his care and respect for students, and his undying hope that the fight against whatever tide holds us back takes place in the classroom has inspired me to become a teacher. I have had many professions but only one career. It has led me to the classroom. First to learn to sound and act like a high school English teacher, then into the rooms to teach. Each student I am able to help will have been helped, a little, by Taylor Mali.

525. Liz M. (Canada)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

When I first came upon Taylor Mali I was in my third year of studies in a combined English/Education degree program; however, I had known of the poem "What Teachers Make" because of the recycled Anonymous version that currently circles email inboxes. In that way, anonymously and indirectly, I was drawn to the teaching profession by Mr.Mali. Imagine my astonishment that the very poem that had first begun my fascination with teaching was now being played, in its original format, in one of my education classes via YouTube! What a wonderful way to confirm that this was the best decision I had ever made - career or otherwise. Thank you, Mr.Mali.

524. GinaLily D. (Canada)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"You want to know what I make? I make a Goddamn difference. What about you?" For as long as I can remember I've thought about being a teacher. I knew I would be great at it, I knew I loved sharing knowledge; seeing that flicker of recognition in someone's eyes the moment they understand a new idea... but I didn't think it would be a big enough goal. I had a story about it being a cop out, foolishly, something less than noble. I wanted to be a rockstar. I learned songwriting and took singing lessons and recorded my first album... Then I heard the poem "What Teachers Make" and I had tears in my eyes. Instantly I knew, I was meant to be, always had been destined to be a teacher. A teacher or extraordinary kind. Dead Poet's Society-esque, and now, Taylor Mali-esque. I spent the next two weeks researching University programs, planning the most efficient way for me to earn the credits and designations needed to be a certified highshool teacher. I begin classes September 3rd. I'll be certified by 2014.

523. Josh B. (OK)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I began my college career after graduating high school just one month after losing my father to cancer. My dad was my friend, my teacher and mentor, and my foundation. Losing him left me feeling lost without direction. My first few years of school were rough. I quit and came back 3 times in 5 years, the whole time attempting to find myself and looking at where I fit in this jig saw puzzle world. It wasn't until after I saw your "What Teachers Make" video that I started looking in one direction. Your video made me think about all people and teachers that affected me in my life. I've always loved to learn and love to share what I learn. I always have a constant desire to help and make a difference in people. My father always told me that with God, I can do anything, and to always follow my heart. Your video helped to guide me during a very confusing time into realizing the area that I think I've always been meant for. Teaching. I want to change kids lives and make them realize their potential. I want to challenge them and get to see that moment when the light bulb comes on and they have that "Ah Ha!" moment. And in May 2011 I will succeed when i graduate college with a degree in Science Education (secondary level) with an emphasis in Biology. Thank you Taylor, for making a difference.

522. Taylor M. (TX)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I was a mortgage broker for many years and I, like your lawyer dinner guest, made money, lots of money. For years, I toiled away making little else, especially differences in anyone else's life. I decided to go back to college at age 37 in hopes of finding something more meaningful. I took a creative writing class and a wonderful teacher named Michelle Brown showed us "What Teachers Make" and I found my calling. That was 3 years ago. In 11 days, on August 23, 2010, I will teach my first 9th grade English class. Thank you, Taylor. You have made a difference in my life and in the lives of the students I will teach.

521. Brittany H. (TX)

Sunday, August 08, 2010

I've loved writing since I learned the alphabet as a toddler. I wrote short stories, poems, and journals full of things I hoped would one day become a novel. But it wasn't until high school that writing poetry became my lifeline. I wrote poems daily during my lunch hour, choosing to spend time in my English teacher's classroom instead of enduring isolation in the school cafeteria. My teacher, Mr. dela Rosa, inspired me and helped me to believe in my ability to share my gift with others. Unfortunately, in my first year of college, the pressure to perform led me to a pre-med major in biology and all dreams of studying English fell to the wayside. I found that my heart just wasn't in my studies. I came to the conclusion that the only way I would be able to truly succeed and be happy with my life was if I studied what I loved: poetry. But what I would do with a degree in English remained a mystery. Sometime last summer, I came across Taylor Mali's poem "What Teachers Make." At that point I knew I needed to teach. It is not enough to keep writing to myself. It needs to be shared, to be taught, so that others may find the same liberation in self-expression that I found. Thank you, Mr. Mali, for helping me find direction. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without this amazing calling.

520. Shawna B. (TN)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I have debated whether or not to fill this out because I am not yet a teacher. In fact, I have quite a ways to go in college. Being an English major, I am always searching for new outlets. Slam poetry was my topic of the day. I was stopped in my tracks when I came across 'What Teachers Make' on youtube. I didn't always want to be a teacher. Quite humorous, I was pushed towards becoming an attorney by my family. During my first two years of college, I began tutoring and fell in love with teaching. Writing, reading, helping and English (in general) is my collective passion. 'What Teachers Make' is quite inspiring. Thank you for putting it out there - that not everything is about money. Sometimes it's just about make a difference in someone's life.

519. Jessica S. (CA)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I come from a family of teachers; a heritage of parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and mentors, most of whom decided long before I did that I was going to be a teacher. I am not ashamed to say that I fought that calling through college, thinking that my goals and aspirations should be on a loftier scale of discovery (more than just reiterating, year after year, information that had long ago become a bore to me). However, when I started substitute teaching as an "in between" job shortly after graduating college, I had an epiphany. I realized that not only did I truly love spending my days with energetic, playful, and quite often, challenging students, but there were now - and had always been - wonderful and inspiring people within this profession whose anecdotes and words of wisdom showed me that even on the worst of days, the are 35 shining "lights at the end of the tunnel" sitting in front of you to make it all worth while. I am happy to say that I am now a part of that lineage of educators, making my way through my middle level credential program (just having ended my 1st semester of student teaching with my awesome classes of 8th and 7th graders and soon to embark on my last...) - and Taylor Mali's inspiring poems definitely played a big role in making this finally happen. Thank you, Mr. Mali.

518. Meabh M. (Ireland)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Before I encountered your poetry, I had decided I would never be a teacher. My school was full of teachers who supported each other over the children, for example I was bullied by my maths teacher and the system in place to protect me, supported her. They were lacklustre and disinterested and I decided I would never be caught dead back in a school. Influenced by Taylor's passion and dedication to the children and the difference he makes to them made me realise that the teachers in my school are as they are because noone with passion would go near the job, I am going to Japan next year to teach English and if I am talented, I will return to Ireland to become a science teacher. Thanks Taylor, you are an inspiration!

517. Jasmine J. (FL)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I have a degree in poetry which, depending on the day you ask me, is either a defining characteristic or a waste of several thousands of dollars. I do love poetry and writing, so in college I immersed myself in all things poetry but less than 4 months after graduation, I had a new baby I adored and a job in insurance I hated that rendered me miserable 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week. Until I remembered with much fondness and admiration the poems of Taylor Mali: "Like Lily Like Wilson," "The Impotence of Proofreading," and of course, "What Teachers Make" I didn't know what I was going to really do with my life. I meditated on who I was and the message of those works and then one day I just did it! I quit my job and began midyear teaching 9th and 11th grade English. It has been the most amazing, emotional, fulfilling decision. Teaching is more than a career to me. It is who I am.

516. Dimitra K. (Canada)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I am a hospitality and culinary arts teacher, proud to pass on my passion for cooking to students. My vision is to educate underprivileged youth and campaign for better food within the school system. I'm an advocate for OYAP and SHSM programs; no student is left behind. I recognize peoples strengths,aspirations & abilities;help to develop their potential.Understand how Valuing Diversity can improve ability to deliver better services;reduce disadvantage.Ability to build,maintain successful relationships with pupils,treat them consistently with respect,consideration,demonstrate concern for their development as learners.High expectations of all pupils;respect social, cultural, linguistic,religious,ethnic background;commitment to raising educational achievements. Dr. Andrea Dinardo, C.Psych., Psychology Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Windsor,"Dimitra stood out in my classroom as an intuitive, empathetic, and altruistic teacher candidate with a vision for improving the lives of her culinary students. She is a born advocate with the kindness, grace, and robust work ethic required to transform students from the inside out. Culinary is her trade, compassion is her path. It was a pleasure to teach Dimitra at the Faculty of Education, and I look forward to watching her grow and flourish as both a teacher and a humanitarian in the years to come!"

515. Aspen D. (OR)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

When I was finishing up my undergraduate degree in Human Communications and starting to toy with the idea of pursuing a career in education, I had 5 people, all of whom I looked up to, tell me I would be wasting myself as a teacher. They, and many others, told me that teachers were "glorified babysitters" and that I should take my talents into a field where I would be respected and where I could "actually make a difference." Extremely discouraged, it was ultimately hearing some of Taylor Mali's poetry that reminded me that this job isn't about money, prestige, or anything else that my so called role models deemed important. Teaching is about making a difference in the lives of children and therefore shaping the future of our communities, nation, and world. I wake up everyday now thankful that I get to go to work and make a difference! Thank you Taylor, for continuing to remind us all what education and educators are really about!

514. Rachelle B. (OR)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I am currently going to school at Western Oregon University to become an Elementary School teacher. I often question if I am making the right choice and if it is worth the small salary I will be earning. After watching Taylor's video I am reassured that becoming a teacher is one of the most rewarding jobs anybody could ask for and that I shouldn't be criticized about my salary or lack there of. The video has encouraged me and reminded me of why I want to become a teacher. I couldn't have watched this video at a better time.

513. Wylijanna C. (TX)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I toyed with the idea of becoming a teacher when I was a student in Mrs. Brady's English class. She was so enthusiastic about teaching that she made learning ridiculously fun. I went to Texas Woman's University where I majored in English and minored in education. Somewhere around my junior year, I started to FREAK OUT. What was I doing? Teach? Me? CRAZY. But, I sucked it up and kept going. Lots of prayer and your poems "What Teachers Make", "Like Lilly Like Wilson", and "Totally Like Whatever" got me through student teaching without wigging out. Now, I'm a certified English teacher, with no English class to teach! Maybe some day. Until then, I teach a rag tag bunch of preschoolers their letters, numbers, and manners. I turn munchkins into future students.

512. Raimond G. (MD)

Monday, August 02, 2010

People have always asked me if being a teacher was what I wanted to do. I never wanted to be a teacher but I found through my personal experience in my life, that I just want to pass on my passion of what I love to those I am around and influence. Taylor Mali's works really portray that being a teacher isn't really wanting to teach, but sharing a love and passion of self and those in the world. I'm not a teacher because I teach, I'm a teacher because of passion and love of what I do.

511. Amanda T. (FL)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Around the end of my junior year of college, I realized that my advertising major was the exact opposite of what I wanted in life: I wanted to help people, not manipulate them. The one thing I was truly passionate about was American Sign Language, and the students that I worked with as a teaching assistant. During this awkward indecisive phase, "What Teachers Make" came up randomly on my iTunes. It felt like fate. Why didn't I realize it before? It was everything that I care about in a career, everything I love about being in the classroom. I didn't want to lose that feeling I get when one of my students finally understands a concept that I've spent hours explaining to them in a million different ways. I thought about my amazing sign language professor, and how he always tells us that we don't have to be stuck in a miserable job that we hate - we can live a truly meaningful life by teaching. I thought about my mother, a former grade school teacher, and the days I spent playing school in her classroom as a child - education runs in my veins. What on earth was I thinking trying to pretend I wanted to sell cars for the rest of my life? My creativity and intelligence could be much better used to improve the lives of others. My mind was made up. Now, a year and a half later, I'm starting my masters program in Teaching American Sign Language at Teachers College at Columbia. If a single one of my students chooses the same path, I will consider myself an enormous success.

510. Betty M. (IL)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Before I was introduced to Mr. Mali, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. When I went off to college I had trouble with my major. I was wondering whether or not I could handle being a teacher, handle the uncertainty of a job or job security. My college speech coach then showed me a video of Mr. Mali (What Teachers Make) and I had shivers down my spine. He summed up my passion for teaching in a poem. From that day on, whenever I doubted myself, I would think back on his words. I still have doubts and I am still scared of my future, but Mr. Mali has truly influenced me to keep going. He even helped me become interested in poetry, and I too have wrote about my experiences as a future teacher. Thank you, Taylor Mali!

509. Jeremy H. (MO)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

I first saw Mr. Mali perform the poems, "What a teacher makes" and "Like Lilly Like Wilson", on HBO's Def Poetry Jam. Like so many poems on that program they inspired me. I began writing poetry for the first time in years. A few years went by and I started college for the first time at age 33. I rediscovered these two poems when asked to do a poetry analysis on two poems of my choosing. This project was for a creative writing class. I consider that writing class and Mr. Mali's two poems to be the catalyst that lead to my decision to finish my bachelors degree and my masters degree in order to teach college.

508. Lauren H. (MD)

Friday, July 30, 2010

When I saw the video of "What Teachers Make," I realized that though teaching has always seemed terrifying to me, it is also the most rewarding job where you can change a person's entire life. I know I have had teachers like that for me, and I worked harder for them than any other teacher I ever had. I want to be that kind of teacher, and you helped insipred me to do it.

507. Sam M. (SD)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

You know that feeling of butterflies in your stomach when you're on a roller coaster, at the very top, just before it goes over the first hill? That excitement and rush is the same feeling I get when a student understand a lesson on the Louisiana Purchase or the Great Depression. I started my education degree a few years back, but I lost sight of my goal. There were a million lesson plans, the homework was tough, and the encouragement from friends and family was limited. Taylor Mali's "What Teachers Make" video showed me that others out there share the same passion I do about education. I realized my excitement for teaching was being wasted by not being in a classroom. I'm going back to college for my education degree, and I want to thank Taylor Mali for helping me realize my purpose.

506. Casey D. (MA)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I went into a summer program at Westfield State College two weeks ago. Last Thursday in the Composition Workshop Class our professor played the video "What Teachers Make" and it helped me decide for sure that I want to become an educator. I had been struggling to make a decision, but now I know I should share what I know, and what I can do with the future generations. I plan to go to classes to become a secondary teacher for both art and English. I know a lot about spreading the truth, and educating people about rights, and self expression. I've already started teaching, now I just need to graduate to be able to say "I'm an educator."

505. Shawn R. (KY)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

When choosing my major I changed my mind on the matter constantly. The idea of teaching was always in the back of my mind but I was by no means excited by the thought. In my research into teaching I found Taylor's videos. It was the passion that kept me enthralled. I had never seen anyone speak with such passion about their profession as he did about teaching. Something ticked in my mind and I saw that by teaching I would improve the lives of others along with my own. I see libraries as a more physical manifestation of what the goal of a teacher is. They are collections of a persons thoughts and they are records of mankind's greatest achievements. What they contain is given freely to those who seek it; they inspire and inform.

504. Kayla S. (WA)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I always considered teaching while in middle school and high school, but it wasn't until my 2nd year at a community college I made the decision. Intro to Poetry, taught by Brad Johnson. We all got placed into researching groups. I chose Bob Dylan (surprised there was even a group dedicated to him) but there was another group: slam poets. On their day to present, one of the students played "What Teachers Make" for the class. I got chills. I couldn't remember the last time something made me feel the way that video did. The way he spoke, what was said, the powerful meaning behind each and every word and statement. It inspired me to want to make a difference. I hope one day I will be able to incorporate cultural anthropology into the curriculum of younger students, so I can teach at the Elementary School that affected my life so profoundly. Until then I'm on my way to becoming a college professor. Thank you Taylor Mali.

503. Moiez I. (Canada)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hello Mr. Taylor Mali, I can't remember when i saw your video of Def Jam poetry with "what teachers make", but by the end, i knew what i wanted to do...No, what i HAD to do in life. I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I want to teach, be it highschool or university, but teaching nonetheless. Philosophy and Geography are my passion, and so, I want to not only inspire students but also help them become better human beings, to foster the love that exists within us all. Knowledge is indeed power, as the mind is the most deadly weapon which can be used with no boundaries. I want people to be pushed beyond their limits and achieve more than they ever thought possible. I want to make an impact for the better, and what better way than to teach the youth which are the future of tomorrow. I just recently applied to teacher's college but i was rejected...i haven't lost hope. I will keep trying. I have too many things planned in how i will go about teaching, it frustrates me to see teachers that don't care. I would give ANYTHING to be in their place for even a day. Thank-you so much Taylor Mali, people like you give me hope in humanity. You have been an inspiration for me, and I hope, NO, I WILL to be the best teacher in the world!

502. Jason R. (TX)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Twas Fall semester of 2008 (I purposely left that capitalized because it was just that momentous of an occasion), and I was in my last year at UT Austin. I signed up for E379S: Poetry & Performance because word on the street was that the teacher was a grade giver (as opposed to the ones that make you earn 'em). Turns out that the easy teacher was taking it easy, and one Susan B.A. Somers-Willett was teaching instead. Good thing tho, bc she was awesome. Like u, she's a writer, a poet, a teacher, a badass (I think that's what B.A. stands for) and has a contagious passion for setting similar souls on fire with inspiration. She learned me real good about the wonderful world of slam poetry and that’s when I watched "I Could Be a Poet" for the 1st time. I was speechless. Twas hilarious, well written and a masterful use of the English language. But then I stumbled upon "What Teachers Make" and this time it was an ironic speechless. Everything u were saying seemed on behalf of that dormant teacher inside me. U were embodying all the reasons I wanted to teach: Inspiring people thru words to use their words. Saying exactly what u want to say and having someone feel exactly what u want them to feel. It’s the beauty of the human experience and to be able to inspire/equip even 1 kid with that power of expression, to make a difference for a lifetime, that’s what made the difference to me. I opted out of law school this fall to teach in school instead. Lookin forward to lighting some fires.

501. Michael G. (NC)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I was first exposed to your work while studying at Appalachain State University. All I can say is wow. To me the reason that I got into teaching was so that I could possibly make a difference in the lives of my students and to show them why history is relevent to them. I will graduate in December and in every internship that I have taken apart in, the greatest moments I have had have been when a student's eyes light up. For me there is no greater thrill that can be gained from anything on this earth. My outlook on teaching has been shaped on making a difference and trying to help students to perform to the best of their ability. I want them to remember school as a good thing and not as a footnote. I cant wait to get started. I want them to have fun and enjoy what they do.

500. Cyrus T. (OH)

Friday, July 16, 2010

My high school English teacher posted a video of "What Teachers Make" to Facebook a year or two ago. I laughed at it. "I would never become a teacher," I told myself. I applied to teach middle school students at a summer school last year. One of my role models had applied. I wasn't really looking forward to teaching. I wrote my lesson plans before school, then abandoned them once I began teaching. I started to love my job. The students inspired me. There was no greater joy than when a lesson went well. I thought that I had the best summer job ever, but I still didn't consider teaching as a career. Then Taylor Mali came to speak. I heard "What Teachers Make" live, and I cried; everything he said onstage was true. I had felt it. I had an epiphany that night, but still didn't believe that I would teacher. The next day, Taylor came to teach my class. We exchanged ideas. I realized that I was actually good at what I did. I'm not certified. I don't teach at a full-time school. I'm not pursuing an education degree. But I'm still a teacher.

499. Sturdy K. (ME)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

When I was a student in high school, I saw Taylor perform at a slam poetry night. I was impressed with the passion he brought to that performance, in particular his rendition of "What Teachers Make." I entered college determined to seriously explore teaching as a career option, and I found that I loved it and, more, I was pretty damn good at it. I have just graduated, and last week I accepted my first teaching job at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics. The attached image is of me dressed as Marvel Comics' Machine Man. I taught a class on superhero fiction for three semesters in college. To me, teachers are much like real life superheroes, and I am always impressed by how many such characters are teachers in their civilian identities, including Beast, the Atom, Huntress, Black Lightning, Mr. Terrific, and Spider-Man.

498. Christine P. (Australia)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

When I told my father I no longer wanted to become a musician, we stopped talking. When I told him I wanted to become a teacher, he blamed my mother. When I was about to succumb to the pressure and give up, I found your words, and never looked back. Now, fresh from my graduation, every time I see one of my student's eyes light up because they have succeeded where they once thought impossible, I call my dad to tell him how lucky I am to have such a rewarding and noble career, and he agrees. In the simplest of words, thank you.

497. Catherine S. (New Zealand)

Friday, July 09, 2010

To me, the choice to become a teacher, is one that must have many influences. After all, we are all taught by someone in the traditional setting of a school, or at home... we are taught. And so, some of us in turn, choose to teach. In 2005 I was at a standstill. I had trained in the hospitality industry, and while the idea of it was great, I loathed reality of it. I wanted to do something more, I wanted to make my mark. It seemed to me that answering phones and making beds, were not going to cut it. (for me!!) My mother is a teacher. It was always an option... but until that stage, it wasnt enough of a reason for me. Because my mother was one, was not what I wanted to say after 20 years in the job, when asked what had inspired me to be a teacher. Yes, shes a fantastic teacher, YES, she has inspired me. But for me, that wasnt enough. If you arent driven to do something, why bother wasting your time, and others. I had some brilliant teachers in school. Inspiring, controversial, critical... the kind of people who knew your potential before you did. And then helped you find it. But just because they could do it, didnt mean I could. Then, I read Taylor Malis poem. I make a goddamn difference. Now what about you? Its been a year and half since I started teaching. I dont claim to know it all, to be perfect, or the best. But I know, that for some of those children... be it one, two or more... Ive made a difference. Thats my mark right there.

496. Jeni B. (TX)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I should have known that I was destined to be a teacher long ago. There were so many obvious hints: the thrill of getting brand new school supplies, planning an entire day around getting my textbooks, the feeling of victory when unclogging a bottle of glue, and a love of learning that has grown with age. After I got a job at a marketing firm, I quickly realized that my creativity needed to be used to make the world a better place, not the target of the latest marketing ploy. I first saw the “Miracle Worker” video when I was working at a children’s shoe store. By then, I realized that my destiny was not to become an executive for a multi-national firm. The story about the pen really stuck with me. It was a prime example of the person I knew that I needed to be. A few days later, I saw the “What Teachers Make” video. Hearing those words with such passion changed my life. The day after, I felt like I was hit with a ton of bricks. The light bulb finally came on. I am meant to be a teacher. Soon after, I quit that job and went back to college to pursue my new dream. This fall, I will be entering the first semester of my student teaching with a few words of wisdom in my back pocket “You already posses everything you require to succeed.” It’s true for me, but more so for my students. With my help, they will succeed. I will make a difference.

495. Nicole M. (NH)

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

After watching Taylor perform "What Teachers Make" on the first season of Russel Simmon's Def Poetry, I was still in high school, and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a veterinarian but I couldn't stand the idea of euthenasia. I wanted to be a music journalist, but hell, I can't write. I wanted to be a nurse but I'm afraid of blood. After listening to someone speak so proudly of making a difference, I realized that that's all I've ever wanted. I want to matter, to mean, to heal and teach, to show and learn and discover all at the same time. I want to question and challenge and open ideas every single day. I want to be a teacher. I went to school for a while for Elementary Education, and had to drop out after my mother was killed. It is four months later and I am trying to get myself back together. Trying to rediscover feeling and the meaning of life. I received a DVD from Netflix, having not paid attention to anything, I was just going to send it back or cancel the subscription but I opened it anyway, and found Def Poetry staring at me again. I put it in and began to watch, never knowing that Mr. Mali was on that same disc. His poem reminded me of why I'm still here, why I can get through anything, and why I need to teach others how to. I am going to make something of my life, and I am going to force others to challenge me in their reasons not to. I need to make this difference.

494. Robert S. (CA)

Monday, July 05, 2010

Years ago, I saw "What Teachers Make" for the first time and it really got me thinking about how rewarding it would be for me. I've followed your speaking for the years since, and now, with the recession and my career being gone, I'm about to start my second year of college, at 30 years old, towards becoming a teacher. I'm majoring in both English and Philosophy with a minor in Education, hoping to finish in 2013. My picture below is from a few years back with some of my local and international martial arts students. To me, teaching has always been about the lives I can affect.

493. Eli A. (MO)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Does it have to be an English or high school teacher? 'Cause I'm kinda inspired to teach paramedicine at the collegiate level.

492. Julia H. (MI)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

I've been torn between the idea of just finishing college because you'll never use your degree anyhow, and changing my degree a little closer to graduation than most advisors would smile upon. I've been torn for many reasons, but a large one is because I am a single parent. Being such, I need to get a job to make money. I've been listening to Taylor online for the past couple hours and I feel largely less torn. I want to teach and help students develop as they travel through my classroom, but I also have a small child to teach. There are a great many things to teach her, but what will she learn from me if I don't take a few more chances and do what I love? Taylors work has moved me and reminded me of all the reasons and emotions that have made me want to become a teacher. With that, I am speechless with excitement for what is yet to come

491. Amanda P. (CT)

Monday, June 28, 2010

I was in my freshman year of college, stressing over both my honors classes and my internships to begin the certification process toward teaching. My parents' close friend is adjunct faculty at a few universities in the area and knowing my stress said to me at dinner one night "I've got this great poet you need to see!" After watching "What Teachers Make" I was almost in tears, knowing that I would be as passionate as you, Mr. Mali, never resting until I make a difference in my community through teaching. For the four years, whenever I had a terrible day in the classroom or someone said "Ew, why do you want to be a teacher? You won't make any money!" I came back to your poems and felt revived, determined to become not only the best teacher I can be, but the best person I can be. Thank you!

490. Julia O. (WI)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I decided to study education a year ago, and through moving experiences with children all over the world, my passion for teaching and my awe for the power of education has grown daily. However, in the past few weeks I have become disillusioned, somehow seeing teaching as something that maybe "wasn't for me". I have begun to think I was meant to do something 'bigger'. Stumbling across some of your poetry on youtube brought me to tears and reminded me that there is nothing 'bigger' than teaching. You have relit my fire, Mr. Mali. You have brought me back to myself, back to the old Julia, the woman who wrote this essay just a few months ago: I was always interested in becoming a teacher, but I did not really take the idea very seriously until I came to college and began studying new topics, especially those involving social justice. As my eyes were opened to the issues surrounding us in our communities, country, and world, I realized that I could not devote my life to anything that would not directly help people. However, where does one begin? All around us we see poverty and homelessness, we see global warming, environmental injustice, we see abuse and discrimination, political corruption, wars, violence, drugs, teenage pregnancy, lack of healthcare. We see people dying, literally or figuratively, all around us. Through my work in environmental studies and interest in global warming and environmental justice, I came to a point where I felt helpless. I felt as if there was too much to do and I was just one little voice and two little hands. Then I asked myself, doesnt that mean that the person next to me on the street is one voice and two hands, and he might feel helpless too? And the person sitting behind me in class, and the people dying in political warfare, and the children without food or water? Every one of those people has one voice and two hands, and together they are not so little. I realized that I might not be able to change the world by myself, but what

489. Jamie V. (MN)

Friday, June 25, 2010

I've always wanted to be a teacher, but I was always told I wouldn't make much money. After my second year of college, I decided I wanted to go to work happy everyday. I switched my major to Elementary Ed with much hesitation. My aunt sent me your youtube video about what teachers make. Your inspiring words keep me believing that I can change the world! I graduate college in one year, still excited everyday to become a teacher!!

488. Megan L. (WV)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Throughout my nineteen years of life, from birth until a week ago, I'd been considering a career in teaching. I have cousins and family members who went into the medical field, or heading the "professional athlete" route, so when people ask me what I'm doing with the rest of my life, the answer of, "Teaching," was always looked at as a second-rate decision. Their replies of, "Oh, how nice.." with their disapproving, disappointed looks often discouraged me. Earlier this month, I was on StumbleUpon and was referred to your "What Teachers Make" video. Immediately after viewing that, and realizing that the first four people I could name that made a difference in my life were educators at my high school, I emailed my advisor and had my major changed. I will be starting my education classes in the fall, and I look forward to changing and inspiring lives, as former and current educators, like yourself, have been doing for years. Thank you for that.

487. Michael M. (Australia)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I am currently a student teacher in at the University of Ballarat in Australia. I have a burning passion to become a teacher. I have seen your video on what teachers make and it comforts me and helps me to realise what my chosen profession. Your strategy is what stands out to me as in my family there are many teachers. Aunties and cousins near ten first cousins in total. Spelling mistakes are pounced on and grammar corrected to the point that I am frustrated when incorrect language is used. Yet what stood out to me most was your description in that video was that we aren't making the best students, instead we are making students the best that they can be.

486. John S. (NY)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I am going to graduate in the spring of 2011 and I didn't know what to do with my biology degree. I knew my options and one of them was of course, teaching. It was early October 2009 and my wife knew that I was still confused. She told me what my family and friends had been telling me for years. I should go into teaching. Children have always gravitated towards me. At family gatherings I would be the one entertaining the minds of my nieces and nephews. Watching a child's mind flicker with that shiny new toy of knowledge is a feeling that words can't explain. I still wasn't convinced, however. With my degree many doors were going to open for me. My wife showed me your video, "What teachers make" and it opened my eyes. What I had needed all along was someone to inspire me. To make me realize what I had already known for years. The only doors I want to open now are the ones to my first classroom and in turn open the minds of my students. Thank you Taylor, you are truly an inspiration to so many people and a credit to teachers everywhere.

485. Alexis S. (Australia)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Does it count if I haven't become a teacher yet? You've definitely been one factor of why I'm highly considering teaching. "What teachers make". I watched that and it immediately struck a cord with me. Attached is a photo of my friends. I'm a university student studying Computer Graphics and I get disheartened when I hear any of my friends say that they are not 'smart'. I honestly think they should be doing other courses that they are more suited to, but that doesn't mean I don't think they are capable of doing the work. (If you haven't guessed yet I'm on the top right of the photo) I also work in a school as the IT administrator, but I'm always interested in how the teachers teach. Watching you, Ken Robinson, a Librarian from my work (who works bloody hard!) and my friends are the reasons why. I may not be a teacher yet, but I want people to be the best person they can be in life.

484. Julian S. (Germany)

Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm a student of education, English, and social science at the University of Braunschweig, Germany and about to graduate soon. At that stage in one's studies, an internship is (rightly so) required - and I'm in the very midst of it. To be honest with you, I had lost a bit of the enthusiasm and idealism I had when starting my studies. Moreover, the German education policies of the past few years did not quite make becoming a teacher more attractive, despite of an urgent, a desperate need for teachers! Long story short: I was not sure if I was doing the right thing (if there is such a thing) and tended to see more and more negative aspects in my carreer choice. However, "What Teachers Make", "On Girls Lending Pens" etc. did remind me of why becoming a teacher was actually a good thing. They impressed me so much that I can honestly say that Today I taught a 7th and an 11th grade (both classes going just great. got a surprisingly good feedback) and I'm truely happy to have kept on instead of quitting! Thanks to Taylor and my internship, I now know THAT I really can do this AND WHY! So here's to idealism and enthusiasm! Here's to Kant and Rousseau! - "I'm a teacher - and that's what we do!"

483. Darla D. (TX)

Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm working on getting a bachelor's degree in English, and had been dancing between teaching and editing as possible career choices. Lately, I have been leaning more towards teaching because of the strong influence all of my English teachers have had on my life. However, I have always had a problem with the saying, "those who can't, teach." When I voiced my aggravation on how people view teachers to my friend, he sent me a link to your "What Teachers Make" video. That cinched it for me. Thank you.

482. Geoff D. (Australia)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

I wrote two letters today. One - The Prime Minister of Australia. Two - Taylor Mali. Our Prime Minister needed some advice on how not to lose touch with the common man. I gave it to him - unsolicited of course. Health reform,education and redistribution of wealth are his gig. I agree, he just needs to do a little more "showing and less telling" to convey his story, Creative Writing 101. Anglo, hetrosexual, overweight, husband, father, uncle, rum beer and bourbon drinkin, ex-right wing, ex-redneck, ex-racist, ex-chauvinistic, male. Baby boomer - just, '63 model. Born on the 8th, two weeks before we lost JFK. The end of 'Baby Boomer Innocence'. Worked in multiple industries from earthworks to Management. I THINK I want to be a high school english teacher. I still have 18 months of study to get there and it has been tough. Business failures, redundancies, mergers,recessions, life, death and love. I got a lot to offer. BUT IT IS TOUGH. Today I went looking for inspiration. Thank you. IMAGE - Course altering - "Bridge Between Minds".

481. Kim C. (PA)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

When I told my mother in high school that I wanted to be a teacher, she told me not to waste my time. "You won't make any money," she said. When I told my ex-boyfriend in college that I wanted to change my major to education, he told me I shouldn't. "You don't have the right attitude," he said. I came across "What Teachers Make" on a poetry RSS, and it put into words everything Id wanted to say to them, but couldnt. When I was laid off twice from a job I hated at a newspaper I hated, I decided to stop listening to others. I enrolled in a certification program in 2009 and began working as a substitute. By 2012, I will be a certified teacher and no one can stop me. I cant begin to thank you, Mr. Mali. I only wish Id come across this poem in 2002.

480. Junia K. (Taipei, Taiwan)

Sunday, June 06, 2010

I first listened to your "Totally, like, whatever, you know?" poem in twelfth grade. I revisited your poems on youtube sporadically throughout college as I procrastinated. During the summer after I graduated, I taught a remedial high school English course at a private school. It was tough - I was a 21-year-old teaching seven students from a myriad of language backgrounds, levels, and capabilities (the oldest was also 18 years old). During the poetry unit, I decided to include your poetry and for the first time, "What Teachers Make" truly resonated within me (I'm sure I've heard it before!). Now that I'm teaching for a year abroad, this poem once again rears its inconvenient head. Despite crazy bosses, crazy parameters, and students for whom English does not even qualify as a second language yet, I don't think I can leave this. Darn it!

479. David M. (Australia)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I am in my first year of teaching, my school is noted for having feeder areas that are the most disadvantaged in town. I had been having a few rather ordinary days and questioning the wisdom of leaving a long term career (I am 43), when three things happened. 1/ I convinced a Year 7 boy that because he managed to keep going despite long term literacy issues, he was the smartest kid in the class. Taylor, I turned an E- into a medal, it made me smile - a lot. 2/ One of my Year 9 girls decided I need a hug, and didn't see any problem in acting on that - in front of her classmates, it made me smile - a lot. 3/ I saw your "What teachers make" video, it made me smile - a lot. Not bad for a maths teacher ;) Cheers DJM

478. Alyse L. (MA)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

When I joined City Year, I was, in my mind, taking a break from school; I planned to return to my education, study photography, and be a fashion photographer. In October of 2008, I went to see Andrea Gibson perform at the Bowery. Taylor Mali was there as well, and he performed "What Teachers Make". That poem became my anthem: when work got tough and it didn't seem like I was doing anything, I would listen to it and remember why I do what I do. I'm now a sophomore in the Boston University School of Education, pursuing a double degree in English and English Education. I'm going to be a high school English teacher. I give all of my professors, at the end of the semester, a copy of "What Teachers Make". The image below is me (back row, second from left) with the fourth grade class I worked with through City Year. They were, and always will be, my beginning as a teacher.

477. David M. (TX)

Monday, May 31, 2010

I have long searched for the thing that makes me complete. Some of my largest role models have been teachers. I can remember my seventh grade science teacher running around the class room to explain what a mitochondria was. My professors in college have helped me to level down my goals. I am planning on doing counseling with children/youth while teaching at a university. During the summers, I plan on taking my students to Japan where I would like to do research with them and build meaningful relationships that make a difference. Your poem "What Teachers Make" is an inspiration to me of the difference that I can make. It reminds me where my heart for people comes from and the need that we all have for those special people that come into our lives. Thank you for this gift! It would be an honor to meet or work on a project with you someday.

476. CB T. (Singapore)

Friday, May 21, 2010

I stumbled upon the emphatic delivery of WHAT TEACHERS MAKE in the video and I was both entertained and yet felt honoured at the same time. Quite often, the vicissitudes of a teacher's life in school can distract us from the meaning of what we do. We need constant reminders, like what you are doing, to recharge, review, and re-energise ourselves to return to the classroom with more energy and conviction. The students need us - for we are the Mother of All Professions.

475. Sheree U. (CA)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hi, My name is Sheree Usher. I just received my teaching credential last year. Even though I entered college as an education major, it was you Taylor Mali who inspired me to keep going when I felt like quitting. I was starting to feel frustrated with the knowledge of how the system is set up to make our students fail. I was so young and my eyes were being opened to this world that I didn't even know existed. I felt hopeless. I felt like I couldn't make a different, but you reminded me of my passion. I sometimes listen to your teacher inspiring works, just to give me that extra push. Thank You! In the photo I am sharing a power point with my student about myself. I always enjoyed using technology in the classroom. I even used it to share a poem from Def Poetry Jam with my students. Then the next week I invited two of my fellow poet friends to present some of their poetry. My students loved it!

474. Norma M. (Mexico)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I have been influenced by a lot of teachers around me. Most of them don't work passionately and just fill up heads with lots of information. I am different, I have a different approach, I have to teach my students to learn, to be sucessful, to expect the best from themselves and from others, too. I do believe in a better world and I am working hard to see it through.

473. Jeremy W. (TX)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

In 2002 I began pursuing my degree in mathematics and science. I had an idea that I wanted to be a teacher, but I wasnt settled on that as my ultimate future. I always told myself that my ultimate goal was to save the world I just wasnt sure how I was going to do it. One fall afternoon in my first semester at Texas Tech I had a public speaking TA recite What Teachers Make to us as in introduction for our final assignment. It inspired me, moved me, so much that I spent several hours that night researching Taylor Mali, his poems, and teaching in general. In short, I had been introduced to my way to save the world. Today, I have been teaching 8th grade science for 3 years. I certainly dont make them spell definitely and beautiful over and over again but I do make them think. I open their eyes to a world of possibilities (or at least I hope thats what I accomplish). Thanks to Mr. Mali, I think Im achieving my ultimate goal one kid at a time.

472. grant h. (Canada)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

After 18 years in Information Technology I'm ready to truly make a difference by becoming a teacher. Now I look forward to inspiring and motivating the next generation to drive technology and societal change over the next 20 years ! Keep up the positive "teacher talk" !!

471. Alex R. (FL)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

When I began college with the purpose of becoming an actor and journalist, my girlfriend introduced me to Slam Poetry in Orlando. I'd been writing terrible poems in spiral notebooks for years, but this came to change my entire outlook on writing. Through my new friends, I was introduced to the work of countless poets, especially you, Taylor. A fellow-poet covered "Speak with Conviction" for me in a coffeehouse parking lot. An hour later I was hooked on listening to "Reading Allowed" on IndieFeed (there titled "Giving Good Voice") for two days. I had the pleasure of seeing you briefly when I attended Nationals in West Palm last summer, and I was a little speechless. Listening to your work pushed me into new realms of writing, taking it more seriously than I had ever considered. I am now entering my final year for a BA in English, after which I will pursue an MFA, all with the intention of teaching Creative Writing to kids not unlike who I was only a few years ago. "What Teachers Make" and "I Will Fight You for the Library" sealed exactly what type of teacher I want to become. Your words showed me the importance of laying everything down for the students' sake, that grades don't matter as much as effort, and that it's all about making a difference. I want to teach what I've learned about my passion of writing, and give kids a chance at a head start where I had lagged so behind. And a lot of the credit for how and why I want to do it is yours. Thank you, Taylor.

470. McKenna U. (ME)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Mr Mali, Tonight you spoke at my school at po-dunk Bangor, Maine. And tonight I proclaimed to be the hopeful number 452 on your list. You're poems honestly inspire me to be myself, with all my quirks included. At first, I was apprehensive at the prospect of being a teacher. A kindergarten teacher, to be honest, because I love children. But I had so easily convinced myself that I wasn't cut out to be a teacher. Why? Because I believe in the existence of zombies, because I have nerf-sword fights, and because I love to play violent video games. Because I'd rather play football then do go shopping, because I play D&D and because at 17, I still cover my mouth and giggle at the word sex. Because I'm awkward and uncomfortable in my own skin, because I let what others think seep into my skin and rot me from the inside out, because i want to please everyone by doing everything. That certainly doesn't sound like any kindergarten teacher I've ever met. But Mr. Mali, no offense intended, you don't seem like the typical teacher either. You are comfortable in your own skin, and have a repertoire for being an unconventional but brilliant teacher. You showed me that those who can, teach. and that those who can't, use Icarus Airlines. The picture attatched is a picture of myself and two little boys who attend the nursery I work at. It's the perfect job for me, and though there have been some recent, unsettling shifts of power, I refuse to let that drive me away from "my" kids. As a side not, I am not in fact 12. Thank you for everything you have done, are doing, and shall do.

469. JoAnn B. (ME)

Friday, April 30, 2010

My decision to want to teach was simple: I love the idea of helping children succeed. It's the fundamental skills they learn in early elementary that sets everything up, and I would like to be that person who teaches it. As you said, teaching is the miracle and teachers are the workers. However, I've had doubts. We all know that teachers don't make much money. It is your most well known poem "What Teachers Make" or "Objection overruled" or "If all else fails you can go to law school" that helped me gain my confidence in the matter. Everything you said was absolutely true. It is not just this poem. As you saw, I quoted one of your other poems... whose title I cannot remember. There are also several other poems worthy of mention, whose names I cannot remember either. However, it's not just the poem I should be thanking for influencing my opinion. It is the poet. Thank you Mr. Taylor Mali.

468. Kelsey L. (WA)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I was flip flopping between being a journalist or being a teacher, but when I listened to your poem "What Teachers Make" it reminded me of one of the reasons I had wanted to become a teacher in the first place. I'm probably not doing a very good job explaining, x] I'm a much better writer when my dog isn't barking ): not that you can hear him, just thought it was worth mentioning. :)

467. Nathalie C. (Ontario, Canada)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I do not know if I can say I saw your video before making the decision to become a teacher. You see, I was in grade 5 when I decided I would teach, but I was told I was too smart for that (!), and eventually became an engineer instead (my father is an engineer). In 2000, I found myself home taking care of a baby, and then another one, wondering what I would do when I grew up. I had just spent 11 years in a job I liked but had a gnawing feeling it was not what I should be doing. The idea of teaching was coming up over and over. I had done some technical training, but it's not the same as teaching children, is it. But how do you switch from working as an engineer to being a school teacher? Isn't that just plain crazy? Half the pay, twice the work? Three times the feeling that what you do matters? A link to "What Teachers Make" was sent to me as I was pondering... Last year, at 42, I went back to school to complete a teacher certificate. I've been teaching in an elementary school since. Full time. Full heart. No regrets. Finally home...

466. Amy W. (CA)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm graduating in May with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology. I've been thinking about what I can do with such a degree. I could go into the medical field, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that my heart lies in teaching. To be able to explain a concept like photosynthesis to a student and have them finally understand because of what I say... that would be worth it. As I look at my life, I've realized that the people who have made the biggest impact on me- who have challenged me and helped me to grow are all teachers that I’ve had. I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do for the rest of my life. After hearing the story of the 7th graders burning their Viking ship for their fallen warrior, I am sure of the path I want to take. One year from now, I will start working on my credential.

465. Jonique S. (MA)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I met Taylor for the second time in my junior year at Bowdoin College. As a English & American Literature major and rebellious 21 year old, I was convinced that I wanted to write for a living, preferably on some deserted and/or undiscovered island. There were only two things that interested me: words and service. I watched Taylor perform 4/17/2007 and listened to his 1000 Teachers Campaign. Words and service. Afterwards I asked my friends, Do you think Id make a good teacher? The responses were astounding and reassuring. That night, I went back to my dorm and did a search for various teaching positions. I applied to one teaching position and about a dozen other non-related positions before the end of my senior year. After about a dozen interviews, the first call back I received was the one I secretly anticipated the most. I was going to be a teacher! Ive been teaching English since 2008 and it has been quite the journey. I look at the note that Taylor wrote in my poetry book and remember my inspiration, Jonique- May your words bring Saul Willams to his senses! (In response to Sauls scribe: May your words bring worlds.) Sauls mind is a whole other project. For now, Im inspiring wordsmiths, one sixth grader at a time. Thank you Taylor Mali!

464. Victoria H. (CT)

Monday, April 19, 2010

In 2009 my 11th grade student teacher showed my english class "What teachers make." Because of that 3 minute video my career path changed completely. I start college in about a month to pursue english teaching. All because of one simple video, but a message that struck my heart.

463. Elise B. (Philippines)

Monday, April 19, 2010

I dreamed of becoming a teacher when i was a kid but i forgot about it when i came to college. Last year I read Taylor's "what teachers make" And it reminded me of my ling-forgotten dream. Just this night, I read the "miracle worker". I want to be a teacher. I will become a teacher. Teachers don't make much here in our country. But some few good men and women still continue doing miracles.

462. Erin S. (IL)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I am an undergraduate student at Rockford College in Illinois. I am a 28-year-old wife and mother of two children. I decided to finish my bachelors degree and I thought, "I teach my own children at home, why not teach children that are not mine?" So I decided to pursue this. Now as I am finishing my junior year of school and teaching positions are being cut by the 100's in my area, it makes me question my decision. But then I saw clips of your poetry online and I was blown away. The teaching that you speak of is the teaching that I was inspired to achieve. It's not enough to say you want to make a difference in a child's life, action must follow. You give me hope that the profession of teaching can still be a career of dignity and integrity. Thanks, for writing your poetry, and forever changing my views.

461. Dave P. (OH)

Friday, April 16, 2010

I could be a very successful writer, but teaching is more important. You and Donne are the only people that have ever made me cry reading poetry.

460. Mia C. (Barbados)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm a creative person who believes that imagination should be encouraged so that the creativity of a child does not die, prematurely. I've always been the kind of person children - especially pre-school children - gravitate towards, they tend to listen to me and talk to me easily. Children have the most beautiful imaginations that are stifled as they grow, and that is why so much of our creativity as adults is hardly as creative as it could be. I want to nurture that creativity in children. Thank you for that final push towards teaching, until I heard "What Teachers Make" on youtube, I was a bit sceptical about the difference I could make. So now I'm going after the dream! Thank you, again!

459. Elizabeth M. (FL)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Your words are amazing. And words are so important to me. They form images, emotions, thoughts, ideas. You have reinforced my dedication to becoming an educator. I love the impact, for the better, that teaching can make on youth. I want to be a positive role model and to share my passion for art with students. I hope that in my art classroom, students will feel like they have found a way to express themselves. For me, spoken word is becoming the best way for me to express things that I have never talked about before. I hope that I can help students to find such expression. Thank you for your inspiration!

458. Sarah T. (IL)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I have been vacillating between several career choices since graduating from high school in 2003. I knew I wanted to make a difference, and I thought I had found that in becoming a Child Abuse Prosecutor. However, the summer before classes started I had the opportunity to examine myself. I realized that this was probably not the best choice for me to make, as I would probably wind up the one in jail, or losing faith in humanity. I dropped out of school and spent the next several years working in customer service, not exactly the type of job that I had always pictured myself in. Teaching was never really something that had crossed my mind, but I knew that I loved children, and that I wanted to do something that would allow me to touch the lives of children who needed it most. About two years ago I heard "What Teachers Make" for the first time and it sent a shiver down my spine. Something finally clicked into place for me and I finally realized what I want to do. I will be starting school in the fall of 2010 to double major in Special and Elementary education. I wont say that you are the only reason for that, but you are definitely an inspiration. For that I thank you, from the very bottom of my heart.

457. Amanda H. (Canada)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I'm currently in school studying psychology and at times its hard for me to push through when I am exhausted and just need a break. I've wanted to be a teacher and make a difference since I can remember, and every time I feel like I'm going to give up I watch this video. I don't even remember how I found it but Taylor Mali I want to sincerely thank you for keeping me going and for making me realize why I want to do this - to make a goddamn difference in the lives of as many kids as I can.

456. Joel G. (MA)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I first found out about you a long time ago when the show Def Poetry Jams was still on the air. I saw you perform on that show when I was still in high school. I really thought about what you said in your performance of "What Teachers Make" and reflected on how my teachers made me feel and encouraged me to be better than I thought I could be. I thought that if others could make that happen for me then I should go out into the world and try to make the same difference. It has now been probably 7 years since then and I am currently student teaching at the New York School for the Deaf. It has been a long journey and there is still more to come but I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me that push to recognize what I truly would love to do with the rest of my life.

455. Andrew P. (UK)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

I had never really considered a career in teaching until I came across Mr. Mali's poetry and tales of teaching. At 17, there comes a point where you have to make a decision what you want to do with your life; and I want to make the most of it by helping others. I'm hard of hearing and I have had immesurable help from the start of school and encouragement from fantastic teachers. Now, I feel that it is my time to give something back, so I am going to be undergoing a 3 year degree in Primary Education and become a qualified teacher. I know that the hours are going to be long. I know that the workload is going to be hard. I know that the kids will sometimes give me tough times. But I will perservere and make a difference, just like Mr. Mali has. Thank you for opening my eyes to the world of teaching, and I'll be sure to refer back to your poems if a doubt ever slips into my mind. Thank you for being an inspiration. Oh, and the picture I've attached. Yes. It's a picture of me and my little brother. He's 7 at the moment. Other than Mr. Mali, he has also inspired me to teach - I absolutely love him. His playfulness, will to learn and drive means that if I can spend my life showing children the world, I will be a very, very happy person. :)

454. Bryan S. (NY)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Though I may not be a teacher yet, it was Taylor Mali who inspired me to take this path. I was waffling with the idea of whether or not to apply to the Stony Brook University English Education program, when a friend of mine directed me to the poem "Like Lily, Like Wilson." I sat there and watched, and found myself amazed at the thought of being able to inspire and spark the minds of students in the same way my mind had been set ablaze by my English teachers past. My love of writing and poetry was thanks to them, so I felt I should pay it forward. And as I said, I may not be a teacher yet, but within the two year deadline for locks of love, I will have been certified (and hopefully in the classroom) for a year.

453. Stephanie T. (WI)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I’ve had many teachers. Teachers who don’t care, who don’t listen. Teachers who get mad at me for having my own voice and actually using it. I’ve had teachers who have laughed at my jokes, valued me as an individual, and who have said, “When I grow up, I want to be just like you”. Currently, I am a freshman at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and my path is leading me to teach. So what will I be? Here’s what I know so far: I like to think of the world as precious; every person is royalty and every thing is a diamond in the rough. I am naturally inclined to see the best in people. I don’t get road rage. I practice chivalry every day. I surprise people with random acts of kindness. I listen. I choose to see the world as an opportunity, not as an enemy. I have a voice, and it’s pretty darn strong. I love the little things, like smelling coffee in the grocery store or wrapping myself in a giant quilt in the winter. I appreciate. I love words. This is what I know to be true. Your work made me realize where I want to be, what I want to become. Your words showed me what I could be, or what I perhaps already am. Experiencing your work inspires me and illuminates the universal and powerful beauty of learning. I still laugh at those jokes. You know, the “What does an English major say? ‘You want fries with that?’” or maybe the “You’re going to be a teacher? Well then, marry rich”. After hearing your words, I don’t want to pretend to laugh anymore. Because teaching is one of the greatest gifts God can give a human being. So, I wish that…no, scratch that. I know that I will use my words to inspire and pass on the miracle that is education, just as your words have done to me. And that is what I will be.

452. Chloe B. (TX)

Monday, March 29, 2010

I have known since I was very young that I have a gift for interpretation, for translation of concepts and thoughts into words that are intelligible to people from all walks of life. However, when I finally got my opportunity to begin my teacher certification process, I was already a theology major and working 20-30 hours a week. It very quickly became too much. However, after a particularly hard day, when I had realized that something had to give and had decided that my certification process would be that thing, two incredible things happened. The first was a small autistic who cannot express himself or his relationships who finally responded with laughter to a verbal cue. The second was seeing "What Teachers Make" for the first time. I have never been so inspired to persevere. Now, every time the going gets rough, I think of that poem and the things I can make and I finish my paper, my project, or whatever game my patients have thought of and I keep working.

451. Sarah N. (UK)

Monday, March 29, 2010

I have decided to remain committed to the teaching profession after I was emailed Taylor Mali's poem what do teacher's make, after a hard Monday's substitute teaching in a school near my home. I was all ready to quit and do something else, but I have decided to stick with it and pursue a change to elementary teaching, instead of the secondary I have been teaching for 6 years.

450. Brian C. (South Africa)

Monday, March 29, 2010

I was born in 1959 (4 days after the "Day The Music Died", according to Don McLean) and spent a lifetime in corporate sales. I went self-employed in 2005 to follow my dreams. More recently I decided to get involved in enabling and empowering people to embrace the power of the internet to help grow themselves and their businesses, especially South African musicians. One of my biggest dreams was to give my children a better education than I ever had ... and this is coming true now for my two sons aged 18 and 21 who are achieving so much thanks to quality education and teachers that actually give a damn. I am in awe of Taylor Mali's poems and poetry and have had to brush away the tears as I watch the YouTube videos over and over. Seth Godin led me to discover Taylor Mali, and he has confirmed for me, that training and empowering (teaching, if you will) is where I want to spend my time and energy. I dreamt of retiring at 50 ... who needs to retire when I am having so much fun, generating income from doing what I love? Not sure if I qualify to be added to your list, but trust me, you are an inspiration. Brian Currin

449. Ashley H. (CA)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

While beginning my college education at Purdue University in 2005, my best friend introduced me to Slam Poetry. We watched countless clips and my friend even performed his own poetry a year later. It was inspiring. When I heard What Teachers Make for the first time I got chills. Everytime I listen to it, I still get chills. I did not go to college to become a teacher. After two years at Purdue, I transfered to another school to become an Environmental Scientist. And yet, upon graduation, jobs were scarce and I took an intership with a local high school. I've been there for two years now and I teach one section of biology to sophmores. It's the most important thing I have ever done and I now know that I was meant to teach. The first time I heard What Teachers Make I wasn't sure why I got chills. But now I know. Next fall I will be going back to school for my teaching credential. Teachers were the most important people in my life and I can only hope that I will be able to inspire just one person like I was inspired by Taylor Mali... Mr.Gammell... Skip Wehan....Bridget Lewin... all of my great life teachers. I attached an image of a bumble bee hat because last week I taught my students about pollination by dressing up as a bumble bee. Getting them to laugh and learn at the same time was a heart warming experience. Thank you Mr. Mali for stating in such a poetic way that teaching is perhaps one of the most important things one can do for a better world.

448. Melissa H. (TX)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Who knew I would end up spending my life in high school?!? In one year, I will graduate from TX State University with my degree in English, ready to help teenagers fall in love with literature. Were it not for Taylor's poems and performances, I would not be in love with this: and I wouldn't still be on this career path. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart and soul, for your words and humor, and the love you send to those of us on the front lines of adolescence.

447. Jessica H. (MT)

Friday, March 19, 2010

When I got out of high school being a teacher was the last thing I thought about as a career. My dad is a teacher and I certainly didn't want to be like him and of course there is the all famous, "teachers don't make anything." 2nd year of college I started working with elementary kids and I loved it. I told my dad I was thinking about teaching, but I was concerned about the money situation. He smiled and told me to check out Taylor's poetry. I watched all of Taylor's poems and as I listened, I found myself laughing and even more excited about the possibility that I could join in such a profession. I'm about to begin student teaching and I couldn't be more excited! I'm going to be stressed out, in debt, underpaid, but deliriously happy knowing that I'm in a profession where I have the potential to make a difference one person at a time.

446. Rachel C. (NB, Canada)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I grew up in a town that teachers weren't exactly jumping in to teach the children. The teachers we had made me feel as if I could never be anything in my life that I wanted to be. A teacher actually called me stupid in front of an entire class once. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in kindergarten. I want to show teenagers and children that there are no walls in this world; you can do anything, and you can be anything. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

445. Elizabeth S. (NC)

Monday, March 15, 2010

I am 43 years old and started teaching just a few years ago. I was looking for new way of life. I was tired of moving from job to job and not having a purpose. Following the money was not working for me any longer. After a very long list of different jobs, I stumbled on AmeriCorps VISTA. Then things changed. I found your video of What Teachers Make, and it has been uphill ever since :)

444. Lori H. (IN)

Friday, April 09, 2010

I am not a teacher...yet. I am on the path to attaining that goal however. I am 28 days from graduating with my Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts/English and will start at Indiana University South Bend in August. I discovered literature as a child and have never met a book I didn't like. I write short stories/novelas and poetry and hope to instill in my students the same love of the written word that was instilled in me in second grade by my teacher Mrs. Kurtz (God keep you Mrs. Kurtz). The attached image is of a library, the closest thing to heaven on earth in my opinion.

443. Ronnie S. (AR)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

While your poems about teaching are wildly inspiring, and I appreciate that they often balance the joys and struggles of teaching. I had often been encouraged to pursue teaching, and your poems helped me to stop dismissing such encouragement. Nonetheless, it was your presence at iWPS 2006 that ultimately swayed me to become a teacher. As luck would have it, you managed a bout in which I volunteered as scorekeeper. The other two volunteers were wrought with anxiety, yet you managed to calm them with a few well-chosen words. I knew, at that very moment, that I wanted to become the kind of teacher you had become - the kind that does not require a classroom to teach, and the kind that never stops sharing his or her knowledge. I have adopted a saying that I trace back to that day: Teaching is not a career, it's a lifestyle. Because of the way you fill rooms with excitement and the simple way you remind others that they are capable of anything, teaching has become my lifestyle. While a flood of teachers in the South prevented me from entering the classroom last school year, I am proud to say that I will join the Teach for America Corps in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the 2010-2011 school year. I genuinely believe that, had I not shared that bout with you, I would have continued to dismiss what has been in my heart all along.

442. Allison F. (CA)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

So my entire family is made up of teachers, so growing up I wanted to be anything else BUT a teacher. After reaching adulthood and trying on some other ideas, I realized teaching is in my blood truly. I am currently doing my student teaching in a High School setting and decided to do my unit on music lyrics as poetry as a theme. Branching off that I wanted to introduce these kids to spoken word and as I researched spoken word you came up and completely amazed me. I have known for a long time why I wanted to teach but your words have added a whole new level of inspiration to my desire and I thank you for that. Your poem about teaching, along with some of your other work, like about how it's OK to act like you know---I loved all of those and I am using them in my unit. You have inspired me further to be a free thinking teacher---to continue to try and think out of the box and inspire students, not just teach them a mandated test like many complacent teachers do. Keep doing what you're doing Taylor--you're PHENOMENAL at it!

441. Emily N. (ME)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

When I heard: Totally Like Whatever, You know, Like Lilly Like Wilson, Miracle Workers and What Teachers Make. I knew teaching is for me. So many times while listening to your poetry I've said I want to be a teacher like that. I crave to be the teacher that molds students to be more than they thought they could. I believe teaching is being there for students, making them think, work, and form opinions. I will be going to college to get a teaching degree in English. I am only sixteen, but please don't allow it to hinder your decision. This is a picture od my Physics Teacher and his class who built a fully-functional solar powered greenhouse shed for a multi-school competition. They worked after school, built it themselves and they won.

440. Mia S. (Philippines)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I've been in the academe for a while now; I adore research, but I used to shy away from the possibility of becoming a professor in the future because I didn't want to teach. Professors I knew during my undergrad days reinforced this idea: to them, teaching undergrads was a chore, keeping them away from time that could be better spent elsewhere. To this day I can still remember, very vividly, what I felt when I first read What Teachers Make. I was just transitioning out of my undergrad years then, trying to figure out what I wanted. That poem was like a blow to the chest. Painful, but it crystallized my decision. I don't want to be just another soulless, highly-paid financial analyst. I want to make a difference. Meeting some teachers who truly believed in me was what made the difference in my life. It was these teachers who pushed me past my undergrad failure and start gunning for a PhD. After this, I hope to teach undergrad economics in a way that goes beyond numbers and makes students ask the harder questions. These days when I question myself I think of "definitely beautiful" and my own C+ "Congressional medal of honor" grades, and I somehow find the strength to go on. For this poem and for your dedication to the work, thank you very much.

439. Amy D. (WA)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Teaching music lessons in high school originally roused the passion I have for teaching. Your work, Mr. Mali, has and continues to fan that flame. I was first introduced to your work during a shift at my universitys writing center as a few of us tutors watched your video "The the Impotence of Proofreading." This compelled me to explore your other work and that is how I stumbled upon What Teachers Make. I have lost count of how many times Ive watched that video and its power never depreciates. I have been watching the video since before I applied and entered a teaching certification program and even now as I am almost finished with the program and have accepted a position with Teach For America. Today, after a long and frustrating day of student teaching (it was the real teachers who caused the frustration), I watched What Teachers Make to remind me why I choose to be a teacher. Quite honestly, a lot of the people who call themselves teachers are unaware of the power they hold. No longer do fresh streams of vibrancy, support, high expectations, and encouragement flow from them into their students. They have become jaded and stagnant, which grieves me. Your work reminds me that being a teaching is more than a job and the role cannot be taken lightly. Students NEED us. They rely on us and what we say and do really does matter. Thank you for reminding me of this and for helping me to get fired up even though some days it isnt easy. Teaching is by far the hardest, most exhausting endeavor I have ever undertaken, but its rewards far outweigh the cost!

438. Erika R. (AZ)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

When I was 16 I was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma. I went through a year of what seemed to be endless chemo treatments. My hair fell out. I lost 40 pounds. I considered the hospital to be my new home. My best friend was my Spanish teacher from my high school who VOLUNTEERED his already limited time spent at home with his wife and children, and himself-to be my "at home educational provider". When I came to college I came with the conviction that I would be a photojournalist for the New York Times someday. Then, a psychologist. Later, a sociologist. All the while knowing deep down that teaching was what I truly wanted to do but, "teachers aren't famous, and they don't make that much money"...well, now I know what teachers do make. I am currently in the process of getting my degree in elementary education. Recently, as recent as today, I questioned my career choice yet again. Then, while wandering the many facets of youtube, I stumbled upon "What Teachers Make", and ended up here, writing this. There is no longer a doubt in my mind that this is what I am meant to do. Thank you for inspiring me, and reminding me of my best friend, Senor Johnston, who was my first reason for becoming a teacher.

437. Derek W. (LA)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Many, many moons ago, I sent an e-mail to Taylor Mali seeking permission to use his "What Teachers Make" poem as part of a class presentation. It was for some sort of an education course that I was taking to fulfill an elective. He quickly responded with an emphatic "Yes!" and a mention of his 1000 teachers mission. At the time I had no interest in becoming a teacher; like I said, I was filling an elective. Fastforward several years and I'm doing some freelance work for a few local mags and slinging boxes in a warehouse. I realize that I need a change and decide to go back to school and figure out what to do. While digging for a notebook, I find the printout of Taylor's response to me and re-read it. That same day, there was an article in the paper about the lack of qualified teachers in the area after Hurricane Katrina. It was then that I knew exactly what I needed to do. I switched my major to alt-cert, signed up for the PRAXIS, and started sending resumes/applications to every school system within driving distance. I found one looking for a Reading/English teacher and haven't looked back since.

436. Dan B. (IN)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

My Literary Interpretations course my sophomore year of college required that we read Speak Out: Poetry and the Spoken Word, in which "Like Lilly Like Wilson" was featured. I had not decided on a major at the time, but I had often considered what it would be like to become a teacher. Reading this poem tipped the scale for me to become an English teacher over a Human Resources consultant. Wow. Looking back two and a half years later, you have saved my life.

435. Bea G. (IA)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I always loved school, so when I had to seriously start thinking about what I wanted to do for my life I thought a teacher would be appropriate. When I finally set my goal to be a teacher I remembered the children I would not want to deal with. Dropping that opition I went on to looking at nursing. After listening to What a Teacher Makes and Tony Steinberg I have been re-inspired (whether that is a word or not) to change childrens lives and in return have them change mine. Thank you

434. Jessica F. (MN)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Mr. Mali, I ventured back to your website after a funny thing happened this weekend. I'm a high school speech coach and a student used a (properly cited) selection from "What Teachers Make" in a moving poetry performance. She sparked my interest in coming back to see what you've been up to. I first heard of you from another friend in 2002 who had just started in Teacher Ed program at UW- Madison. He sent me a link to "What Teachers Make." Now, I had always been interested in teaching, but that link was timely, in that my college applications were due those next few months. I kept circling back to UW-Madison for its outstanding Teacher Ed program and your poem. Needless to say, I got in, I spent 5 years learning about teaching and am currently a first grade teacher. Truthfully, it is a terrible time to be a new teacher. But then again, as you so eloquently put it, we never went into it for the money. So, thank you. Your poem made an impact on me and I'm sorry you haven't gotten the credit you deserve.

433. Katie M. (AR)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I am currently enrolled in college to get my degree to teach. One of my old roommates introduced you "What Teacher's Make" to me at a time when I was thinking about changing my major. I realized after many days of thinking that this is what I really and truly want to do with my life. I have been told by many people that I'm "too good" for this job, but it is what I love. I want to make changes and help people the best that I can. I have always had a soft spot for children, and it took hearing it to make me realize this. It has even given me the courage to become a special education teacher because it is my life (my little brother is considered special needs). If I do not make it onto your list, I would still like to thank you for what you did for me and let you know that when I think if it is worth going through the program, I listen to "What Teacher's Make" and I realize that this is my calling. Thank you very much.

432. Christine C. (MD)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I am in college to become an english teacher, my crative writting teacher in high school shared one of your poems with my class since then i have not only started to slam my own poes for my friends and class mates but i have changed what grade level i am teaching from kindergarden to high school so i can spread slam to others and help them along their road of life.

431. Christine C. (MD)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The first time I saw your "What Teachers Make" video it made me laugh because my favorite teacher in high school was like that. When it was time to choose my major, I started to see myself making that kind of a difference. Now I'm halfway done with my degree and I cant wait to start teaching.

430. Xander X. (IN)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I have had a lot of trouble deciding what to do with my life. Originally I wanted to be a doctor. Then I decided that I couldn't be a doctor because I would probably hurt someone beyond repair and then feel guilty about it for as long as I lived, so I decided to be a film editor. I love videography from all angles and in all aspects, but I could not resolve something about it in my head. Then I decided to be an English education major at college because my past teachers always sucked. Then I realized that I hated something about learning to be a teacher, so I decided to quit that idea. Then I went through a huge crisis about whether or not to switch majors, and decided that I was going to switch. Then today I saw your video "What Teachers Make." I am not going to be switching majors now. Thanks for being the person I needed to know what I needed to do with my life.

429. Andranel B. (AK)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

In 1995 I graduated with my Bachelor's in English and all the paper work to become a teacher. I promptly left the city and drove tours in Glacier National Park. I then followed a winding road that lead to Alaska (to wait tables and drive tours in Denali National Park) and eventually to Portland, Oregon. I was working as the Marketing Director for a Fortune 500 company busily taking down the fliers on one of the seven campuses I visited regularly when I thought, "This is ridiculous! I need to get my butt in school and get my own class room." But I had been running away from it for 12 years. That night a friend sent me a link to a video of "What Teachers Make". I applied to graduate school the next week. As for the photo: I can't make 'em drink, but I promise to lead them to the best waterin' holes!

428. Jaclyn H. (CA)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I went back to school because I lost my teaching job due to the budget crisis in California. Disillusioned, I found myself sitting in classes thinking of the kids I wasn't being allowed to work with because of imprudent spending in Sacramento. Then a friend suggested doing a poetry slam just for fun, and Taylor's "What Teachers Make" came to mind. I realized that even in grad school, I can still teach. I can still make that difference. It may not be the same as having my high schoolers 7 hours a day, but I can still be their advocate and mentor. After all, once a teacher, forever a teacher. [I am the blonde teacher on the left at the homecoming football game last fall - being at that game, wearing a student's jersey, and cheering those kids on is another way to show those kids that they are worth something, that we value who they are, and what they can be.]

427. Kayecy W. (Australia)

Friday, March 05, 2010

I was pushed to be a lawyer or an accountant by my Father my whole childhood. I knew i wanted to do something great with my life, i just didnt know what. I was on Youtube one day and seen the 'What Teachers Make' clip and it got me thinking. I couldnt forget that clip and decided to give teaching a go. I told my Dad that i was thinking of being a teacher, he said that 'teachers dont make much' so i showed him this clip. He has never again said those words to me. I am studying Education at ECU university. Thankyou.

426. Johanna F. (CT)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

While I had chosen to go to college to be a teacher long before I heard any of Taylor's material, I was seriously considering changing my major. In the interim three years between leaving high school and truly beginning my "education" courses I began to forget the passion and fire that I had felt about teaching during my high school years. In the midst of my personal pondering and internal struggle, a friend sent me a link to "What Teachers Make" and it truly brought back that spark that had been lost somewhere along the way. I remembered why I had wanted this so much in the first place. I never looked back or thought twice about a teaching career again. Now that I have my own classroom, Taylor has also had a strong influence on the way I run it. My students speak with conviction, and they do not accept anything less than their personal best because they know that I will not. To see and experience this type of determination, commitment and drive in middle schoolers is absolutely wondrous. Without Taylor's video, I would not be here, experiencing the monumental, but amazing task of assisting in ushering teenagers into adulthood. Now I smile and tell people, "Teaching isn't a career, it's a lifestyle."

425. Meaghan K. (MA)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I was in my Speech Communications class last semester when I heard Taylor Mali's "What Teacher's Make". At the time I was (and still am, thanks to Mali) a Secondary Education minor, but had been becoming less and less enthused about my career choice as the semesters continued. I was afraid I was not capable of making the type of difference in a classroom that I wanted to, and was therefore thinking that avoiding the career would be best, as I would never measure up to my own expectations. After I heard Mali's words, (and found more), I became re-inspired, and more importantly, proud of the future career I was working toward. Mali helped me realize that I can be effective while still being myself; that I can teach the way I always wanted to without compromising what I believe in and who I am as a person. Every time I feel myself becoming discouraged with the amount of work and perseverance ahead of me, I listen to, watch, or read Mali's words. They offer me support and encouragement where others cannot.

424. Alice X. (China)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Teaching is like to put a seed into the earth. The seed grow out of its root deep enough to get the essences from the earth and grow into a beautiful life.

423. Kate C. (TN)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I am fifteen years old and in my freshman year of high school. I recently heard a very enthusiastic senior recite "What a Teacher Makes" had a conversation with him about it later. For some time now, I have been considering a career as an English teacher after I graduate college. Now I know my choice for sure. Taylor Mali, I promise you I will strive to be the very best teacher I can be.

422. Katelyn S. (CO)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I always said that the last thing I would ever do was teach. I didn't think I would do well at it because I was so intolerant of the kids that don't give a damn about anything so they don't even try in school. That was in 4th grade. I'm a freshman now. At the beginning of the semester I was influenced by my Language Arts teacher to seriously consider teaching. Then I saw a video of your performance of your "What Teachers Make" poem and now I can't think of anything I would want to do more. Now the only career I can even consider to consider to consider to consider to consider to consider to consider considering, is teaching. It would be the most accomplished feeling to influence those kids that don't care, to really work hard in school and set and achieve their goals. You should know that I hate math. Despise it. With all my heart. So I stopped working in math. Well since my decision to become a teacher, I'm working again. Not to learn, and not to make my teacher happy (which I'm actually partially doing in history because the newest addition to my list of life mottos is "How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best."). Once I figure out whatever we're working on, I think about how I would rephrase what my teacher is saying so that more people would understand it. What really makes my day (that is an understatement but I can't think of any words to describe that feeling), is when I have the chance to explain something that I understand to my friends, and afterwords I ask them if they are less confused now, and they look at me confidently and say, "Yes."

421. Jill M. (GA)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I sat in class after class, wondering if I really wanted to be a teacher. The first time through college, I changed my major from education to English Literature, because schools were scary...Why would I want to work somewhere that made me walk through a metal detector just to get in the building? So I graduated with my BA and worked in proofing and editing...but something was missing. So I went back to school. And I sat and listened to lectures on how people learn, how language is acquired, how to write a lesson plan. And I though, "Who cares? I want to teach." And almost every teacher, professor, and colleague talked about Taylor Mali and "What Teachers Make". So I watched. And I remembered. And I pushed on. And I watched every time I questioned "Is this really what I want to do". And I graduated. And now I am a teacher...well, almost. I am an unemployed, certified, wanna-be teacher. And so I watch...and remember. Yes, Taylor Mali, because of you, I still want to be a teacher.

420. Derrike B. (MT)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I am in my freshman year of college at the University of Montana I was assigned to do an analyses of a text. While researching for the paper I came across What Teachers Make. The poem caused me to change my major. Thank you Taylor

419. Deidre R. (TN)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

From the time I was 14 years old I wanted to teach, but I never pursued the dream. Later, as a compromise, I homeschooled my five children instead. I loved it! I loved watching them learn, and I loved the freedom and creativity that homeschooling provided. But then one of my sons was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and along with many other things, my energy to teach was stolen. I enrolled my children in a school where they could receive a consistent education. To fill the time, I returned to school. In my second semester back, one of my teachers showed a YouTube clip of Taylor. I went home and watched other clips, and I felt my passion being restored, my desire being reawakened. I am a 38 year old mom who is now a full-time college student. By the spring of 2012, I hope to graduate with a license to teach middle school language arts and social studies. Thanks for the renewed spirit, Taylor! You are a blessing!

418. Lauren M. (VA)

Monday, February 15, 2010

My parents have always questioned why I want to be an education major when I leave for college this fall, and I really let it get to me. My dad went as far as to tease me about salaries in front of my engineering-school bound cousin. I was going through my future university's list of other majors for a few weeks, unsure of what I should do. I saw your work, and it changed everything. I've e-mailed it to all my old teachers, just to share what difference they have made, and how you reinforced it.

417. Litsch R. (NY)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It's all about "what teachers make." I went from being an established businessman, to being a person who makes a real difference. Thanks for the strength to be true to myself!

416. Ashley R. (ID)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Briefly but eloquently... "I make a god damn difference, now what about you" That pretty much sums it up The image is graduation and it's because of teachers making a difference in my life that I got there and your work helped them do that.

415. Lindsay B. (Canada)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Your voice and passion about teaching is aw inspiring. You help me to feel strong when I'm broken down and don't know if I can do it anymore. Your words reenergize me to continue to make a difference in the lives of our future generations. Many thanks Taylor. xo Lindsay

414. Brian D. (NY)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

To me, I always wanted to be a "doer", rather than a teacher. I couldn't stand the idea that I would just be a pencil pusher all day. I knew that I wanted to deal with kids and psychology, so i figured I would be an adolescent psychologist. However, I started listening to your poetry last year, and have been captivated by it ever since. I subscribe to your channel on YouTube, I have some of your poetry on my iPod, and all that fun. I have actually quoted you in many instances. I would consideer myself to be one of your biggest fans, and I take your words to heart every day. Now, when I first heard "What Teachers Make", I was entertained by it. Then, i began to be intrigued by it. By now, I've been influenced by it. I would love to be that guy who tells the students they're bored, not thirsty. I want to tell parents how their kid deserves their respect, no matter what they choose as their path, so long as it's respectable. I want to teach kids about the "this"(brain), "this"(heart), and "this"(middle finger). Basically, your poem actually represents teaching to me, and encompasses what it is really all about. This is why, in stead of attaching a picture of myself, or some corny cartoon, I am attaching one of your first Google Images results as my embodiment of teaching. You have truly inspired me, and I thank you for having done so.

413. Christina S. (IN)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

I have been on the fence about being a teacher. Elementary Education is my major and I am three semesters away from acquiring said major. After watching several of your videos about teachers it has given me a new confidence and new ambition toward my chosen craft. Thank you so much! One of my goals is to meet you one day!

412. Amber I. (CO)

Friday, February 05, 2010

I am originally from Hawaii and although my surname tells a different story, I am not Irish. My dark hair and almond eyes shows someone unexpected and I used to hate that. I moved to Colorado the summer before my freshman year in high school and, like so many freshmen, I was scared. People noted my accent, my race, the fact that I was not what they expected No one likes to feel like an outsider. When I joined the Forensics and Debate team at my high school, I performed a piece entitled Transplantations: Straight and Other Jackets Para Mi by the fabulous Janis Astor de Valle. The piece recounts a young, closeted homosexual Latina who fights and nearly loses everyone to stay true to herself. When I completed my piece, I looked up and saw my coach with tears in her eyes. She was speechless and proud. It was the first moment I felt like someone was proud to know me. I have, since then, pursued a career in teaching always thinking, How empowering it must be to empower others! But, alas, sometimes life deters us from our dreams if only to test the commitments we make. I thought perhaps teaching was a young, fleeting creation of my ideology. But a few days ago I was on the website and stumbled upon What Teachers Make and I cannot even begin to articulate what that made me feel. When you completed your piece, I took a deep breath and realized I had tears in my eyes. I was speechless and reinvigorated. Thank you. PS Youll see my students dominate Forensics tournaments in a few years! PPS- I'm technologically dumb. The picture of myself may or may not have been attached :P.

411. peter s. (FL)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I am currently a teacher, but have not always considered myself such. Both my parents were teachers for christsake, why would I want to do that? My design career led me to teaching design and to this day I consider myself a designer who teaches. While watching Taylor's poem on the good ol' YouTube, I thought to myself, yes I am a teacher! The feelings and sentiments in that poem rang so true in my head and I promptly shared it with other "teacher".

410. Olivia P. (CA)

Monday, February 01, 2010

"What Teachers Make" brought me to tears. I was already taking education classes thinking that I wanted to become an elementary teacher but i was unsure. The biggest turn-off for me was the paycheck. This video made me realize that did not matter at all. I, as a teacher, will make a difference and I will be passionate about giving others the gift of knowledge. This made me sure about my path in life.

409. Emily K. (MN)

Monday, February 01, 2010

I have tossed around the idea of becoming a teacher. I like kids. I wonder if I can make the differance I want to make. I wonder what kind of teacher I might be, the one who is kind and listens; the one who gets walked over and cries at the end of the day? (I'm sure, I know i've had teachers like that..) I see Taylor has so much belief in his ability to make a differance and I SO BADLY want to do the same thing, I want to let parents see the wonderful things about their child, I want to see my students do things they are amazed and proud about. I guess all I need is the desire to do that; isn't that the most important thing? I feel assured because of Taylor. If I want to be that kind of teacher, I sure can be! the picture shows how my students will feel about life: they will be curious, fascinated, their brains will be stimulated by many, many things.

408. Mary Alice H. (Canada)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I have always wanted to be a teacher, and have structured my schooling around that dream since I was 15. After two years in a university program, "Child & Youth Studies", geared towards teaching the elementary grades, I gave up on my goals and decided I would just "do a Master's or something..." The useless classes, the "old guard", the administrative bullshit, the placement supervisors who only let me touch the photocopier & stapler, the idiots in my program... I found a million reasons to give up. I slogged my way through the next two years of my program, not caring about how I did or what I was going to do after university. Then, a friend posted "What Teachers Make" on their facebook change and I was reminded of why I was so passionate about the teaching profession for so long. I had a teacher once, someone very similar to Mr Mali, who changed my way of thinking about myself & the world around me. I remembered how significant of an event that was & how it marked a complete diversion. If I could be the Mr Murray, or Mr Mali, in only one child's life, all of the reasons I had found, and could ever find in the future, to give up would mean absolutely nothing. I was called to be a teacher several years ago. I have only recently reopened my ears.

407. Aida R. (Philippines)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thirty five years ago, I started my career as a Youth Development Worker, dealing with out of school youths. I felt i had to do something more to be of help so i decided to join the academe. Twelve years later, my salary as a teacher was insufficient for i was starting a family so i reluctantly left the academe and ventured into editing, but i know, i left my heart in the classroom. I was at the crossroad of my career when i encountered Taylor's work and it helped make a very important decison, that is to go back to where i left my heart: in the academe. It has been 8 years since then and to date, i haven't regretted such decision.

406. Shelah S. (KY)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

As a current graduate student, aiming to become a teacher, I discovered your "What Teachers Make" slam while trying to do some homework. I never expected to end up bawling because of a video, or while doing my homework! As I struggled with the question "Am I pursuing the right path?", your words smacked me upside my head and said "Hell yeah!" So thank you!!! You have helped renew my spirit and have given me confidence in my decision that I didn't have before. You're video is going on my virtual wall of "Why I Teach" and will help to boost my spirits when I struggle with my endeavor. Blessings to you for your inspiration and insight; cannot wait for the next step!

405. Sydney B. (ME)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I had always wanted to be a music teacher, but as high school went on, I lost confidence in my potential. With a short temper and little patience for people who aren't there to learn and participate, I felt like I should give up my dream. After seeing Taylor Mali perform, especially "What Teachers Make" it made me realize that there are ways to handle situations that could potentially be very irritating. All you have to do is make it entertain. Mr. Mali showed me that if you keep everyone laughing, it makes everything so much easier. I've regained my confidence in my dream of becoming a teacher, and when I get to college I will be majoring in Music Education, and I have Taylor Mali to thank for that. The influence his work has had on me is incredible, and all I can do is thank him.

404. Glenn B. (MA)

Friday, January 29, 2010

In December of 2007, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. After 12 sessions of chemotherapy in 2008, I decided that I didn't want to wake up five years from now and say: "I wish I had..." I've wanted to be a teacher for many years, so I quit my job and started working as a substitute. It is so much harder than I had ever imagined, but I genuinely look forward to going into school every day. I work hard every day to be half the teacher Taylor describes in his poem. I teach Middle School Science in an urban public school. A student related to me recently that her parent told her that she was lucky to have me as a teacher because he knew I cared about her education. I'm still high from that one. I helped another student see that a poet's love of piano playing had led that poet to write a poem whose parallel stanzas imitated playing piano with two hands. "That's fresh, Mister". That makes my day, Rosi.

403. Pitt C. (Australia)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I've always been a teacher, although my career has been in the IT industry for the past 26 years. But within my roles I have taught - trained clients on standard packages, taught clients how to use the systems we wrote for them, wrote the user documentation and more importantly the programmer documentation. But I have also taught my sons as they have gone through school, supplementing their teachers when necessary. But ultimately I have been a teacher of myself; learning ways to overcome dyslexia, learning how learn new things when they seemed too hard and my last achievement to improve my writing skills such that I might actually become a published author of fiction. Various things happened over the past few years that have lead me to change my career from IT to teaching, and one of those was finding 'The the impotence of proofreading' and thus 'What Teachers Make'. Yes I want to make a difference. I believe I can.

402. Gini W. (CA)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

When I was in the pre-credential class at Humboldt State University, a class I was taking to decide whether or I truly wanted to enter the world of teaching. I had a moment that decided for me that I was a teacher, could be a teacher. My professor was speaking of her experience in the classroom. Describing her work with students, her work on her Masters thesis and the reasons she had become a teacher. She said the word love, as in "I love my students" or "The love that they gave me" fifteen times in about forty minutes. I know. I counted. It was what ultimately put me on the path to being able to do the greatest job in the world. Taylor's work has helped me to always remember that and to continue to love and cherish the work we do. The image I have provided is of some of my students. It is THE reason I teach. They are the reason I teach. They are the reason I believe, have hope and love! Thank you Taylor for keeping that fire lit!

401. Kaitlyn S. (SD)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Though I always knew in the back of my head that my J-school degree would give way to a career in education, I was in denial until well into my senior year of college. That's when I caved, applied for Teach for America, and began on the path to what I was really supposed to do all along. That is also the time when I discovered Taylor Mali poetry. Taylor's poetry captured for me the necessary art and irreverence that ignites the profession of teaching. I accepted a position teaching in a rural Native American community in South Dakota through Teach for America, and two years later I still strive to pepper my English classes with that same art and irreverence. And I still come home and watch clips of Taylor's poetry when I've had a rough day.

400. Joe P. (TX)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I was born a teacher, I was born an actor, I was raised a businessman, I became a rebel, I chose my own path, the path became a rut, I started college to be a high school business ed teacher in 1977. I have kids in college now. I never finished, I married and started a family, I went to work. I have never been a poet, read a poem, been to a slam. Taylor slammed me right between the eyes with "what teachers make" I sent it to my high school business teacher. The one that made a difference in my life. The rut has now become my path back to my degree, back to where I am supposed to be. Thank you Taylor!

399. Bridget P. (MA)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I decided teaching was right for me my senior year of high school. I had a teacher that was not out for blood, but she was out to inspire us to reach our full potential. I started college determined to become a teacher, then I lost sight of that dream. I was studying for business law, then a friend sent me a link to one of your videos on youtube. I watched "What Teachers Make." My mother standing over my shoulder walked away and said "Someday, that will be you." She's never wrong.

398. Steven L. (NY)

Saturday, January 09, 2010

I first saw Taylor's work on HBO's Def Poetry Jam in the form of "What Teachers Make". In just a matter of moments I found myself standing in front of the couch and pumping my fist. By this time in my life I had come to know how politics are capable of getting in the way of helping people. I was an up-and-coming teacher who was debating if people like the lawyer he depicted, some administrators and parents, and even some students were really worth it to spend extra hours after going home for the day to plan lessons and grade papers for a grand reward of a lower-paying job and "summers off" (I hate that phrase.) Years later I am still a teacher in a city high school, and each time I have to discipline a student or deal with politics Taylor helps to remind me of the true rewards that follow. The rewards do not come every day, and not with every student, but the fight to make these rewards happen is worth it. The picture to the right depicts teaching to me because as a teacher I find myself teaching much more than mathematics. We are very much surrogate parents as teachers, helping students to become capable thinkers and capable adults.

397. Joanna B. (NJ)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

As an undergrad, I started out as an education major. It didn't take long for me to leave. I just felt like it wasn't for me. After I graduated and got my first "grown up job" in the corporate world, the "teaching bug" was still inside me. I always told me people I planned on becoming a teacher one day. And so, I did. After a friend made the leap and started a post-bac program, he sent me the "What a Teacher Makes" video on youtube, and I was inspired. Not long after, I applied to grad school. I quit my corporate job, and went to grad school full time to dedicate myself totally. And now, I am looking for a job. Wish me luck...

396. Kristen W. (Canada)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Throughout high school and university, I always felt an invisible pull towards teaching. As I finished my undergraduate degree and began my MA in History, that pull increased by leaps and bounds. After completing my graduate degree, I knew that teaching was a calling that I could not dismiss. This year, I started my Bachelor of Education and was quickly taken aback by the negative attitudes that I witnessed from some of the teachers whom I worked with during my teaching placements. Expectations for accountability and hard work for students were easily replaced with passive grading and the dismissal of negative language and behavior within the classroom. Student failure was a well accepted and, sadly, common problem. Although I did have the opportunity to work with positive, bright mentors in teaching, those pessimistic individuals whom I worked with remained at the back of my mind. Witnessing those negative attitudes made it particularly difficult to think positively about my future goals. Had I made a mistake? Was I going to one day become that teacher who easily dismissed students who were the academic and social challenges within the classroom? As I entered my holiday break with these thoughts I came across Taylor Malis performance of What Teachers Make. Taylor reinstated my faith and belief that teachers have the power to make a difference in a students life. After watching, listening and reading (and re-reading) Taylors words about the tremendous power of teachers to shape the personal and intellectual growth of their students, I felt inspired, encouraged and strengthened once again with my determination to become a teacher. Thank you! This photo represents how a teacher holds the potential 'growth' (intellectual, personal) of their students in his / her hands.

395. Bobbi F. (Canada)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I am an Educational Assistant by trade, but I am currently working one on one in a special needs preschool with children who have mental, physical and terminal illnesses. There is nothing I can see myself doing in life other than making a difference in the lives of the children that I work with. If I can teach one kid to communicate with there mom or dad at the age of 4 or 5 after years of frustration for both child and parent I think I have done well. I have only worked at this school, and as a paid professional for 2 years, but there is nothing I would rather be doing, and nothing I would want to accompish in my life but to be the change I want to see in the world. Taylor has help drive that fact home for me.

394. Alizabeth S. (VA)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

As a kid, I thought teaching was the noblest career. As a teenager I thought spending all day with brats like me was the biggest mistake anyone could ever make. I fought my desire to become a teacher with all my heart, but I was never able to dream of something grander. Maybe I'd become a writer, but how could that change anyone's life. And even if it did, they wouldn't remember my name or ever even know my face. I tell my students I made more per hour as a waitress at Golden Corral. When I left the world of part-time college jobs, the clothing company I worked for offered me a job as store manager; the salary would be 50% larger than my teaching salary. "We're opening three new stores back East. You could still move out that way," my boss enticed. "Remember, my college degree is in history education. I spent three months on that job and bailed. Better pay, more perks, and no rotten kids to deal with, how can you turn this up?" She was right about one thing, if I stayed in her line of business I'd always be up on the latest fashions and I would never have to take my work home with me (except in the form of shopping bags filled with a new wardrobe). I don't regret my decision. Sure the bills would be easier to pay and my social life might actually exist if I had followed her advice. But I wouldn't have made a difference. I could never quite remember when I first heard the poem, but the idea never left me. I don't make money for my living, I make a difference. I'm not the columnist you read on your way to work, I'm not your bubbly waitress, and I can't sell you the latest fashions. But you'll remember my face and my name long after all my words leave your memory, after food comforts you, and after all your clothes are worn out.

393. Phil C. (England)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I spent some of my twenties having dalliances with teaching, but couldn't really decide if it was what I wanted. I loved doing it, but the jibes and bull**** against teachers is absurd, and - don't know how it is over the pond - the red-tape has to be seen to be abhorred. Then a teacher buddy of mine played me "What Teachers Make", and it was like a light clicked on. I went home and I played it over and over, until I knew every word, every intonation. And it made me realise that this IS what I want to do, more than anything, I love it, and it IS worth the jibes and the ignorami and the hoops through which you have to jump. I've now taken a job at a school up in the North, and I'm going to do my Master's next year to become a better teacher. And the first thing I will in any classroom in which I teach will be to put up the transcription of "What Teachers Make" on the wall. I am proud to consider myself a teacher, and proud to have been inspired by those words. Thank you sir.

392. Clint W. (IN)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Here I am, sitting at my desk after another long day of teaching. There is a desk in the back turned on its side, pieces of paper scattered about the floor, a few books forgotten under the desks, and a broken NO.2 pencil that has been stomped and trampled since first period this morning. According to Taylor Mali, this is what learning leaves. I routinely let my English classes listen to Taylor's poems. I have a few cds and one of the students wanted to know what "that dude" (Taylor) looked like. Why? I don't know. But it led me to this website and typing this synopsis. I became a teacher because the most awesome writing instructor of all time had Taylor come to my college campus at Indiana University Southeast during the first semester of my freshman year and do a performance. His poem touched me and my destiny was decided. Sure, there were other factors that played a role. I had some wonderful teachers in middle and high school. I loved kids. But that night at that performance, that's when I knew.

391. David M. (NC)

Monday, December 14, 2009

I was a senior in High School planning on pursuing music as a degree, undecided still on performance or education. Your poem 'What Teachers Make' is highlighted on our school's website, but the author was not named, so did my research and came across you. I listened to all the poems I could find and it gave my the encouragement I needed to pursue my music education degree. These students are the senior class(dressed up for halloween) of the band where I got my first instructing job and they mean the world to me.

390. Ricardo Z. (ME)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ever since tutoring 'at-risk' freshman alongside my English teacher in my senior year in high school, I knew I wanted to teach. I loved being able to help someone learn, become more intelligent, build self confidence. I am now pursuing a Teaching minor at Bowdoin College. I learned about you at a time when I was questioning whether or not I could make it as a teacher. My education professor showed us this in class. I remembered the number one thing a teacher needs is an unyielding passion for education and realizing one's full potential. I have re-ignited my fire to teach once again. Thank you.

389. Salena H. (TX)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Hi. So, I never considered myself to be an eloquent person. But I do try, so here goes. Teachers were always somewhat imposing figures to me. They would take up your food, your cells, your unfinished papers without question. I learned that really, many felt like misfits in front of the classroom, and like complete failures themselves when a kid was finally sent to the office or dropped out of class. I hated the role of being a teacher. I wondered why people ever took the job when day in and day out, the only reward was a steady paycheck and no spontaneous requirement for overtime work. To be frank, personal events leading up to my decision to this seemingly fruitless job are too numerous and inevitably insignificant to the matter itself. Taylor Mali's online poetry did not exactly confirm the decision, but it certainly did spark the motivation. The poem in question is 'Miracle Workers'. It was more of the audacity voiced in the poem, really, that attracted me here. That the very things many people, including myself, could fail to do, think, feel in everyday life can happen in an 8-hour school day... in a typical, sordid classroom. Just for that, I'd have to thank Taylor for letting me feel that miraculous potential. This picture here was chosen because though little dainty or dirty pre-school kids grow up to be perfectly dutiful citizens AND unruly and reckless vermin; when they do recognize a teacher, they will always raise their hands and say 'Sorry, teacher, what did you mean again?'. And yes--though I've fought over this tooth and nail, I am becoming an English teacher.

388. Caitlyn C. (TN)

Monday, November 30, 2009

I feel that teaching is my calling in the way that some others feel their calling with the church. It is that powerful and that fundamental to everything that I am. That being said, my road to the classroom was a long, hard, trecherous path. I took some detours and got lost a few times, but I am now a member of a Teaching Fellows program that is dedicated to getting mid-career professionals into the classrooms of high-need schools. I was hired on Friday August 7th, and school started Monday August 10th. I had to go into hyper-drive to just prepare for day one, and it hasn't slowed down any since then. On top of teaching full time, I am attending graduate level courses for my Master's in Teaching and my teaching certification. A few weeks ago--just past the mid-point of the semester, everyone in my cohort of Teaching Fellows was feeling pretty overwhelmed in a "can-I-really-do-this?" kind of way. At the end of one of my graduate seminars, my instructor (a twenty year teaching veteran) showed us two of your video. By the end of "What Teachers Make" the whole class was in tears...inspired, fulfilled, renewed. I have shared this video with anyone and everyone. I have told my friends and family, "I want to be like Taylor Mali when I grow up." Thank you! Not for bringing me into the profession, but for KEEPING me in it, giving me the faith, inspiration, and desire to continue.

387. Rayna G. (PA)

Monday, November 30, 2009

"What Teachers Make" has been my mantra since I made the leap to teaching. I saw it performed at Kutztown University during my freshman or undergrad year and it stuck with me, it sort of haunted me. Even though I graduated with a degree in social work I could not escape the urge to get into the classroom and really effect change in today's youth. I am in my first year of teaching and whenever someone challenges me about what I make I hit them with the words of Mali, thanks for pushing me to make a difference!

386. Laura P. (Canada)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I used to call my Sociology degree a glorified highschool diploma. Today, with the help of inspiration from people such as Taylor, I call it my ticket. From this degree I took a plane to Romania and taught Roma children and let them teach me. Probably I learned more. I took a train to Math class and realized you can torture numbers to tell you anything. I put two and two together (I learned this in Math class) and realized that my sociology could make my Math more passion filled, and my Math could make my sociology more understood. We are all connected. I took my ticket and I'm now on a school bus bound for higher education. I am currently completing my Bachelor of Education degree and I can't wait to see my future destinations, especially after hearing what teachers make in Taylor's words. I can't wait to make it and make my next trip on the wings of children. I will help them make their tickets. My picture is of one of the children in the hospital/orphanage I worked at in Romania. We did not speak the same language, but bubbles was a common language we shared.

385. Mary Kathryn L. (NY)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Making my way through my undergraduate pursuit to become a 7-12th grade social studies teacher, I was excited. I understood the noble calling of education, but after many tiring days of student teaching and volunteer tutoring I felt unappreciated, worn out, and ineffective. I can't remember how I stumbled upon a video of Taylor Mali's performance of his poem "What Teachers Make," but I certainly remember how it made me feel. Watching the video, my heart swelled with pride and inspiration. The poem spoke to me on many levels. It inspired me to continue to feel as passionate about education and children as Taylor made me feel through his performance. I realized that I was not alone in my frustrations. I felt appreciated. I nodded along with the performance, relating to Taylor's experiences and yearning to continue on with my goal. I have completed my goal and I now teach 8th, 9th, and 12th grade social studies at a New York State High School. Every day I continue to come home feeling completely worn out, but, entirely fulfilled. And when I receive my pay check, I contemplate how I was able to be so fortunate as to be paid for a job that I do not consider "work." Thank you for inspiring me to continue on in my pursuits and encouraging new comers to the profession. Your passion is contagious.

384. Kati R. (CA)

Friday, November 20, 2009

A few years ago I read Taylor'spoem and fell in love with it. Many people think Teachers are over paid and they don't understand all we do. I am currently looking for a full time teaching position. I have been working with children for 13 years and nowhold a teaching credential and look forward to making a difference in at least one childs life each and every day! The picture shown is a picture of my final student teaching Kindergarten class.

383. Jenna J. (Canada)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I never grew up wanting to be a teacher...I was a musician and always planned on going to music school in university. When I was a senior in highschool, I began tutoring children grade kindergarten through six for tuition money, as well as teaching piano lessons to children of all ages. That year changed my life completely, and I still hold the memories of the rewarding experiences dear to my heart. One day that year I woke up and said, I am going to be a teacher, changed my university application and went in for teaching the following year. Because it was such a quick decision, I often questioned it during my university career, especially during my work term, when the reality of teaching hit me: we are underpaid, overworked, the job is at times very tiring, stressful, and frustrating. We have to deal with parents, the public, and being underappreciated. Although I loved teaching, it was because of these things that I questioned my decision. A colleague of mine sent me your poem, and it brought me to tears. It reminded me that when I look past all of that, at the end of the day it is the best feeling in the world when the children leave by giving you a smile and a hug, and you know what a difference you are making in their lives. Your poem reminded me of why I do this. I am meant to teach and to make a difference in the lives of children. I graduated university two years ago and have been teaching grade 3 ever since. Although it has been tough going at times, I have never regretted my decision, and often while driving home from work after a particularly difficult day, I recite your poem in my mind, and smile because I am reminded of all the good things about my career, which by far outweigh the negatives.

382. Courtney A. (IL)

Monday, November 16, 2009

I am currently a student getting a degree in English Education. In a few semesters I will enter the working world as a teacher, making a difference one classroom at a time. When choosing my path in life I knew that I wanted to be a teacher but was held back out of fear that people would judge me because of setting aside other passions I have in life and worrying about some negative stereotypes that come along with the occupation. Then I found the work of Taylor Mali and that all changed. I no longer consider the opinions of others or the fears that have been holding me back. My passion lies in people and the success of people and the life and power of words. That is what I am going to dedicate my life to. Thank you, Taylor Mali. I will be out there soon.

381. Adam T. (KY)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I've always been something of a hopeless philosopher, constantly losing a battle to stay grounded. I love deep conversations, but find just as much joy in introspection and contemplation. This is what made me initially drawn to slam poetry. That, and...I found it on YouTube. At the same time, music has always been the biggest part of my life. If I had to guess, I would say I've spent more than half of my free time with an instrument. But when I wasn't playing music, I was writing. When I saw Taylor's performance of "What Teachers make", I knew what I had to do: I had to teach, if only for a while. God pointed me to music, so I ran with it. I now teach high school percussionists, and I can honestly say it's one of the most humbling, rewarding experiences of my life. I thank Taylor for instilling the inspiration I needed to take the final leap into the world of mind-filling. Thank you.

380. Louizandre D. (Canada)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Teachers make a difference. Now, what about you?" It was when I heard Taylor's performance of What Teachers Make that I knew I was born to teach and wanted to do so for the rest of my life. After spending so long running away for this incredible calling, here I am, only a few weeks away from what could potentially be my first full-time teaching position and I cannot help but reflect on all the teachers who left such a deep impression on my life. I would not be the person I am today if it were not for the many teachers who worked hard to turn this extremely introverted student into someone who actually loves and lives to help others. And I would not be standing in a classroom and loving it if it was not for Taylor's constant inspiration to be someone who lives to make a difference in the lives of students. Thank you for challenging me to speak with authority, remember the importance of proofreading, and for inspiring me to make a difference in the lives of my students every day.

379. Fredrik E. (Sweden)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

On our first class "Becoming a teacher" our lecturers asked us why we wanted to become teachers. I've never really thought about why, it felt obvious for me. I want to help, i want to show the world, i want to open minds, i want to make a difference. After experiencing "Tony Steinberg: Brave Seventh-Grade Viking Warrior" i cried. And i knew yet another piece of the puzzle as to why i want to become a teacher. I'm going to be a religion and swedish teacher, or atleast thats what i will be qualified for, but the specific subjects matter not. Its what we, my pupils and i, will experience together. That no matter how brief our existance will be, we will be better and we will touch each others and grow from it.

378. Chiharu N. (Japan)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dear Mr.Mali, I admire your poems about teaching and students-this is why when you came to our school, I crossed the threshold into the teaching world. My parents wanted me to anyway. My personal favourite from the poems you performed is the Miracle Worker. I am the grade's evil genius, the martial arts expert, maths, Japanese and English tutor, THE mastermind of the Evil Girl Plan, and-gasp-7th grade girl. My personal favourite is the Miracle Worker. Thank you for the positive influence, Chiharu

377. Tom G. (NJ)

Monday, November 09, 2009

When I was trying to survive the teacher training in England some mornings I just could not bring myself to face the classroom. On those mornings I would listen to "What teachers make" or "Miracle Workers" and remember why I wanted to become a teacher. Now I teach in a New Jersey Middle School and love every day of it.

376. Caitlin T. (MI)

Monday, November 09, 2009

When I got to Michigan State University, I was determined to get into the college of education. I did have some apprehension about becoming a teacher that was exacerbated by some of my encounters with other students in and outside of my field. The more time I spent in college, the more I realized that people think if you are a teacher, especially in elementary education, you are not intelligent enough to do anything else. The engineers, business majors, secondary education majors, and practically everyone else seem to think you're crazy and stupid for not wanting a good job and high pay. I kept hitting the snag of a stupid saying, "Those who can, do, and those who can't, teach." I was having a hard time reconciling with this; for I was judged on the same admission standards as everyone else. I am just as smart and could pick from a number of different majors. Who are they to say I am too dumb to be an engineer or other? And, I almost switched majors to prove that point. A teaching assistant (a grad student who has to teach a class to pay their tuition) showed our class a YouTube video of your "What Teachers Make" slam poem. It seemed to be able to say everything that I was never able to quite explain to others about what teaching meant to me and how it made me feel. I knew from the pride this poem made me feel that I was right where I was supposed to be. I was meant to be a teacher and your poem helped to put me back on the right track. I learned to not let a saying as small as eight words shake my conviction of who I was and what I value. Our job does make a difference and that is a trillion times more important than money or proving a stupid point that only needs to be proven to some pretty silly people anyway.

375. Annie Z. (OH)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Taylor Mali has helped me put words to how teaching makes me feel. As a poet, writer of creative non-fiction and future 7th - 12th grade English teacher, Taylor's work has confirmed how strongly I feel about teaching and inspired me further to be the teacher I never had, the teacher that many children never have. I want my students to know that I care. I want to foster each students' education, even if their interests do not lie in English. I don't want to just be a teacher, I want to be a mentor. I began studying at The Ohio State University, as a biology major, then a zoology major, and finally changed to an English major after realizing that the writing I had been doing on the side was teaching me more than all of my science textbooks combined. Through creative nonfiction and poetry I have been able to live more fully and feel more deeply. If I had found creative writing in my middle and high school years, I am sure that I would have been better able to navigate my world. I will give my students the world of creative writing. Some of us need it, and not enough of us get it. I want my future students to not only speak and write with conviction, but also to live with conviction. I am currently applying to the M.Ed program for grades (7-12) at the Ohio State University. Keep your fingers crossed!

374. Margaret W. (Canada)

Monday, November 02, 2009

As I ravel done this road to becoming a "real" teacher, I feel I am finally becoming who I was meant to be. Whether it be with my own son or my students, I am greatly blessed. Taylor's work is something that reminds me that this work I do is the greatest, most meaningful thing I could ever hope to do with my life. I make a difference in this world!

373. Mark F. (RI)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Since sophomore year I've gotten it in my head that being a biology teacher was what I wanted to do. Now as a senior whenever someone ask what I want to go to college for, they shake their head and say, "Oh, that's nice of you", but they don't really mean it. When my English teacher (Mrs. Hathaway) pulled out your cd during my class I was not prepared for What Teachers Make. It gave me an answer to everyone of those insincere head nods. I want push everything I possibly can into the mind of younger people, help create the doctors and biologist of tomorrow by questioning them, "Well why?". I want to make an impact and help someone, whether it be through a lecture or just being there. Now whenever I think about my future I know I'll make a difference. Your poem may not have inspired me to be a teacher but it damn well added fuel to the fire.

372. Patrick B. (CA)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Every time I tell anyone in my circle of friends, or family that I want to become a professor, their look is little more than excited. Sure I get a tap on the head, " how good hearted..." but that fades away when they realize that I will be living from pay-check to pay-check most of the years in my life. I always said it wasn't for the money, it's to keep the dying breed of humanity alive and processing. Taylor Mali gave me " And if you have this, and this, then you can show them this! I make a goddamn difference, what about you." and it sent shocks to my bone that this is the realization I have come to. This IS the reason why I want to laughed at, compared to, criticized, and lastly, for myself, goddamn proud to be. No matter if I'm on a list of 1000 other worthy heroes, I wanted to share my short story. Thank you for the are not alone. ( I'm reaching my cousin how to sled in the picture. Just comedic...she fell 4 times.)

371. Pawel L. (IL)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The first time I saw Mr. Mali perform was through a youtube video in one of my very first graduate classes. Our professor showed us the clip "What Teachers Make" at the end of class and boy did I need it. I was sitting in class that day struggling to decide if teaching was the right choice for me after struggling with this decision the entire summer prior to graduate school. His video inspired me to continue on with the graduate program, and become an inspirational teacher. I want to follow in the foot steps of those who have changed my life in the past. Thanks to my old teachers I fell in love with science and built a passion for the subject. I want to take everything that they have taught me in the past and build upon it for the next generation. Each teacher has the capacity to change at least one student’s life. If that is all I can accomplish through teaching I will be satisfied in the end. Becoming a teacher has turned into a journey that I love sharing with my family and friends. I have never been so dedicated to something and I have been to teaching. My friends are even starting to call me “Teach”, because I cannot stop bringing up my excitement. Taylor’s words have brought out the desire and passion for teaching that was hidden among a cloud of uncertainty. Thanks to him I cannot wait to begin student teaching in the Spring. Me and my Godson, my smallest yet biggest fan. Somehow I always get him to smile.

370. Jennifer H. (MO)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I have always had a huge passion for teaching. So, when I got into college I knew that was the field for me. But as the work piled up and the stress of everything got to me, I really questioned if this was indeed what I wanted to do. I was considering switching my major but then I came across Taylor Mali's video "What teachers make" and it made me change my mind. It made me realize how important teaching is and how excited I am to make a difference in a child's life. Thank you!

369. Amy T. (OH)

Monday, October 12, 2009

My teacher, Miss L., talks about you all the time. We listen to your CDs during class, and last year we saw you at Kent State during the OFEA conference. I love you words and how you push the limits, while setting your own. Your words mean a lot to people. You speak your mind, which often leads to the truth. You have shown me that when you are yourself, you encourage and create new ideas and dreams for others... which is what I want to do.

368. Alexandra A. (AZ)

Monday, October 12, 2009

I didn't always want to be a teacher, but I wanted to make a difference. I just graduated from High school this year, and I have had some amazing teachers that have truely changed my life. After watching, and helping my teachers thoughout school, I started thinking about what I am going to do with my life. My original plan was to run a horse stable. I watched one of the best teachers I have ever had as his Parkinsons disease progressed and he had to stop teaching. My English teacher had introduced me to you and your poetry which has made me want to become a teacher so much more. I want to thank you, along with all of the other amazing teachers out there who actually care about their students, and what they are teaching. It really does make a difference when you have a teacher who cares and that you can talk to. I'm now in College Majoring in History, minoring in education. I hope to be just as inspiring to my future students in a few years.

367. Megan M. (CA)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Taylor's performance on Def Jam Poetry of "What Teachers Make" has cemented in me the desire to pursue a teaching career. I am a third year American Lit major at the University of California, Riverside. Even though I am not yet a teacher, Taylor reminds me daily that I will get there someday. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by a seven page paper or a never-ending amount of pre-calculus problems, I bring up Teachers Make a Difference onto the screen and find myself being drawn into the world of Like, You Know? and The The Impotence of Proofreading. I try to explain to my friends why I want to be a high school teacher and they think I am crazy to want to deal with teenagers. I never could explain to my peers that I want to do more than just teach literature; I want to teach young students about the people they can become and what life has to offer them. I know that it only takes one person, a person with a heart and mind like Taylors, to make a difference in a young adults life. When Taylor speaks, I feel that he understands that passion that I am working towards sharing with others. Thank you!

366. Sofia A. (Sweden)

Friday, November 13, 2009

I have just had one of the most inspiring experiences I have had in a very long time. I was looking through a list of artists already booked for a music festival called Peace and Love in my hometown of Borlänge, Sweden, when I saw the name Taylor Mali listed as a spoken word artist. I must admit that I had not heard of him before so I went to his website to find out more about his work. That is where I found the poems. The inspiring, hair raising poems that made my heart beat harder and my eyes well up with tears. I sat mesmerized in front of the screen and let the chills run through my body. I felt so touched and strengthened in my decision to become a teacher. I am 31 years old and next semester I am going back to college to become a teacher. The decision to go back to school was not an easy one and up until today I have spend many hours second guessing my decision. I am done with second guessing now. In Taylor Mali’s poems I found certainty that I needed. I am making the right choice, for me and hopefully for my future students. I want to make a difference and now I will.

365. Cynthia K. (RI)

Monday, October 05, 2009

When I first saw your work I was amazed at how you out and out said what I had not been able to for so long. You see I love to tutor people and help them to understand their work and to see them do well. When I saw "What Teachers Make" I was astonished, I though that is what I wanted to say "I want to make a difference". I had decided I either wanted to teach or open a business. When I watched your video I thought why not do both? Open a cafe, for teens to hang out in, in a neighborhood where there is not much to do and teach. I plan to hire local people to run the cafe and to make a difference teaching. Thank you for your inspiration: You truely DO make a difference!

364. Delilah D. (AR)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

"What Teachers Make" places clearly the effect of teachers on their students. I have wanted to be a writer since I was ten. Now I am twenty one and about to graduate with two Associates degrees that will allow me to transfer for a Bacholors degree in Teaching. Taylor has voiced my every reason for wanting to become a teacher. I feel it is my duty to make a difference not just for myself but my future students. It was always my teachers that influenced me to pursue my dreams and I believe that I could do the same for others.

363. Christopher P. (VA)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I first heard of Mr. Mali at CVCC from a fellow student in an English class; apparently he was coming to the school to do a live peformance and my fellow student had extra tickets. So I convinced my fiancee to join me and we went to watch the show. I found Taylor Mali's work to be inspiring in that he spoke with conviction and clarity; something that is markedly missing in mainstream culture and learning. I decided to be a teacher after listening to and reading Mr. Mali's work after the show had ended, and it was recently reinforced by his return to Central Virginia Community College, where I am currently finishing my degree.

362. Katie S. (RI)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Last week my English 12 AP teacher Mrs. Hathaway started our class with a "Are you all ready to be introduced to Taylor Mali?" I was intriuged by the grin on her face that let us know she had something good. She told us you had a quest to create 1,000 new teachers through your poetry and brought out a CD of some of your works (The the impotence of proofreading was a huge hit with our class). But when I heard What Teachers Make I have to honestly and cliche-edly tell you that my life was changed. I had tossed around the idea of becoming a teacher, but whenever someone asked me why, I could never quite figure it out myself, but now, I know I want to make a difference. It would be my great honor to be number 362. Thank you for making a DIFFERENCE!

361. Andrew L. (SC)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mr. Mali, after watching your video on "What Teachers Make" I made it the top priority in my duty as a teacher...nay, "World Changer" to make sure that I give 100% of myself and expect 110% from my students everyday and in everyway. Thank you for what you have done and what you are doing. I have two quotes that I stand by. "Teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions." and "One is taught in accordance with one's fitness to learn." I am sure to have more as the years pass. Keep up the great job at being a "World Changer"!

360. Noelle S. (AZ)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I have always had the thought in the back of my head to be a teacher "when I grew up" because my father was a teacher. But I have never had the money to go college and did not qualify for student loans when I graduated High School. Now it has been so long I almost felt like I couldn't got back to school. After listen to you and hearing your passion for teaching, it has lit a fire under me and my dream of teaching creative writing. I have begun looking at grants, scholarships and anything else that may help pay for school so that someday soon I will be able to be in front of the blackboard teaching and learning from my students.

359. Behin B. (CA)

Friday, October 02, 2009

I just started my second year of a dance teacher training program here in San Diego at Eveoke Dance Theatre where the wonderful Erika Malone is training a small group of us to be teaching artists. As part of the start of my second year, I was required to teach a Community Hip-Hop class to over 20 students and I was terrified the entire week leading up to it. Really, really terrified. I had taught one class before that and it was to 4 people. (2 of which were my friends.) I even thought about giving up the program altogether. I can't do this, I thought. I was always a creative student, but terrified of the work and this brought me face to face with all my insecurities as a student. I had no idea what I would do! After lots of talks, tears, support, and dancing, I showed up to teach on a Wednesday night. The experience was like being in an alternate universe and about 1/2 way through the class I felt like I landed there. When it was done, I heard people saying they enjoyed themselves and I got to reflect on the places where I needed to grow. There wasn't a whole lot of time to think about it, though, as I had to go right into Teacher Training class. At the very end of the class that night Erika played a recording of "What Teachers Make" for us. After I heard it, I felt inspired on a level like never before to be a teacher! I immediately felt a deep sense of purpose, a connection to something much greater, to my ancestry and like I'm doing what I was meant to do in this life! Since then I've been taking on a variety of opportunities to teach and lead, rather than running from them. I'm proud to be a teacher for life.

358. Heather B. (NH)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I took a poetry class last in the 12th grade, which happens to be last year. I had no idea what the hell i wanted to do with my life. My teacher, Mr.Brooker, showed my class some slam poets and you were on there. You recited "What a Teacher Makes". I almost cried. It was so amazing I had no idea what to say afterwards. I then went home that night and applied to college to be enrolled into an education major. I am now in college, taking classes to become a high school or middle school teacher You are an inspiration not only to teachers but to poets and everybody else out there. Thank you.

357. Daliz R. (FL)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Hello, my name is Daliz Rivas I am nineteen years old, I am a freshmen at St.Thomas University located at Miami Gardens. I am pursuing a double major in Mathematics and English. I had the pleaser to meet you Mr.Mali at progress HS in Brooklyn, NY thanks to a great teacher and poet Adam Falkner( I was in his creative writing class). The poem Miracle Workers which I have on my wall is my daily reminder...Telling me you have to be a teacher, that is what you love. But thanks to you Mr. Mali I decided to focus on the two things i love the most which are letters and numbers. This days has been kind of complicated to maintain the balance between my classes, I have like three weeks without writing poem or something like that, but I will never give up. Thank you, I wish I have the pleasure to see you again performing my favorite poem. God blessed you. You rock Tailor Mali!!

356. Julianne L. (Malaysia)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Let me first be honest. I have never heard of you until today but I actually read a 'version' of your poem "What Teachers Make" through the staff email at my college. When I read that it motivated and inspired me to continue teaching despite the 'trials' that come with it. Let me briefly introduce myself: I'm a recent graduate (2 years ago) of Linguistics and I decided to pursue teaching as my first job. I am currently a lecturer (fancy name for teacher) at a college teaching English as a Second Language to pre-university student. The picture I submitted is of me at work with a cup of Starbucks my students so graciously gave me for Teacher's Day - that one cup of coffee made my day and made teaching all the more worth it. Thank you for your poems (especially What Teachers Make and Miracle Worker) as they really made my day when I read it.

355. Meakia M. (WA)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I have been deliberating for years over what I would like to do with my life. I have always felt that teaching was m calling, but doubted that I would really make a difference...or a living. The photo That I uploaded is of my first classroom. At the age of 18 I was lucky enugh to be named sewing director for the Happy Days Camp, for children with cancer. It was there that I learned the joy of fostering knowledge, creativity, and confidence, among other things. I lost sight of my realization after coming back to the real world and realizing that teachers are severely underapreciated and underpaid, but taylor's poems have helped me clear the grime that such thoughts leave, and focus on the children again. Thank you Taylor, I am enrolling in training as soon as possible.

354. Korey M. (TX)

Monday, August 10, 2009

I was working for minimum wage in the book department of a retail store with a degree in English. I was not ambitious. I had no motivation. Then I found Mr. Mali on youtube. His words awakened a conviction and passion inside of me. After I heard "Like Lily Like Wilson" I knew that I had to pursue a career in education. The next day I quit my job. Four months later I was offered a job as a High School English Teacher at an inner city school here in Dallas. Though I have since gone through much training, I feel as though I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to Mr. Mali. His words inspired me then, and motivate me now.

353. Audra M. (TN)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

In 2002 I found myself divorced, with two children, and going back to school. What should I choose? Teacher, of course! More time with my own kids, right? Three years into my bachelor's, now the year 2007, with a 3.9 GPA I decided I wanted to change my major because I couldn't "see being stuck in a classroom with a bunch of kids who don't want to be there and getting paid squat to do it." The drive I had was long gone, replaced by a feeling of dread. After listening to a friend go on and on and on about how great of a teacher I am, I connect with the students, provoke them to learn, blah, blah, and blah... I told her not to waste her breath. So, she didn't. Instead she sent me an email with a link to "Taylor Mali- Miracle Worker" on YouTube. I watched that clip at least a dozen times that night, and laughed and cried through each replay. Without that video, I would have changed my major. Since then, I have made it a practice to watch "Miracle Worker" or "What do Teachers Make" when I am feeling discouraged to remind myself of why I am going to be a teacher. Without Taylor Mali, I would be floundering through college. I will graduate this December with a degree in K-6 (Interdisciplinary Education). Thank you, Mr. Mali, for reminding me that I, too, can make a difference not only in my own adventure, but also others'!

352. Shana P. (NV)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Teacher to substitute teacher and back again. This briefly describes my current journey although the last step is yet to come to fruition. My first foray into teaching began in Memphis TN and ended after the first year when my "paperwork" was not "in order" and I was told that I no longer had a position with the school system. Now I am in Las Vegas working as a substitute teacher or as they like to call it a "guest teacher". During this last year I've struggled back and forth with the idea of going back to school for my masters and becoming certified to teach in Nevada. I think that Taylor's work is one of a few nudges I've felt in the past year to just do it already!!!

351. Lisa A. (AR)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I decided to continue teaching after seeing the video "What Teachers Make." I was a second-year teacher and at a very low point. Taylor's work has helped me gain the confidence to be as strange as I need to be, and my students have responded well. I was recently assigned to teach the Gifted and Talented, probably because no one else was weird enough. You have to start them young,too.

350. jordan K. (GA)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not only did he inspire me to become an English teacher, he also inspired me to coach debate. It is so difficult to find people who understand the beautiful madness that is teaching. To mix the passion, the pain, and the consequence of this calling into language takes the mouth of poet and the conviction to stand up against all of those who tell us everyday: "You do not matter; we do not care. You are less than us." Thank you, Mr. Mali for not forgetting us. His poetry reminds me that there are still those that know and understand. In fact, I use his speech on interrogative tone to open my debate meetings. My kids know not to just question authority but to speak with it as well. Thank you, Mr. Mali

349. Rebecca C. (NE)

Monday, July 27, 2009

While I was sitting in front of the computer watching my career of being an Accountant fail. I realized that sitting in a cubicle wasn't the life in which I wanted to lead. I wanted to travel. I wanted to help. I wanted to change the world in anyway I could. Then I stumbled across the poem "What Teacher's Make." I had thought about teaching but always questioned it, I also worried that my father would be upset that I wasn't picking a career that wasn't going to bring in cash. But, when I heard the poem it not only gave me a defense to my father's questions of stability, but it also gave me hope that if I did accomplish my degree I to can make a difference. Now I am going into my Junior year of College and my official college record states that my major is Secondary Education with an Endorsement in Social Science. I'm sorry that I am not teaching right this moment but I hope that you will leave a spot for me when I get my degree.

348. Mario P. (CA)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mr. Mali: Im a Teacher in Tijuana, Mexico. Im 34 years old and I started teaching when I was 17 at the same junior high that I studied. I really didnt know what I was doing; I thought that just by knowing how to speak English I could teach. I was so wrong! I noticed that is a lot of work and really hard to do, so I was planning to quit and do something else in life. When one of my students went on a state competition and won third place, I approached her and said congratulations. She looked at me and said: This diploma is half mine and half yours. Thank you for being my teacher Those words made me feel that I made a difference on her, and she really made a difference in me. Her words changed my life forever. So I still think TEACHING IS HARD WORK, BUT IS WORTH IT!

347. Soumar B. (CA)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

When trying to decide what exactly I was going to do for the rest of my life, I always thought of being something like an Optometrist or some crazy type of scientist who works with Recombinant DNA, not only because I could those things and much more through an education, but because these kinds of jobs would allow me to live comfortably. Very comfortably. However, my mind changed towards the end of high school. When it was the last day of school and I walked around the school saying my goodbyes, I realized how many amazing relationships I developed with my teachers through the years. many of them helped me, inspired me, encouraged me, and just talked to me. They would never mind if I just hung out with them at lunch and always laughed at my jokes, no matter how immature they were. I wasn't just their student and they weren't just my teachers. We were friends. After listening to "What Teachers Make" and "The Miracle Workers" by Taylor Mali, I realized that "making a goddamn difference" and "not being a miracle, just the worker" is going to be so much more rewarding than driving a Porsche, which will eventually have a bunch of stupid problems anyway. Im going to start at UC Irvine in the fall and Im currently signed up to take Intro to Teaching Math/Sci. I hope that when I become a teacher, I can help and inspire and just be a friend to so many students like my teachers were to me.

346. Jamie T. (PA)

Friday, July 24, 2009

I first heard Taylor Mali at a Speech and Debate competition my senior year of high school. I usually competed as a Debater in Student Congress, but I decided to try Oral Interpretation one day. In the round I was participating in, I heard a girl from another school do a series of Taylor Mali poems. I remember two in particular that stood out to me. "What Teachers Make" is funny, but also extraordinarily true. I want to be a teacher to help kids see their potential. I want to be a teacher because I see it as the most important career there is. Some people debate that topic, and say that a Doctor is the most important or this job or that job. A teacher will teach those children and help them grow up and decide what they want to do with their life. A teacher will teach the Doctor and the janitor, and help them see where their potential lies. "Tony Steinberg: Brave Seventh Grade Viking Warrior", is one of the most inspiring poems I have gotten the chance to read. It brought kids that were just students in a classroom together into a family to celebrate the life of a friend. I hope to be able to do that in my classroom one day. I want to get students to realize that teamwork and dedication and friendship all go together and help everyone achieve more. Although I knew I wanted to be a teacher before I read a poem by Taylor Mali, his poems have definitely shown me the joy that can come from being in a classroom. He highlights the importance of the job, and humors us with the little quirks that come from teaching Middle School students. His poems give me courage, and show me that it is not an easy job, but a fun one. He shows me that what I am going to do it totally worth it and makes me eager to get out into the field to spark imaginations and mold minds. It is the only career I know I am meant to do.

345. Mark D. (NJ)

Friday, July 10, 2009

I have always held a deep attachment to my own school. I am a product of a private school in New Jersey, which had a great community, and constantly reminded each student that he or she could go wherever they wanted upon graduation. I always wanted to teach because of that experience, but in college I had a crisis of faith. The economy was tanking, and I wasn't sure that I would be able to find a job in education. One of my professors randomly had "What Teachers Make" on the projector before class one day, something they had just been forwarded themselves, and I watched it. I laughed, but more importantly, I remembered why I wanted to be in this field in the first place. Today, I am enrolled in a M.Ed. program about to start my first job, in a middle school history classroom, and I'm ready to impart my knowledge and experience to a new generation of students. I just hope that I can be as much of an inspiration to them as so many have been to me.

344. Paula R. (VA)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I have had the fine experience, along with my eight year old son, of discovering what an ineffective teacher is. I have watched him come home with a hard look of defeat on his face one day and humble pride the next. Teachers are powerful, positively and negatively. I can't sit back and do nothing anymore. I want to take ownership of our childrens' future. I want to be a glimpse of hope, a reminder of opportunity, and a model of "You can do it; I will help."

343. Jessica O. (PA)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Taylor Mali Has influenced me to become an English teacher for middle school children. I believe at that age children grasp what teachers continuously drill into their heads, and although they may hate it, you later look back and realise those where the best teachers you had to learn from. I want to be the next influence in the children of tomorrow.

342. Elizabeth P. (KS)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All through high school I competed on my school's forensics team. During my sophomore year, while looking for poetry to use for competition I came across the poems "What Teacher's Make" and "Like Lilly, Like Wilson." I fell in love with the message in these poems in particular. Those poems described perfectly what I wanted to do with my life. Helping children to learn to think and act for themselves through teaching is now what I plan to do with my life. I am currently completing coursework at the University of Kansas toward a degree in Secondary English Education.

341. Kirk F. (OK)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Throughout my highschool career, I was heavily involved in Music (Choir and Orchestra), as well as the Drama Programs at my school. I was - Until the summer before my senior year - resolute that I would be a performer and not a teacher. However, the summer before my senior year, I was attending a Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain in Oklahoma. We had guest performers quite frequntly and Mr. Mali was one of those clinicians. The poem "Like Lilly, Like Wilson" found me crying in my seat. It was because it made me realize what it was that my teachers had given me and opened my eyes to how lucky I would be to be able to share that with another person. Taylor, I have your book, What Learning Leaves, it is autographed and sits on my computer desk so that when I get bogged down in school work, (MUED at OU (go SOONERS)) I can stop and read and remind myself what it is that I am working for. Thank you Taylor.

340. Natalie H. (CA)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I am a soon to be Senior in high school, and I have been part of the Teaching and Educational Careers Academy (TECA) since my Sophomore year. Originally, I applied for the program just to go on field trips, although these past two years have been life changing especially this last year. Since the fourth grade I've had an interest in Marine Biology and Science, which are the two subjects I was attempting to pursue in teaching. I even have a mentor that teaches high school Chemistry and Physiology, but I need to change that soon. One day he told me "...never make teaching your life, its just your job. Its not rewarding as it seems." and I could never just imagine it being just my "job." I feel in love this year with my English class and developed a strong passion for creative writing, and spoken word. My teacher devotes herself to only creating the best lessons she can give with the upmost creativity. Our final was to analyze two poems to compare and contrast them. Well, she realized I was highly interested in modern poetry and showed me your website, although I did not use any of your poems I analyzed every single one that you have on the website. (I was just too selfish to share what I discovered.) I view your website several times a day and I am blow away by the things you say. Your passion for teaching is really something to adulate. I have been so inspired by you and my English teacher and I will become an English teacher. I received that award at the TECA banquet from my English teacher, and it represents all the growth I have made in just one year of learning. All I wish is to have the same impact on my future students.

339. Joe W. (OH)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I am an incoming freshman at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. We are required to read "What Learning Leaves" over the summer. I was not thrilled when I heard the summer reading was a collection of poetry. How quickly do I realize my stupidity. Taylor Mali's work is hilarious and intelligent. His poem "What Teachers Make" encouraged me not to worry about how much money I will make, or rather, how much money I won't make. I am now confident in my major to pursue high school education. Thanks Taylor Mali!

338. Amy M. (CA)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

While struggling between deciding what to do for the rest of my life during college, I ran across the poem "What Teachers Make." I cried. It wasn't until then that I really thought that nothing else mattered because I wanted to only make a difference in someone's life. I didn't care about the salary or where my career would take me--I wanted the chance to interact and get involved with students and the future today. Thank you Mr. Mali for putting into words so well how I feel even today.

337. Melissa H. (NC)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

At ropes end I came home from school and surfed the net for a new job. The kids were great but I just couldn't handle the adults. But after stubbling across "what teachers make" I realized it didn't matter about the adults...the kids needed me and most of all I needed them. I just completed my 5th year of teaching and couldn't be happier. I make a difference in the world...How 'bout you?

336. Shaina T. (NJ)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I am one of those rare lucky people who have known what they have wanted to do in life since as far back as I can remember. I even have a photograph from my kindergarten graduation of a piece of art we had to make with an inscription of what we wanted to do when we grew up. Mine read "A school teacher so I can teach the ABC's". It is fitting that I am now a senior at Seton Hall University majoring in Secondary Education and English Literature. Of course, my path to this life choice was not always filled with certainty. In fact, most of the people in my life encouraged me to enter a career in law, considering my strong debating skills and interest in politics. This stems mostly from my family's economic situation and my apparent appearance as someone who could rise above our status, seeing as I am the first person in my family to attend college. This conflict haunted me throughout high school. But, upon hearing Taylor Mali's poems "Tony Steinberg: Brave Seventh Grade Viking Warrior" and "What Teacher's Make", I was convinced that teaching was the only thing in my life that I could pursue. The former, which brought me to tears upon my first listen, helped me to realize the profound influence that a teacher has on a student's life. The latter, which was eerily similar to my own career conflict, truly reinforced the idea that passion is more important than any salary and that success should be measured in the lives you touch, not the digits in your paycheck. So, thank you, Taylor Mali, for you have provided me with the greatest gift of all, the gift of teaching.

335. Andy F. (England, UK)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I am not sure if I qualify for the list - I taught for 9 years and was then headhunted for a start up business who needed an educational consultant. For 2 years I struggled to adapt to the profit driven world I had stepped into. Then, while surfing Youtube 2 years ago I stumbled on your clip 'What Teachers Make' and made the commitment to return to the place I belong - the classroom. I have returned to education and am more motivated, committed and passionate about my career than every before. So, Taylor, you may not have brought me to the teaching profession but you were instrumental in bringing me back home!

334. Thao V. (Australia)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I have met lots of challenges in my very early stage of teaching - being a graduate teacher. The toughest challenges have always been my accent and the right discipline strategies that suit my personality. So, there were a few moments when I wanted to quit. However, after listening to some of Taylor's poems especially the "What teachers make?" and "Miracle Workers", I was inspired enough to keep trying and trying and trying for such a meaningful career. I hope that Taylor would make more poems related to teaching, especially for those who struggle with the language like me. Any advices of how to overcome this hurdle would be also much appreciated.

333. Rasheedah K. (LA)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I am presently pursuing a degree in early childhood development and work at a preschool center. Just a couple of days ago I thought about giving up and literally walking out of my classroom. I had gone as far as informing them that there was not enough money in the world. My director told me to sleep on it. Later when I went home I heard the poem "What Teachers Make" and the truth is that there is not enough money, but we do have enough love. Thank you for reminding me of my destiny.

332. Jessica M. (MA)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I am a senior in high school, with only a few weeks to go until graduation. Half way through the year, I half-heartedly decided to become a teacher. Yesterday, my AP English teacher showed our class two of Taylor Mali's performances on Def poetry Jam. I was enthralled in his words, and immediately began to research more about him and his work. I have realized that teaching is not just a paycheck, it a significant, rewarding experience that can mean as much to me as it does to my students. I will be entering my teaching career with enthusiasm and the knowledge that even the littlest things can affect someone's life. Thank you Taylor.

331. Samantha K. (HI)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Right after high school I went to college. I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I graduated with my BA and began teaching. After four years of teaching I took a job for higher pay as a site facilitator at a well known private school. I taught maybe two classes a week. I recieved an email from a friend of mine sharing "What Teachers Make". I was moved, inspired, stunned in my seat. I realized why I had been feeling unfulfilled and uncontent. I was no longer teaching! I was surrounded by paperwork and meetings. I decided it was time to go back to school myself. I will admit that the task was at times a difficult road. I was a single mom, full time employee, taking care of elderly grandparents and going to school full time. I recieved my Master's in Education and enjoyed the program. Inspired by "what Teachers Make" I am back in the classroom. I remembered that teaching is more than a pay check. Teaching is a master piece of art and science that comes together in a wonderful array of caring, cheerleading, content, relationships, high expectations, heart and a love of learning. I have been reinspired by Taylor Mali. Teaching is about having a love of learning yourself and than sharing that passion with others. Teaching is about knowing your students THAT WELL and stretching them to reach their potential! Teaching is about touching lives and making a difference one person at a time. Mahalo! (Thank You) Taylor Mali for reaching out to inspire teachers to be strong enough to step into a classroom!

330. Ashley S. (TX)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mr. Mali, I happened to stumble upon your poem "What teachers make" today, and it brought tears to my eyes, made me cheer, clap, and scream. I have spent the last ten years of my life going from one major in college to another, without direction. This has all changed since working with students hands-on. I am now in less than two years away from completing my degree in bilingual education. The students I work with every day are the highlight of my life.. and I want to keep doing this because of them, because of the future children, and because of the people that they will impact. Its not for the money.. after a while there is nothing else you can buy.. its about the need for these children to have people love them, show them that someone cares, and that someone believes in them. If I had not had teachers who did this for me, I would not be here now. Thank you for showing the world that teaching is a valid profession!

329. Richard (RJ) A. (VT)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Mr Mali, I am a Sophomore feb at Middlebury College in Vermont. I have for some time known that I have wanted to be a teacher and I have had numerous teaching experiences: a month of teaching in a South African Township and working as a staffman at a Camp Keewaydin in Vermont among them. I want to be a theatre teacher at the high school maybe even a college professor. My father did very well for himself at an investment advising firm he created in New York City. He and my mother had five boys and one girl, and I am the last. My four older brothers are all entrepreneurs or work in start ups and have already made a ton of money. I had a conversation with my third-oldest brother Benjy. He runs a restaurant that he started, and didn't become an educator like he thought he might because he didn't want to be the poor brother. He fully supports my efforts to one day become a teacher and always will but the conversation made me doubt my choice. I was introduced to your poetry early in 2008 and I came across "What Teachers Make" later in that same year. The moment I re-listened to it after having the conversation with my brother, all doubt left my mind and I knew that I would never give up my dream of being a teacher. The picture is of me a year and a half ago with the teacher I substituted with in South Africa. I taught the children fight choreography, how to speak english, a few songs by Old Crow Medicine Show, and The Grateful Dead, Phish, and Simon and Garfunkel.

328. Nina B. (NC)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Found your poem "What Teachers Make" on ITunes, seemingly at random, at a point of crossroads and decision making which turned into a three year process of life changing exploration and wildest synchronicity. I am a teacher, I am a teacher, I am a teacher, I am a mantra as I embark upon the new adventure of my life. Returning to school to complete a long-interrupted bachelors degree in 2010. Started the process by collaboratiing with middle school girls to create a 6 week after school program called "LEAP" (learn + empower art program). The photo is our installation at a local coffee shop, where we had a "real" opening with press and goodie bags and even tees. It was the most fun I ever had (I am a teacher, I am a teacher). This year I trained to be a Teaching Artist with the A+Schools Program; recently completed my first artist-in-residence program integrating arts into curriculum @ rural NC schools. Your work, your work! Thank you for your work... FELT THE CALL to teach - didn't answer it - probably would have "let it go to voice mail" for even longer than I did without your work. Thank you. Thank you (I am a teacher, I am a teacher).

327. Danell M. (IL)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mr. Taylor, I have always wanted to be a teacher and I can remember sitting in my kindergarten classroom and thinking how neat it would be to be the teacher instead of the student. As I grew older, the desire to teach never left me, but the ages of the students I wanted to teach did. I finally settled on high school and started college as a history major in 1990. I left college when I met the man I chose to marry and we had a family. I then quit my job as a dispatcher and decided to go back to school. But first, I took a job as an assistant teacher to see if I still wanted to be a teacher...I loved it, so I went back to school as a psychology major and will graduate and get my teaching degree this May ('09). I was forwarded an email with your poem in it and I printed it out and hung it on my fridge. It makes me tear up just a little every time I read it. It's a powerful piece of work, and I have passed it on to many of my friends. During my student teaching experience, I found out you wrote it as it made the rounds in email again and was directed to your website. I will now pass on the information to my friends so hopefully you can make your 1,000 teachers! The picture is of my kids, and they represent teaching and my experience because I want them to know that knowledge is power, and it is never too late to follow your dreams!

326. Taryn N. (TX)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Taylor, I discovered your work a few months ago, a freshly 22 year old, soon-to-be college graduate. I will receive my degree in sociology next week and until a few months ago teaching had never been a serious option. The plans were changing daily- would I travel? would I write? And then I saw your poem "What Teachers Make" and it brought to my mind Mrs. Kreig, Mr. Perry, Mrs. Bryant... teachers that taught me to love learning, that honed in on my innate curiosity and fostered a love for reading in an internet age. Where teaching was once an option for a panicky twenty-two year old worried about her future, it has become so much more. Slowly I began to understand that my passions for learning, my innate curiosity, my love for people- perhaps we could find our home in a classroom. All that to say, I will begin my first year of teaching this August-- with both fear and excitement. But when the first overwhelms me I listen again to your poetry and find myself more brave.

325. George H. (Netherlands)

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm still in high school in the Netherlands, but I know that as soon as go to college, I'm going to study to be a teacher. Taylor Mali's work inspired me to want to make a difference. It helped me to realize that I was able to get a real joy out of teaching, and that that I what I want to do for a living. About the photo. It's me. I can understand if you don't want to put the image up, as it has been slightly(very very slightly) altered by the Mac photobooth. Just let me know, and I can just as easily upload a different photo.

324. Sarah R. (MA)

Monday, April 27, 2009

When I was a sophomore in high school we studied slam poetry in English class. I was not too excited until my teacher read "what teachers make" out loud to the class. After hearing this and thinking about it for the rest of the day, I finally started to make sense of what I wanted to do with my life. Everything Mali had stated in that poem was what I have wanted to complete in my life. Not only has his work inspired me to be where I am today, a junior in college majoring in education, but he has also inspired me to write about my own experiences I have had with teaching already.

323. Tonya L. (AZ)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I am a first year teacher contemplating on quitting because of budget cuts and a feeling of what I was trying to do didnt matter. Well YESTERDAY in a meeting a colleague read me your poem and I have been enlightened. Thank you for giving me a reason to stay another reason why I Make a Difference. Thank you

322. Amber S. (MI)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I grew up outside of Detroit, MI. My parents divorced when I was a toddler, and my mother was scared. She said she needed liquid courage to make it through the day. Before long that rum and coke turned into a baggie and a crack pipe. I was left to care for my little brother and myself, and my fifth grade teacher Mr. Piestrak did not make it any easier. He would berate me publicly in front of the class, Why are you so dirty? Dont you own a tub? Your homework is missing again. Youre never going to become anything in life if you act like this! I remember thinking; this is not what teaching is about. Teaching should be about helping children, not tearing them down. Things changed in high school. I had teachers who cared about me. They wanted me to succeed and helped me to do so. I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to help assure that there was one less Leonard Piestrak out in the world. When I told my father that I wanted to be a teacher, he was less than enthused. Do you know what teachers make? Hed say, Be a nurse. Theres money and job security. Nursing is a noble profession and it took over a year of nursing school to realize it wasnt for me. One afternoon in English class my professor played us the video of What Teachers Make. Then it hit me. I cant be a nurse. I have no passion for it. I was only trying to make my dad proud. I need to be a teacher. I am now in my first semester of pursuing a teaching degree. My father is still hesitant to support me. I was so close to graduating with my nursing degree. But I know this is whats right for me. Whenever Im having a bad day I replay What Teachers Make, and I know Ive done the right thing. I want to be a role model for kids. I need to make sure no student of mine is ever treated the way I was.

321. Philip E. (PA)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I am currently a student at Bloomsburg University, and just began my instruction in education this semester. I hope to be an Industrial Arts teacher. I will be transferring to Millersville University in the fall to pursue my dream. Millersville will be the 3rd campus I've attended, and the 4th college I've taken courses through. I've spent the last number of years trying to find out what my niche in life would be, and then I stumbled across your poem, 'What Teachers Really Make.' As the YouTube video concluded, an idea which had been on the back burner of career paths, suddenly clicked. I considered it for a while and decided to take a semesters worth of teaching courses, and wouldn't you know it, I FINALLY LOVED COLLEGE! For the first time in 4 semesters, I don't skip class, I show up and am excited to do so. I read papers and journals online, and I enjoy it! I do honestly have to thank you for charging me up about my career path, and along with my family and professors, I include you, and your poems, in the foundations of how I want to educate the kids of my future classrooms. Yours, +Phil

320. Rebekah L. (MA)

Monday, April 20, 2009

I was accepted to Simon's College at Bard Rock in my junior year and instead of going to high school for my senior year, I would be attending college. Due to lack of money, I could not do this. I became very bitter and decided to just get a job. I was convinced that this was not a good idea eventually and broken out of my self-destroying spiral. I decided to go to school to be a teacher. However, now that I'm heading towards something I genuinely want I'm getting scared. Scared of failure of course. Oftentimes I have to be shoved back on the trail. Seeing you, seeing that you're more than happy to be a teacher, you practically consider it a calling, and you write (and write with swears) was another one of those shoves when I was straying off. Thank You.

319. Matt R. (KY)

Friday, April 17, 2009

I was a freshman in college when I saw you perform "What Teachers Make" on def poetry jam. I remember thinking that I could see myself saying those exact words. It was then that I decided that I should teach, that I should be there for other peoples children the way that my teachers were there for me. However, during college I got sidetracked, as so many do. I lost my drive, I lost my direction, I started to drift. Until this past year, I had no idea what I was supposed to do with my life. I had only forgotten. Last year I was cleaning out a drawer in my house when I found a print out of your poem. I read it and all the emotions came flooding back and I knew that I had been right. Now I am getting my master's in special education and will hopefully start teaching in the fall. Thank you.

318. Nick C. (MA)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Entering my senior year of high school, I had absolutely no idea of what I would do in the future. I knew I would go to college and find out, but I had the same fears of many high school seniors which come with the lingering question, what next? During the poetry section of my English class, my teacher played "What Teachers Make" and I instantly realized that this could be the path for me. When I was finalizing my applications for college, I decided to apply to the school of education of my school of choice, and I got in. Right now, I am ending my freshman year as a secondary education and history major. Thank you for being the push-of-the-swing that got me pumping.

317. Amika K. (NC)

Monday, April 13, 2009

I heard What Teachers Make when I was in 10th grade. For some reason out of all of the poems I had seen/heard on Def Poetry Jam, that one rang true to my ears. At the time, I did not want to be a teacher, I wanted to be a doctor. Duing my junior year of college, I just felt empty, as if I were not doing the right thing. I changed my major to education and I will be graduating in May. To this day, my motivation is What Teachers Make. It was the breath of fresh air that guided me down the right path. That peom helped me to understand that teaching is not a 9 to 5, but rather a 24/7. There will be people there to support you in the end. In the photo, I was writing a program to help at-risk youth channel their anger in positive direction. In the background, was a friend that stayed up and burned the midnight oil with me.

316. Ted D. (MI)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Some small part of me knew that I would be a teacher when I was a senior in high school, but by the time I'd graduated about a dozen people had told me "No, you don't want to teach. I see you doing a lot more than that, I mean something really important." These comments had a profound effect upon a mind that was at an age of indecision, and so my first year of college was spent pursuing a degree in nursing. Before my second year of college, though, I heard the words of Mr. Taylor Mali, and this year I graduate with a degree in education. Through the poetry that he recited on my computer screen, Mr. Mali told me that teaching is not a job to be ashamed of. It is not an occupation that one can "do better than". Mr. Mali told me that the profession I felt called toward was, in fact, one to be proud of. He showed me an example of a passionate, intelligent man who gained personal fulfillment and managed to change the world by becoming a teacher. He showed me that it really is possible to be what I'd wanted to be, and what others had told me wasn't realistic: a good teacher who loves his job and who changes the world for the better.

315. jennifer T. (ME)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I am currently a student at the University of Maine at Farmington. I'm a Junior, and have known since high school that I want to become a teacher, but not until this semester have I actually been present in a high school or middle school classroom. I am essentially a student aide in the local high school, and my mentor teacher is amazing, so amazing in fact, that it made me question whether I would ever be able to live up to the standards he has set in my mind. He just today played your "What Teachers Make" poem to his AP class. This poem has reminded me exactly why I want to be a teacher, and why I should be a teacher. Thank you. I'm what you could call an 'alternative teacher.' School doesn't have to suck. School can be fun. I can make school fun.

314. Julie S. (NY)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I started my college career in meteorology. I thought I would be on TV, recognized all over and getting paid the "big bucks"; however I knew within my first semester what I had chosen wasn't fulfilling. I contemplated for the rest of the year, wondering what do with my life. I chose teaching because it was something I though might be fun and I had always loved children. As I continued my teacher education, I grew more confident and found that fulfillment I had been looking for. The semester before student teaching, I was nervous: What if what I had been working so hard at wasn't the right choice again? What if I wasn't good enough in the classroom? Then one of my professors showed me your clip on YouTube. At that moment, I knew why I chose teaching and that I would be a wonderful teacher. I sat in that college classroom crying (discreetly)--it felt like you were talking to me. Now, as I reflect when I watch your video again and again, your passion in your poetry echoes my passion in the classroom and when someone asks me what I do for a living. I am proud to call myself a teacher. I know, thanks to you, what I do does make a difference; even if I don't get the recognition or the big bucks. Thank you for the inspiration you have given many.

313. Ian Whitney J. (CT)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I'm just an idealist from a small town. I started writing poetry to get me away from life, and now God has instilled a passion in me to write poetry to make life more vivid. I, like you, hope that even in my poetry I am teaching. I hope that my words echo around the ears of all my listeners and settle in them. I wish to offend with truth, and comfort with it also. Reading this poetry has shown me that there are indeed others out there with the same passion. Thank you for that.

312. Christopher M. (TX)

Friday, April 03, 2009

I am currently 18 years old, and a freshman at the college I attend. Though it took many years, and a few choices before it, I eventually settled upon entering the field of education. Just last year, not long before heading to college, I lost my nerve, my resolve, however you want to put it. Gloomily, and unsure, I headed to college. I told, nor showed anyone about my doubts, merely kept them to myself. And then - a month or two at college - I saw on YouTube "What Do Teachers Make." I stared at the screen. My mouth ajar, it was the spark that relit the fire, the passion within me. Without seeing that, without hearing those words, I would still very much be in danger of abandoning my path to becoming a teacher. Thank you, sir, and keep up the amazing work.

311. Alex M. (PA)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Hey Mr. Mali, I'm a sophomore in college at Syracuse University currently declared as an English Education major. This semester was my first experience in a classroom as student teaching at an urban high school and to be honest, it scared me to death. I just didn't know if I was really up to the task of teaching; I see it as such an awesome privilege and responsibility. I was mulling this over and considering a change of major, when my friend Rae showed me a youtube video of your poem What Teachers Make. Your honesty and passion was so moving, that I determined to continue on my path and be the best damn English teacher there ever was. After I heard your poem and visited your website I just couldn't shake the image of a poster of your poem hanging on the wall of classroom where I would make kids wonder...make them question...make them criticize. I have friends who have commented on how silly it seems to put so much work into an English Education double major for a profession that will never draw in a huge income. I knew that this argument was ridiculous, money or prestige is not what teaching is about! But it did start to wear away at my resolve, I had no good rebuttal, no strong response other then the obvious fact that they don't have their priorities straight. Your poem gave me the best response there is and completely dispelled all hesitation in my mind. It refilled the holes that the acidic words of my friends had burned in my resolve. I will never be able to thank you enough for that kick in the ass. As you say, a teacher is a miracle worker. Thank you for giving me the gift of confidence in my own ability to create miracles. I know that my calling is to be a teacher because your words cut through my insecurities and burrow in my heart. In the name of Socrates and Jesus, and all the gods of teaching, you showed me I already possess everything I will ever need to be a teacher...passion, perseverance and ability. SHAZZAM, you made a new teacher.

310. Caitlin H. (MT)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

When I was little, I always said I wanted to be a teacher, because that was what my parents did, so of course, that's what I should do too. As I grew up, I changed my course and pursued music for a great deal of my adolescence--I even majored in it for 2 years. I was at a crossroads, scared to admit what I really wanted to do. One night, I was watching some Def Poetry videos and came across "What Teachers Make." It was then and there that my heart and brain came into alignment, and I haven't looked back. I have two more years of course work before my student teaching, and I couldn't be more impatient to finally become a teacher. Thank you, Mr. Mali.

309. Camilla C. (Denmark)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always known that I wanted to become a teacher. I now attend VIA university college, which is the name of the schools in Denmark, where they educate teachers. I am at my first year, and will be done in 3 years. You are an inspiration every time I get second thaughts because of papers or if I am just a bit stressed. I watch you, and get reminded why this is my calling. I love teaching! Looking into their eyes, and seeing that they are learning something, and developeing as individual human beings. You are a role model to all my fellow students and me! Thank you for making the world see, that being a teacher is one of the most meaningful jobs you could ever get!

308. Cassandra R. (OH)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Taylor's poems have helped make my final decision by writing and performing a poem called: What Teachers Make. It was very inspirational because I have always known I had wanted to be a teacher. It was always some how apart of me. My Mom is very supportive, but had her doubts of me becoming a teacher. She always said: "Cassandra, do you know how much teachers make?" I am a smart ass at heart so my quick one-liner was: "Mom, that's why I am going to be a stripper at night." I was not really going to be a stripper at night. It hurt me that my Mom of all people would have said that to me. Why would I care what I made? The on;y thing I really cared was to make a difference in a student's life. Then one day, while in my Teacher Academy college prep class my teahcer showed us a video of Taylor Mali performing at a Poetry Slam. It had opened my eyes! I printed the poem and showed my Mom. I think it finally made her see the real reason I want to be a teacher. And Taylor Mali is the perfect example of how teachers make a difference, because Taylor had made a difference in my life.

307. Rebecca R. (OH)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thank you so much for coming to the conference for the Future Educators Association conference at Kent State. When I first arrived there, I was on the fence about teaching. I wanted to become a bridal consultant, because teachers didn't make enough money and it wasn't as "cool" to be a teacher. I felt like I wouldn't be reaching for my full potential if I became a teacher. When you read "What Teachers Make", I had tears in my eyes and I knew that I wanted to be a teacher and that there was no escaping this fact. My plan is to teach preschool and kindergarten in inner-cities, both in the United States and abroad. Thank you for getting me off of the fence. Also, I am, like, a recovering, like, like addict. Thank you for that as well. P.S. I was the apatosaurus girl, and I did spell it correctly.

306. Heather K. (MO)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Upon being introduced to Taylor Mali's poetry, my desire to teach English at the secondary level was greatly amplified. Originally I was planning on pursuing a degree to teach only as a backup plan (should I fail to find a job in this economy otherwise). The more I learned about attempts to reform education and change current attitudes regarding literacy and knowledge the more skeptical I became. However, Taylor's work renewed my faith in the impacts sharing great poetry can have on society. No longer am I regarding teaching as a backup career, but am excitedly taking as many classes as I can while anxiously anticipating the day when I will step into a classroom and inspire young minds to achieve their dreams.

305. Katie C. (NY)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mr. Mali, I originally came to your website looking for a way to email you to say thank you, and I found your quest for 1000 teachers. I'm currently a high school senior, and in the fall I'll be going to college to learn to be a teacher. I always sort of knew I wanted to teach, but this past fall I was reconsidering what I wanted to do with my life because the teachers around me seemed to lack passion. I found slam poetry, and I found your poems, "What Teachers Make", "Like Lilly Like Wilson", and "Miracle Workers" and I realized that this is what I want to spend my life doing. So, in short, thank you Mr. Mali. Thank you.

304. Andrew M. (NC)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ah yes, human nature to blame others. Yes, Taylor Mali, I blame you for me becoming a teacher, and for that, I thank you!! I had done a few thing before going to college to become a teacher. I was in the military from 95-2000, while in I often volunteered at refuge camps helping out kids. After the military I held a couple of odd jobs and loving the time spent with my niece, showing her new things. I had started college as a business major. My sister was a teacher. Then I saw your poems and thought, I'm always around kids showing them new things, and set myself on my own mission. TO EDUCATE!!! See I've never said when someone asks me why you want to be a teacher, "To make a difference in a child's life," nay, not me, I just want to educate them, show them whats out there, then send them on to better themselves. Teach them the world. Yup, Taylor, your fault, thanks.

303. Courtney T. (WA)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I have always been called to this noble vocation, and Taylor Mali's words have inspired me to achieve my dream. I graduated with my BAE in May 2008 and was hired to teach at a small island school. My heart warms like nothing else when I have a "teacher moment:" giving a student her own notebook to improve her writing by just WRITING, or a student finally "getting it." I find myself under scrutiny often, and the first time I read "What Teachers Make," I instantly related to it. We are all in this together.

302. Christopher D. (CA)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I am a 19 year old first-year student at the University Of California, San Diego majoring in Mathematics, Secondary Education. Throughout my first year in college, I faced a lot of criticism on choosing the teaching/education profession. Looking for a stronger inspiration for my passion of educating, I found Mr. Mali's video "What Teachers Make" on Youtube. It reminded me why the "big bucks" aren't worth squat to a teacher. As a future educator, I realized how much of a difference I can make in someone's life. Participating in tutoring and high school outreaching, I feel a stronger passion to watch them succeed. Watching those that I have influenced become successful and reaching for the dreams they thought unattainable in the past is a lot more than any paycheck can pay. Thank you, Mr. Mali. Your words have helped paved the way for me to follow my passion to become a high school mathematics teacher.

301. Matthew S. (NY)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Mr. Mali has shown me through his poetry how much I really enjoy teaching, whether it is a skill for one of my teammates, (in the picture) or just what Shakespeare meant when he said, "whats in a rose." It is because of him that I will be attending Keuka College for the 2009 fall semester.

300. Kathryn M. (NY)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

When I was a senior in high school, I went to New york City to participate in Brave New Voices, which in itself was a life changing experience for me. I developed a love for Spoken Word and I wanted to completely immerse myself in at after that experience. I watched the film 'Slam Nation' and loved the poetry you performed. From there, I went online and saw your 'What teachers make' poem. At this point I knew I wanted to go to school to be a teacher, but I wasn't sure if my reasons for wanting to teach students were considered good enough. Well, your poem made me realize that is exactly what students need. It was my inspiration and still is. Thank you, and I want you to personally know I am spreading your poetry throughout my education classes.

299. Elise H. (OR)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I am 17 years old and in 7 1/2 months I will be going to college to become a teacher. This is the scariest thing Ive ever done in my life and I blame you Mr. Mali. I hear your poems at speech tournaments, I even read one of them myself. The judges ask us why does everyone do Taylor Mali? The truth is because youre great. The poems make me laugh, cry, and think, and all three are hard to do. Hearing these poems is one of the only things that makes poetry rounds bearable. Sharing the words makes me want to do nothing else for my entire life. I want to teach, I want to make people think and laugh and cry, and maybe, if Im lucky, Ill do it as well as you.

298. Healy R. (IL)

Monday, February 16, 2009

In high school, I had decided to spend my life in genetic research; a noble calling, but would isolate me from too much that I really loved. I was an active member of my high school speech team, and heard at one tournament Taylor's poem "What Teachers Make." It occurred to me that everything I was passionate about could be found in a teaching career. I am now two years into a major in Secondary Education, with a focus in English and a minor in Theater. I can tell anyone that asks exactly why I want to teach and how impatient I am to get into the classroom. I believe wholeheartedly that I owe the spark that lit this fire in me to Taylor's poetry and performance.

297. Mark C. (Canada)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Taylor's poetry is not what convinced me to become a teacher. But what it did do is stregthen my belief in the importance of teaching and inspiring and expanding the minds that will change the world. I am a Canadian doing a Master of Teaching program in Australia (the woman in the picture is my friend and fellow classmate) and, once qualified to teach, intend to teach all over the world so that I really will change the whole world!

296. Lynn F. (TX)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I never wanted to be a teacher. My undergraduate degree is not in teaching. I fought the idea for many years, but suddenly, I found myself teaching developmental writing at a community college. I teach these classes for those students who fell asleep, fell through the cracks, fell in with the wrong crowd, or fell in love and got married in high school. I get them ready for college level writing. I never knew the rewards would be so much better than the small paycheck a part-time teacher at a community college can get. I first heard Mr. Mali's poem in a speech class during my undergraduate work. I loved the honesty of it. I went to his website and printed out "What Teachers Make" (called by a different title then) and a few other poems. I still have them, and I took the class almost ten years ago. Though I did not want to be a teacher at the time, it became one of the contributing factors to what I do now. I am now working on my Master's degree in education. Now, teaching is the only thing I want to do. I require critical thinking and open-mindedness in my classes. And I have the honor of having students in my classes who want to be teachers as well. Thanks for the honesty, Mr. Mali. It helped me be honest with myself and my calling.

295. Margaret P. (UT)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I have always wanted to teach, long before I ever heard of your work. My passion is English and has been since I taught myself to read at the age of four. I've always worked as a peer mentor, a Bible School teacher, and a tutor. I always knew that I would wind up in a classroom, and that I would probably be damn good at it. My best friend is a great person but she has always been down on public education and teachers. She always asks me why I want to teach and then goes on about the money. When I explain to her that it isn't about the money and never was, that I wanted to make a difference she gives me one of those kinds of smiles that you give stupid people when they've said something exceptionally dumb. After finding your work and sharing with her the "What A Teacher Makes" video she not only understands me as a person better but has begun to respect my decisions. I finish my degree this semester and I student teach next semester. When I go into that classroom for the first time as a teacher I know what I'll be making and thanks to Taylor Mali I have the most eloquent way of expressing it. **the picture is of me and my three nephews at a Harry Potter party when the final book came out. This picture shows how important it is for us to teach our children a deep and abiding love of literature.

294. Megan M. (SC)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Teaching came to me after an inordinate amount of time contemplating the purpose of my life. To say that I was unhappy in my previous career, computing the satisfaction of prosecutors-in-training, would be an understatement...I was nothing short of miserable. MY life lacked satisfaction...I knew I had to help society using my hands and my heart. Teaching came to me. I heard Taylor's poetry and teaching was reaffirmed for me. I have earned the right to be idealistic and believe in hope...I choose to do this through teaching. To those who say, "You've settled for mediocrity by teaching," I say...."I'm happy, WHAT ABOUT YOU?"

293. Amy J. (TX)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Twelve years of pharmaceutical sales and 2 years of medical sales had me feeling unfulfilled. I took my first job in this field because I wanted to help people. Sharing my expertise with physicians had a positive on the lives of their patients. As the industry changed, I began to realize my positive impact was negligible. Financially, not working was not an option. I sat down to soul search and realized I felt I was having an impact through being a Sunday school teacher and Boy Scout leader. Can I find a job like this that pays? I sat down and did a google search. I can be a teacher, I thought, but can I afford to be a teacher? Google search: �What do teacher�s make?" Of course, your poem was one of the first items. I read it and realized....How can I afford not to teach? I began a Masters in Teaching program at Texas Woman�s University. Completed my masters degree in 18 months, and was hired half way through my student teaching. I have been teaching for 5 years now. I teach 8th grade Language Arts and 7th grade Reading and English. Middle school students need someone crazy enough to love them as they are, and that is what I do! Thank you for your poem! My children are proud to say their mom is a teacher!

292. lorraine w. (australia)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

i had one teacher who made a difference, and seeing your poetry on stage reminded me of that teacher, and now i am a dance drama teacher who makes a godddamn difference! you've helped me more than you know

291. Chris B. (Canada)

Monday, January 19, 2009

I am currently a university student on my way to become a teacher and your poetry has had a strong influence on me. When I first came across your poetry on YouTube I felt so proud and so driven to continue on my path to being a teacher. I immediately sent the link to my friends and past teachers who made a difference with me. Now, anytime I feel stressed or overwhelmed with all my school work and tests I watch your video's and read your poems. Your words help me remember why I chose to be a teacher during times of midterms and finals. Attached is a picture of a Lacrosse team that I coached last season, where I found out first hand just how rewarding teaching can be.

290. April S. (WA)

Monday, January 19, 2009

I am a student at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington pursuing my Master's in Elementary Education. I am concurrently working on my teacher's certification for the state of Washington. During the last night of our Exploring Teaching class, our professor played your video "What Teacher's Make." I was covered in goosebumps! That video sealed the deal for me. I knew at that moment that that is what I want to do...Make a difference! Thank you for inspiring me!

289. Daniel P. (VA)

Friday, January 16, 2009

The last two years of high school I knew I wanted to teach, but by time I graduated I chose a different major and decided on a different path that led me to fail out of college. After a year of working I joined the Navy to get money to go back. After two years of service I didn't know what I wanted to do when I got out in two years. I thought long and hard, but nothing came to light. A dear friend showed me a video of you performing "What Teachers Make" and I knew instantly that being a teacher is what I wanted to do. Thank you for inspiring me to do what I know I should have been doing all along.

288. Abby F. (NY)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

When I was younger I was always told that I should be a teacher. My response, "I'll never be a teacher! You make no money and get no respect." When I finished my undergraduate studies I had no idea what I was going to do. My best friend had just become a teacher and that's when I made the first step in telling myself, "Why not. At least it's something to do until I figure out what I really want to do." Right before I began student teaching my teacher friend sent me "What Teachers Make" and that's when it clicked. I am currently student teaching and I love every thing about it. I can't wait until I have my own classroom to start shaping the minds of our future. I can't imagine doing anything else. "I make a goddamn difference!"

287. Christie M. (SC)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

When I was in high school, many moons ago, I had two very influential teachers who touched my life. The first being my 9th grade English teacher, who taught me to write, write, write. The second was My U.S. History teacher. Everyone who had already taken his class raved about the month that he would spend on the Kennedy Assassination. He was very passionate and very knowledgeable on the subject and made us think from every angle. When I left high school, I set off to become a nurse. Well, life happened, but nursing didn't. I spent 10 years in the ER working as a Tech (glorified nursing assistant) and another 3 answering 911 calls and dispatching police, fire and EMS. While I feel I made a difference in many lives during that time, I never felt whole. Finally, I decided on a career in education, as I've always had a knack for connecting with children and teens. I was tired of working holidays and summers, and teachers only work Mon-Fri from 8-4, right? LOL Last night was my first class at Anderson University in SC. Intro to Education. After the usual first class spiel and what not, just before she dismissed us, our professor read us "What Do I Make?" and it really pulled it all together for me and put into words why I really want to teach. My picture is of my husband and myself. He is a professor in Criminal Justice. I've been with him through the police academy, small town policing, university policing, narcotics investigations, and finally he found what he was meant to do. He refuses to see it, but when I was working 911, I'd hear every day from cops and my co-workers what a difference he had made in their lives, as a training officer and now as a teacher.

286. James B. (NE)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm a new teacher, dead set on the social and natural sciences in the middle level. I've never been much of a poet, but "what teacher's make" really struck a nerve. I'm looking forward to more inspiration...

285. Madisson D. (IL)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I first saw you when you performed my senior year of high school. At this point I was pretty sure I wanted to be a teacher but wasn't exactly sure why I wanted to until I heard that poem. Everything clicked that very moment, and I realized that is why I going to be a teacher, that is what I want to do everyday for the rest of my life. I am not a sophomore in college on my way to becoming a teacher and I share that poem with everyone, especially future teachers. I turn to that poem often to remind myself why I am doing what I am doing, and every time it is like a rebirth and get even more excited about becoming a teacher and asking someone when confronted, what about you? This picture is of me teaching Saturday school in N. Uganda, I can't wait till I am teaching everyday.

284. Karin W. (TN)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The saying on this picture is so true! After hearing Mr. Mali's "What Teachers Make" poem in a graduate class at MTSU, I was so fired up about teaching! His words planted the inspiration to continue on the path to becoming a teacher. I hope that I can be as effective in my classroom as Mr. Mali's poetry was on me. Thank you Mr. Mali!!!!!!

283. Art B. (VA)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Let me begin with a short background, I am 52 years old and in my first year teaching. I am a retired Air Force Weather Forecaster; and I just completed my B.A. in 2007. I went to college full time while working. After I completed my B.A.; I still needed a Teacher Certificate to be a serious contender for any teaching positions. I enrolled in a program offered by Old Dominion University called the Career Switcher program. It was during that program one of the instructors showed us a couple of your videos that are posted on Your video of What teachers make was the difference maker, I had thought of teaching, I was even pursuing a teaching career, but, to see your commitment to the field, and the passion you present I knew I had made the right decision, and I want to thank you for your inspiration. Let me share with you a first year experience. I am teaching 7th grade life science, I gave an assignment of create a cell cycle poster. I had one student not do a poster, she did a quilt. It was the most amazing work I had ever seen, I took her and her project to the Principal to show it off. What I did not know the Principal (a former biology teacher) was a quilter too. Three people left that meeting walking on air, The student that had her work recognized as something exceptional, The Principal that had a wonderful quilt for her wall, and me, who was beginning to understand how special this profession truly is. Thank you again for your inspiration, Art B.

282. James F. (Canada)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I am not teaching yet, however I am going through teachers college. I tripped across your videos when I was looking for educational videos for a presentation for school. Your work is a great inspiration. I am currently a swimming teacher, a guitar teacher, and have been working with children for about 10 years now. Anyways keep up the great work.

281. Kara M. (GA)

Friday, December 19, 2008

When I started at Kennesaw State, I was a Theater and Performance Studies major. For three semesters, I was stubborn in my ways. "Yes mother. I know I'll live in a cardboard box, but I'm okay with that. I'm going to make a difference through theater." I started performing stand-up comedy and slam poetry, but that was the only thing I really truly loved doing in theater. I felt like people would hear me and I'd encourage them to think. Then this past semester, I had an epiphany. If I teach I can encourage people to think at a one on one level and still have the time to perform stand-up and comedy and reach a larger mass of people. I can get them while their young and keep encouraging them when their old. I changed my major to History Education. I plan on teaching middle school social studies. Hopefully, I'll be able to teach students where they came from and why it's important to be an active, global citizen. I want to be able to say, "I make a difference" when someone asks me what I make as a teacher.

280. Anjum H. (Singapore)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Your poem was one of the first things I read when I decided to pursue teaching. I was so impressed that I kept reading more and finally left my engineering job and joined a school as a Montessori teacher. I am getting trained at the same time. Thanks for the poem! It is wonderful.

279. Desiree T. (CA)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a teacher. I can clearly remember a day at school when my fifth grade teacher said to me Dont be a teacher! I was taken aback by this comment and could not think of any reason why a teacher would tell me to not be a teacher. Confused, I asked her why she would say that. Her answer was We dont make enough money. At the time, being only ten years old, I could care less how much money I would be making. I went on through life still dreaming of being a teacher, regardless of how much money I would make. As I entered college I realized that life is expensive, and a teachers salary probably wouldnt be able to buy me the lifestyle I always hoped for. I began to get discouraged about the career I had chosen when I came across the poem What Teachers Make. The poem made me laugh and also reminded me why I had always dreamed of becoming a teacher in the first place. Now I am in college studying to be a teacher and I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is my dream job and that I am going to be very happy with the career I have chosen. The picture I have included is of ITEP. It stands for Integrated Teaching Education Program and is the program that I am involved in. So far this program has taught me many valuable things about teaching and I know that when I am done with this program I will be a great teacher. The picture is of my ITEP friends and I who are dedicated to changing the lives of our future students and becoming the best teacher we can be.

278. Troy W. (CA)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Your work entitled "What Teachers Make" helped me to realize exactly why I want to be a teacher: so that I can make a difference in the life of even one child. Currently I am two quarters away from graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Although the work is often confusing and difficult I think about your message and it all seems worth it.

277. Sarah H. (Australia)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

During the first semester of my teaching degree, I was near the point of dropping out when one of my lecturers played a youtube video of "What Teachers Make". I was inspired that day to really focus more on what I wanted to achieve through teaching. I decided that I wanted to work more with special needs children, to help accomodate them better within mainstream schools. I have just graduated with my teaching degree and have been accepted into a Masters program where I can specialise in Special Education. Thankyou Taylor, for making my goal clearer to me, and inspiring me to make a difference for some very special kids.

276. Sue H. (Australia)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I was born to teach but left uni before completing it because I was disillusioned by the reasons others were entering the profession. After having to modify the curriculum of both my eldest children's education to meet their advanced and special requirements..I decided to revisit my destiny as a mature age student. I am still unsure about the reasons some of my colleagues want to teach but am more worldly to know I can make that transformation in a the life of a child and hope to make it happen many times over. This is what I was meant to do, it is what I have undertaken in some way or form throughout my is the time for me to enter the realm I was meant to be in..TEACHING. When I feel doubt or uncertainty, Taylor's words remind me why I was meant to be a teacher. The image of the book tower represents for me the knowledge I impart and how it create a home for other knowledge and allows for it to be utilises in other forms.

275. Robyn C. (CA)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What do you do? I am a PhD student in geography. {{{Silence while they try to figure out how someone gets a PhD by memorizing capital cities and principle exports. Because thats what geographers do, right? Just like PhD students in mathematics spend their time memorizing the multiplication tables.}}} What are you going to do with your degree? {{{Silence because I had no good answer.}}} Until recently, I didnt have an answer more complex than this: I want to get my PhD because I love being a student and if I keep paying tuition they cant make me leave just yet. My usual flippant response to the whats next question was that I would travel around the country after graduation and make people call me Doctor. I was afraid to say that what I really want to do is teach. I didnt want to get into the what do teachers make discussion. I didnt want to commit to committee meetings and budget meetings and meetings to decide on the next round of meetings and using my ninja skills to negotiate authorships on the mandatory, rote, churned out publish or perish papers while my TAs do the part that I love to do: THE TEACHING!!!! I saw the what do teachers make video with my committee chair yesterday. His daughter had sent it to him. By the end we were both crying. Just like that, it was a done deal for me. I will teach. I will teach at a 2 year junior college, where the teachers are allowed to teach and the classes are small and where I can tell the students that you get out of a class what you put into it, whether you are paying hundreds of dollars per credit hour or $11. The picture is of me in my training gear, because outside of a classroom, I do my best learning and teaching on the mat.

274. Katherine M. (MA)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Last year in my eleventh-grade creative writing class I heard "How to Write a Political Poem." After deciding I liked the poem a great deal, I typed the title into the search engine and listened to it many times before deciding to click the links to other poems. "What Teachers Make" caught my eye. Naturally, I clicked the link and listened. Then I hit the "replay" button and listened again, and again, and again. The words of that poem gave me the reasons I needed to ignore all the people who tell me I "can't do anything with an English degree" or that I can "be so much more than just a teacher." No doubt this people want me to succeed, but I need to follow my heart.

273. Renee M. (MA)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thank you! I have always thought teaching was worth more than the money, and you just helped me to put it into perspective. I want to become a teacher because I care about the future of the world.

272. Elaine P. (MI)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Recently I decided that I wanted to be either an ESL (English Second Language) teacher or teach a foreign language here in the US. I'm only a junior in high school but I know what I want to do. Already, I'm teaching other teenagers and younger kids Japanese, French, and English. Teaching had always seemed like a fun idea and I'd always wanted to decorate my own classroom. After I saw Mr. Mali's "What Teacher's Make" performed by a performance poet Blair at my high school it was like my eyes were opened. I realized that not only can I teach, but that I can inspire, I can make a difference in other people's lives just by teaching. I'd never realized how influential teachers can be and looking back, I see so many examples of teachers who ruined kids lives and educations. It made me want to be the teacher that kids can come to not only when they need help with school work but when they need a shoulder to cry on. I want to be the teacher that students come to school even though they're sick just because they would hate to miss what I have to say. I want to be a teacher because I want to be a stepping stone and the helping hand that helps other kids do what they've always dreamed of doing, and with a smile. Not only do I teach languages. I teach love, respect, manners, and tolerance. I teach others to not make the same mistakes that our generations and others have made. I teach cultural awareness and understanding. I teach that diversity is how things should be and that what we all need is unity.

271. Benjamin R. (OR)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I had wanted to be a high-school English teacher since 10th grade, but like most adolescents, wasn't really sure of what I wanted from ANYTHING in life. In freshman year of college, I heard "What Teachers Make" for the first time, and Taylor confirmed that being a teacher meant everything I hoped it would mean. More support for this was added as I listened to "Playing Scrabble With Eddie," "Like Lily Like Wilson" and "Seventh Grade Viking Warrior. Thank you, Taylor, for making THE difference in my making A difference

270. Cindy D. (NY)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I was about to give up on teaching and then I saw your video on what teachers make! I just want to say thank you! I taught and then stayed home 11 years to raise my own children and when I came back NY state changed requirements and I had to take an additional 18 credits to get my certification or dual certification. I was upset and was going to give up and someone sent me your video and I'm one class away from reaching my goal. I work in a middle school now and I love what I do. Thank YOU! :)

269. Tina G. (NC)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You've really impacted my life in a huge way, and I think that you derserve to know how (so I will email you backchannel). The picture is a very bad one of me and the little girl I used to babysit, but she has taught me so much more than anybody could ever imagine.

268. Matthew O. (MA)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Four years ago, I was living in San Diego writing an incredible amount of poetry in addition to a novel. I had just been fired from my job as a sports writer and was looking for work. I wanted a way to continue doing what I loved doing the most, which is writing, but in a way where I could use my passion in a meaningful capacity. I purchased the Def Poetry season 1 DVD and was blown away by "What Teachers Make." My friend and I watched it several times in a row. It dawned on me that I could follow in the footsteps of many great leaders in history and encourage a generation to write, write, write...and reeeead.... So I did.

267. Natasha G. (OR)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Last year I was taking my last math class for my degree in Early Childhood Education. My professor Irv shared with us the video "so like whatever". What Taylor said about our generation speaking with conviction has stayed with me. I graduated and began my Master's program this year. Working with students everyday now, and knowing how many students' lives I will impact over the years is a huge responsibility. I just saw the video "on what teachers make" last week. It was the perfect moment to see this and everytime I watch it, it brings tears to my eyes. It's not about the money, it's about the passion that we have for teaching but also the ability to pass the passion for learning to our students...

266. Ray H. (UT)

Friday, November 14, 2008

In High School, I had been exceptionally intelligent for my age and I was very skillful at taking tests, so I would often have above average test results. However, because of my capacities I became arrogant and would refuse to do the daily class work, thinking myself above it. I almost failed High School because of this, but a handful of teachers invested in me so much that I was inspired by them to turn myself around and graduate. They taught me to always seek self improvement and always be a learner. The poetry of Taylor Mali is a powerful and concise expression of the passion and compassion that my teachers had for me, that had changed me. And now, of all the things that I had thought I would become, I am now a teacher in a private school. I thank my teachers and Taylor Mali for being two of the major catalysts which convinced me that my passion is also theirs: exhorting and challenging others to higher ground... by teaching. "Those who can, do; those who would do more, teach."

265. Heidi V. (Canada)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I am in a graduate program with the word 'pedagogy' in the degree and I find more inspiration to teach from you than I get in my entire program. I was close to dropping out and become a well-educated window washer before a good friend hooked me into you. I am going to be a great teacher, damn it, because my students deserve it. Thank you for reminding me to be diligent with my passion.

264. Nina A. (WA)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Taylor, a little reassurence you are making a differnce: I was day dreaming through an Information Technology lecture at uni. It was quite boring and I had lessons to plan for prac. It was our final lecture and it was a simple unit review. At the very end our Lecturer, Will, played the, Do you make a difference podcast from youtube. It was a light bulb effect; you made me realise exactly why I was sitting in this lecture. I want to be a teacher and pay packet means nothing! I'm finshing my first year at university, I will finsh my course and go out into the world to make a difference. I am only an 18 year old girl but in my life I plan to make a positive diffence to the lifes of hundreds if children. Taylor Mali, you are my eye opener and inspiration! You are making a difference! Much love and support, Nina.

263. Kristin G. (MA)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When I graduated college in 2003, I decided that very graduation day that I would not pursue my dream to be a teacher, that I would try to find something "more exciting" and "glamourous". Fast forward to January 2007, after I had been laid off from the 5th "more exciting" and "glamourous" job, I found myself bored at home, poking through poetry videos on Youtube. Mixed in amongst the various Def Jam videos was "What Teachers Make". It was that day that I decided perhaps it was time to dust of my dream of teaching and give it a try. I'm now in my second year of teaching High School English and I couldn't be happier. Every day I feel that standing up in front of my classroom is far "more exciting" and "glamourous" than anything else I could be doing.

262. Melissa G. (CT)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I remember getting an email. The subject line said "What Teachers Make." I was still working in the corporate world while my sister and aunt were becoming teachers. I refused to believe that I was supposed to be a teacher, and stubbornly stayed in corporate, despite my hatred of it. I read the email and nodded. I knew it was all true. But it wasn't until I went back to grad school and interned at a local high school that I finally understood. I felt like I was home, and I've been there ever since. Teaching is just a job, it isn't the summer breaks, and it is not a stop on the path to whatever it is I'm "supposed" to do with my life. It IS my life. My students are the light that illuminates my path, and I don't know what I would be without them. I know now the difference I make. I hope that someday they understand the difference they've made for me. So thanks, Taylor. I didn't realize it then, but I do now. You had a hand in helping me find my way to kids who needed me, even before I knew how much I need them.

261. Alex T. (FL)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Taylor Mali has informed me about the nobility of teaching with his poems. I entered into my freshman year of college as a business major with money on my mind. After reading and watching Taylor's poems, I was enlightened on the extreme gratitude that one receives from teaching. No amount of money on one's salary can replace that. His work has inspired me to pursue a career in teaching. I am currently majoring in education at the University of South Florida.

260. Elana M. (MD)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Since freshman year, I have wanted to become a teacher. I had a few extremely inspiring teachers throughout high school. I knew that I could not be happy doing anything else. A lot of times people tell me that I am too smart to be a teacher, and that I should become a doctor or a lawyer so that I can really support a family. Your poetry has solidified my desire to teach, however, and I will keep your message with me when I go off to college next year.

259. Scott C. (TX)

Monday, October 13, 2008

I spent a decade and a half working in the securities industry. It was indeed like you imagine with lots of coffee, screaming, stress, and fast money. The one thing they never show in the movies is what is missing: the difference. I can make and lose millions for people but 50 years from now, will they remember yet another stockbroker or financial adviser? What I learned was that money does not matter, people matter. I wanted to make a difference damn it. I want someone 30 years from now remember that evil math teacher that opened their eyes to the amazing world of numbers that touched their lives. I saw your video and decided that was my calling. It was that exact moment I decided my future. I love what I make now. A difference. Thank you for changing my life and the lives of my kids Taylor.

258. Claire V. (CT)

Monday, October 13, 2008

I am currently a senior in college, and in the midst of my student teaching semester. I'm working in a second grade classroom, and I must admit, it is rewarding, yet very challenging at the same time. A friend of mine showed me the "what teachers make" video, and I must say, it made me feel completely secure in the choice I have made for my career. All the doubt of whether or not I am cut out for the job went away. Teaching is an incredible experience, and this just puts it into words. Thanks Mr. Mali

257. Holly N. (CA)

Friday, October 10, 2008

I was struggling to work through my coursework to become a teacher and was losing motivation when one of my professor's showed my class your video. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen and the words gave me chills and renewed my faith in my career choice. Whenever I get stressed about my days in the classroom I watch your video and remember the passion I have for teaching.

256. Jessie T. (TX)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

As a biology major, I was intending (since I was very small) on attending medical school and entering the medical field, but throughout college and growing as a person I realized how I would like to make an impact on the world, by showing to others, one at a time, just how awesome and cool and "everyday" science really is. Since then I have been involved in programs that help to bring school subjects specifically science to underserved communities. I am now about to begin a program where I will get my Masters in Teaching and then go on to teach biology in those schools that many deam as "under achieving". I want to teach where others have failed before not only because I want the challenge but because I feel that is where I feel my gifts had led me. I think that Taylor Mali not only reiterated my personal philosophy on teaching but emphasized the importance of excited teachers. I love getting up knowing that a few days a week I get to help students see just how awesome scicence. I want to get my hands dirty. This picture is of me and a group of middle schools studnets that I worked with in a summer long program run through AmeriCorps. Here we had just finished a week long outdoor program where we took all the participating students to a camp and worked on teamwork and life skills.Most of these students live in very poor urban areas around Dallas and most are considered under achieving student by many school tests, but we learned about life through experience that summer. We were red cabin, so everything was oriented around RED, many of these students had never been in the outdoors like this!

255. Joshua B. (MO)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mr. Mali, I have decided to be a teacher, not just for the reason of mere persuasion from you, but from my own ambition. I have had a dream, for a very long time now it seems, to be a teacher in History. I am a war veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I served two tours, and I learned that I have the natural ability to teach and lead. I was really inspired by your poem, "What Teachers Make" on Russell Simmons Def Poetry. I want you to know that I want to make a difference with the future leaders of this country, no matter "What I Make."

254. Meaghan D. (TX)

Monday, September 22, 2008

After watching "What Teachers Make" I realized that teachers do truly make a difference. Every day a teacher somehow impacts a student's life. I then began to think about how many amazing teachers I have had that truly inspired me. I could only think of 5. When I tried to think of teachers who did really make me learn or think, I came up with a much longer list. I want to teach others that learning can be fun, and I want to spread my love of the English language through teaching high school English. I would have never thought about the impact a teacher can make if it were not for Taylor Mali's mission.

253. Bradlee S. (UT)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I was in my junior year of college when I saw Taylor Mali on Def Poetry Jam on HBO. He did reading of his poem "What Teachers Make". This poem impacted me so much and at a time where my future career was undecided. I am now in my 8th year of teaching high school where on the wall of classroom hangs the quote: "I make a difference. What about you?" --Taylor Mali

252. Amy-Jayne L. (England)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

During my BA I forgot why I wanted to teach. Taylor's poems reminded me. The picture below is of me and the people who pushed me through my teaching training, my fellow ICT teachers, who qualified with me.

251. Tommy N. (IL)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

To rephrase Lord Polonius, "Wit." Currently in second year of Theatre Education Degree First saw your work on youtube four years ago. You sure convinced me. You are a marvelous man, please continue to inspire as you so wonderfully do. P.S. The (unfinished) chalk quote is, "Anything not worth doing is worth not doing well. Think about it." (Robert Fulghum's book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarden)

250. Brett B. (NJ)

Monday, June 23, 2008

I watched a version of the "What Teachers Make" poem on YouTube shortly after attending a Teach For America presentation my sophomore year of college. Those two events changed my life forever. I am proud to say that I am now going to help "make a difference" in the lives of children in Newark, NJ as a part of the TFA-Newark '08 Corps!

249. Mickey D. (NJ)

Monday, June 16, 2008

I saw what teachers make and fell in love.

248. Sean M. (VA)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Some would not consider me a teacher yet, because I only train the Fire Fighter Jr. Squad at my local Volunteer Fire Department, but I do consider it teaching. I got the idea to become a teacher on my own, but what caused me to actually pursue the career was Mr. Mali. I was looking up videos on youtube one day and came across "What Teachers Make" and was completely consumed with the idea of teaching; the poem actually gave me cold chills. Nothing before then or after that has touched me like that poem did. I'm attending R.U. currently to become a history teacher. Thank you Taylor Mali, for the discovery of my passion to teach.

247. Kayla M. (NJ)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Taylor's enthusiasm and passion has inspired me to take the jump and commit to teaching. His words and poetry are just the push I need to stick with my goal of becoming an English teacher. Whenever I doubt myself, I watch his performance of "What Teacher's Make" and my passion for teaching and inspiring young minds is reignited. Thank you, Taylor Mali. For keeping me on track and away from Law School.

246. Cara M. (Australia)

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm currently in my second year of uni studying to become a teacher. High school with Chem & Eng to be exact. I was unsure whether I wanted to change to become a chemical engineer when my lecturer showed me the youtube link of your "What a teacher makes" performance. I loved it! Suffice to say I'm still going to become a teacher. . and I showed the clip to my mum,who said I was too smart to become a teacher. So, thank you. . . for showing my mother the importance of my choice!

245. Erin M. (Australia)

Friday, June 13, 2008

The girl despaired at her lack of direction. She was plagued by a constant flow of assessment; not all of which seemed applicable. Her course: Bachelor of Education-Secondary. Her dilemma: a course that teaches her seemingly useless information about becoming a teacher. Hark! what's this? Lo and behold! The girl never knew that poetry could stir such emotions within her! Although she was losing interest rapidly, the bigger picture was suddenly clear. She now inspires to be the teacher she has read about, hears about and wishes she had had.

244. Stephanie v. (TX)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I took two years off from school after going for two years in pursuit of a History Degree, with the ultimate goal to be a Civil War Historian. I absolutely love history, and so I thought that being a Historian would be the best career for me. But on the other hand, I love kids. I have been substituting for the past year at a small Christian school, and have recently gone back to school for a degree in Education and History. Hearing your poetry about being a teacher is so inspiring, and I've realized that this is the only thing I can be truly happy doing, helping kids love what I love, and learning how much the past influences our future. Thank you.

243. guido k. (Netherlands)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

You showed me how performance is the key factor in communication. body language and voice fusing with the words and message. Trained as an architect I am now involved in building projects with children. It is also true what they say about architects (both ways: lawyer/teacher bias. But after all we must all eat. Building navigational skills by doing we learn playwise. Language and math come together in clear but complex situations. coaching (teaching) is always in situ.

242. Jenny R. (United States)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Im killing some time on my free period in the cold hallways of Upstate NY. Christian Brothers Academy,Syracuse to be exact. Picture it, Hamilton, NY,maybe five or seven years ago. You and Patrick Lawler did a reading in a church that was also holding a book sale. I was moved by your poetry, although my intent was to surprise my favorite writing teacher, Mr. Patrick Lawler. I had applied to several MFA programs around the country, wanting to better myself as a poet. When I saw you perform your poetry, something snapped inside me or clicked into place. I figured out that I COULD be a poet and teach. Fast forward to graduation at LeMoyne and SUNY Oswego. I taught in England for part of my student teaching, and there is where I found my love of uniforms for students. Now, I teach at the best Catholic High School in the Central New York Region, and often find myself checking out your website for new poems. I turned the librarian at CBA on to your poems, as well as most of the English department. I know I make a difference, and the good days far out weigh the bad. Ill so this for as long as I can. Thank you for putting words to my emotions, because while I once dreamed of becoming a poet I have found I no longer have time or brain space for it. When I need to laugh, reflect, or remind myself why I do what I do, I take out one of your poems and read it. Thanks for the inspiration. I am taking the summer off to rediscover my poet self now that I am in touch with my teacher self.

241. Dennis R. (MA)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I had always assumed I would be a teacher, not because there aren't many options for those with a B.A. in English but because it was something I wanted to do. Movies like "Mr. Holland's Opus" were always favorites of mine and I always became quietly emotional at the end (in contrast I was left unaffected by "Old Yeller.") Late last fall when I had been accepted into Teach for America and was contemplating whether to accept I clicked on a link in an education major friend of mine's Facebook profile and watch the Youtube clip of "What Teachers Make." I went to the TFA website shortly thereafter and accepted my position. I start in two months.

240. Deb J. (NH)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I had already enrolled in Grad school, but was still having some doubts about pursuing the teaching path, given the fact that it is not the most lucrative financially. One of my professors introduced me to the poem "What Teachers Make" and it was certainly a refreshing experience to hear an answer to what many people, including my condescending ex-husband whose attitude is very similar to that of the lawyer in the poem, had tossed to me about teaching. Other works, such as "Undivided Attention", "Like Lily, Like Wilson", and Tony Steinberg: Brave Seventh Grade Viking Warrior, further firmed my resolve to teach, and the phrase: Let me teach like the first snow, falling, is to be found on the title bar of my e-portfolio, along with the credit to Taylor, in the byline, where it is due.

239. Phil B. (Canada)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I am a second year (soon to be third) education student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, I am majoring in Philosophy and I want to become a teacher so I can 'make a God damn difference' in the life of kids to come. My program required me to teach for 20 hours during my fall term, however I decided to stay and teach for the rest of the year. This year i taught music and visual art at an inner city school, and I feel that I have made a difference in the lives of my kids because I have been able to help them channel their emotions through art and music, ultimately improving overall classroom behaviour as well as academic achievement. I cant wait for the day to come when I will get my diploma and get a class of my own.

238. Danny P. M. (NY)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You have been an inspiration to me, affirming my belief that one of the most important influences in life is that of a teacher on his students. In my own life I have felt the positive effects of amazing teachers as well as the demoralizing sting of horrid ones; I have been inspired to create my own style by some instructors, and I have sacrificed grades for sticking to it with different ones. BUT, after it all, the positive growth has by far outweighed the negative. Thanks to the heroes, the poets, and dreamers of dreams like you, I have grown to the realization that I want to be part of that positive inspiring influence on others... I want to teach. Nothing compares to the feeling of making a real difference in this life.

237. Amanda H. (WV)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I just finished up my student teaching this past May. I never would've finished it and continued toward my Agricultural and Extension Education degree if I had not found your inspiring work. My first week was awful. My younger brother showed me your video on youtube at the time and it helped to remind me what teachers really do. Teahcing isn't always wonderful at the moment, but the end result is worth the trials and tribulations. Thank you so much for helping to keep teachers inspired and for contiuing to add to education workforce. My picture is of myself teaching ferret restraint (scruffing) for my small animal care unit during my student teaching experience.

236. Nicole B. (CA)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I have always toyed with the idea of putting my sanity on the line to become a teacher. After failing the biology program for veterinary science, I asked a friend of mine what my options were. She then sent me 'What Teachers Make' from youtube. It was at that moment I knew that I should pursue an english degree and teach the magic of the written word to the hopeless, wayward kids of the educational system- namely, high school students. If my sanity is so compromised, then it will be well worth it to just show them their potential. Thanks Taylor!

235. Cynthia V. (CA)

Monday, June 02, 2008

I was on the proverbial fence about going back to school. I wasn't sure I wanted to leave my cushy 'no brainer' job for the great unknown. Then my friend showed me What Teachers Make and we spent the evening listening to your CD. My friend, being a teacher herself and fellow lover of all things literary, thought I'd find it inspirational. I did, classes start this August, and I will be in attendance. Thank you.

234. Lia B. (NC)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

As part of the admission process to the Master Teachers Fellow program that I will begin on Monday at Wake Forest University, a video interview was required. I knew that if they asked me something like, As a future teacher, what standards will you hold yourself to? that I would quote a Taylor Mali poem. From, What Teachers Make, I had memorized, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor, and an A- feel like a slap in the face. How dare you waste my time with nothing less than your very best. I always knew for me, it was a moral imperative to become a teacher. It wasnt until I heard Mali perform at UNC-Wilmington that I realized teaching would perhaps be the noblest thing that I could do with my life. After college, I saw my Taylor Mali-inspired epiphany unfold when I began working as a classroom assistant at a charter school in San Diego. I had never felt more at home in my own bones than when I was leading the reading group that I had started, which eventually became known as the self-titled, O.G. (Original Gangster) Reading Group. I often stood back, bewildered that somehow I was able to encourage and help open the minds of the students. I witnessed impassioned readings and furious journaling from students that had joined cautiously, unsure of how much they were willing to share with others. At the end of the reading group, I told the students that I genuinely believed that what they had just been a part of, the sharing of opinions and feelings, the risk that they took when they opened up to each other, was perhaps one of the most noble things that they could have been a part of. And they agreed. P.S. The quote is supposed to be italicized and indented, and the picture is me with some members of the O.G. Reading Group.

233. Arrista V. (PA)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I am a sophomore in high school. However, I do wish to pursue a career in education. I think I've always wanted to do that, but there have been many people who have tried to deter me from doing so, mainly because "the pay isn't that great." I still told them that I want to be a teacher. After seeing a video of you explaining what teachers make, I have completely made up my mind on becoming a teacher.

232. Spencer K. (LA)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All through high school I never knew what I wanted to do. One day I realized I could one of two things: be a teacher or join the Air Force. Long story short: I have never been more certain about anything in my entire life. After hearing "What Teachers Make," it hit me about how much of an impact I would be making. I was born and raised in Haughton, LA, and even though I would love nothing more than to move around the world and experience life while teaching along the way, nothing would satisfy me more than to return to my small town school and teach high school English. Thank you Taylor, for what seems like a sword to battle the people that challenge my conviction and goals.

231. Maggie P. (MN)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hi Mr. Mali. I just wanted to tell you that I am just hitting the end of my first year of studies to become a math and theater arts teacher at the University of Minnesota. Its an odd combination, but it couldn't be more fun. I have discovered how much I love the thought that I can help and inspire, and cannot wait to begin my career. In about three years I'll be a real teacher and I suppose that would be the time to actually count me on your list. Maybe I can be a 1/2 for now or something. I was introduced to "What Teachers Make" in an AP English class last year. At the time I was struggling with what to do with my life. My mother wanted me to go to engineering school and I somehow knew it wasn't for me. I will give the main credit for me becoming a teacher to Rolf Olson, the wonderful teacher of that English class and the best mentor I could ever have asked for, but I can't tell you how much "What Teachers Make" gave me the confidence to go out and become an educator. There is something in society that makes it terribly demeaning to be a teacher. My own mother told me she didn't want me involved in such a "female oriented weak profession." Still, I started tutoring kids and knew it was what I wanted, and your words gave me many reasons to share with people. Best of luck in your teacher recruitment!

230. Morgan T. (GA)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mr. Mali, you are one of my personal heroes. 'What Teachers Make' definitely helped me in my decision to pursue teaching as a career. I hope to one day discover the feeling one gets from teaching and be able to create it for myself in my own classroom someday. My one true hobby is literature. Ive always considered teaching because it can be a way for me to bring my hobby into work and also to share my love and enthusiasm for written works with others. Reading your work has inspired me to take the steps towards becoming an educator. You have a brilliant mind, a moving voice, and you are an inspiration and mentor to me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have helped me give direction to my life.

229. Megan H. (MA)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I have always adored your work and truly believe that you were the one, through your poetry and words, that inspired me to become a teacher. While deciding on what to do in college, I thought about teaching, but I would constantly change my mind and find something else to focus on. When I went into college I had the mind set of becoming an Editor. However, after listening to your amazing poems and seeing how much teaching has influenced your life, I felt the need/desire to give back to students in my community. I am now finishing up my degree in Elementary Education with a minor in ESOL at Salisbury University, Maryland. I want to thank you for fueling my desire to educate and mold the minds of students.

228. Anna Louise J. (IL)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I was introduced to Mr. Mali's poetry in college by a theatre professor. I had just decided that acting was my passion, but after listening to Mali's work and poetry, I decided to switch my major to Theatre Education/English Education. I have know been teaching for 3 years and am loving every moment. Anytime I feel like I am a poor teacher and want to hand in my letter of resignation, I read Mali's work and visit his website. I feel accomplished know that I make high school students think out side of the box and challenge their way of thinking. The picture I uploaded is at the No Child Left Behind building in DC--you'll see I am pointing at the word CAUTION!!!

227. Matthew P. (FL)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I am in school for a double degree in special education. Because Ive been in school for so long, I started to feel that there was no end in sight. Then one day I was on YouTube and I saw one of your videos called "What Teachers Make". Suddenly, the passion I once had for a teaching career came back into focus. Few people understand how much a teacher can make an impact in a students life. Your work has made me renew my faith in the "education system" and made me proud to call myself a teacher!

226. Marni L. (NY)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I was recently sent your video on What Teachers Make. It has affirmed that I am going into the right profession. I am in my late 30's and finally decided what I want to be when I grow up. Im in the Masters program at Sage Graduate School in Troy, New York. I am studying to become a High School Social Studies Teacher. I was inspired by my former teachers when I was thinking about going into teaching but, when I saw your video it confirmed that I am going into the right profession. Recently I had the opportunity to teach a brief lesson while doing part of my required 100 hours of observation and I got such joy out of passing along my knowledge! So, thank you for putting the word out there that even though teachers may not be rich monetarily, we become wealthy in knowing we make a difference in the lives of others.

225. Linda L. (MA)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I've seen you perform twice before, once at the New England Young Writers' Conference in Ripton, Vermont (I was born and raised in Brandon, Vermont) and once at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. Well now I am no longer at Clarkson; I have transferred to Lesley University, a school of education in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I plan to become a middle school science teacher. Science has always been my passion, and you helped me to realize the best way to express my love for science is through teaching. Thank you for inspiring me to become a teacher!

224. Kelly P. (TN)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Count me in. I was taking a break today from writing my classroom management plan for the coming fall (the final assignment for one of my graduate classes this last semester before I begin to student teach!) and stumbled across one of your videos. After working so hard for the past year and a half and drowning in more work than I have ever seen before, as well as observing teacher after teacher who had lost the faith in their own classrooms, I was feeling discouraged. I couldn't help but wonder if in choosing this profession I'd bitten off more than I could chew. Then I found your videos on Youtube. I stopped working. I watched every single one I could find, starting with "What Teachers Make" and ending with "Like Lilly Like Wilson", and like... thank you! You helped me take another breath and remember the reason I'm doing this: I want to change lives. I want to be the one good factor in the life of a child who otherwise would have given up. I want to change lives, one 8th grader at a time. Thank you so much for doing what you do. I plan to show your videos to all of my teacher and pre-service friends, and I hope you have the same impact on them.

223. Kathy D. (GA)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I am currently a full time student at Piedmont College in NE Georgia. What makes me different is that I was inspired to go back to college at the age of 40 and become a teacher. We are lacking teachers who really care about the students and who WANT to teach. Many of the teachers that I've met consider teaching "just a job". This angers me as I have a love for young children and want to help and inspire them to be what they want to be. Your poem "What Teachers Make" hits the issues on the head! My English Literature Professor loves to use it in her class. I would love to be counted as one of your teachers because your poetry is inspiring and reminds me why I want to teach.

222. Rooster R. (TX)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'm currently studying commercial music management and creative writing in Austin, Texas. But a combination of the voices of my mother (a middle school teacher in Ok.) and Taylor have inspired me to approach a nobler end. I have decided to study to be an English teacher when I transfer to a four year university. I wanted to be famous when I was little, thinking that the lime light was the only tool for social change. Now I see that all revolutions begin with one. One vote, one heart, one imagination and the world is changed. Thank you for inspiring me and waking me up.

221. elizabeth s. (OH)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I have always believed that teaching is a vocation, a calling that some feel to devote themselves to the profession. I feel that Taylor's work has helped me to express to myself and others why I want to be a teacher and how important teaching can be. His work eloquently verbalizes my thoughts on what I feel I have been called in my life to do.

220. LeeAnn H. (NM)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I was going to be an electrical engineer, I hadn't told my adviser this yet, but I had already fast tracked myself my freshman year taking all the necessary pre-recquisit courses so that my following semester I could devote myself to the tedious task of all the required math courses and such that is required by the EE field. One day, within my second semester of school as I lay on my bed I was reading an email that my aunt, (27year veteran teacher ... at the time) had sent me, that paraphrased bits and peices of Taylor's work of the Poem, "What I make". I had in a previous email been bragging to my aunt about the amount of money i would be making and had told her that I myself had thoughts of being a teacher in my younger days, but had shunned those thoughts when I realized how little the teaching field offered in the ways of $money$, she was quick to cite Taylor's work, to demonstrate to me exactly why I 100% In the wrong major. Upon finishing this email, I tear rolled down my face, I realized i was an ass, I googled Taylor Mali's work, read almost everthing I could find. It was then, I realize, God I am an ass! But not only am I an ass... I am in the wrong freaking major. I changed my major that day, and even when things get hard, I pop in my copy of Def Poetry Slam, and watch Taylor preform the piece, "what i make?" and I know I made the right choice!

219. Jeff C. (IN)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm studying to be a teacher right now. I knew that being a teacher was always what I wanted to do. Following generations of teachers in my family, I always heard about making an impact and I didn't know what my potential was until I met a teacher who turned me onto your writings. Your words ring through me like a bell on a day that tastes like magic. I have one simple goal in my life and that is to change the life of a child. If I can teach one student to believe in them self and most important never to give up on thei