You may not know this, but our Teaching Channel community has created quite a stir with one of our videos, "What Do Teachers Make?" (that's 2 million-clicks worth of enthusiasm). In this video, poet Taylor Mali performs the poem he made famous at Slam Poetry competitions nearly a decade ago. I remember the first time I read it (and cried), then saw it performed online (and cried), and then saw him perform it live (and stood in applause). It was as though he was talking directly to me, as though he had revealed the secret swell of conviction we teachers understand. Then I met Taylor. Shared a dinner with him. Asked him that question I'd been pondering: "You're not in the classroom anymore, right? Then how do you know who to write for?" It took us awhile to get to an answer, but eventually he said, "Sarah, I don't really write for the teacher. I don't actually write for the students or even myself. I write for the poem."
I write for the poem.
As we are about to welcome the beginning of National Poetry Month, I think it's important we remember the poetry of our profession: those lines and verses who walk through our doors each day. Those slant rhymes and staunch sonnets. Taylor Mali writes for the poem, but you teacher-poets, so do you.