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Teachers Tell Their Stories

StoryCorps, the nonprofit that records and archives the stories of everyday Americans, begins a new oral history project dedicated to teachers on Monday. Through the National Teachers Initiative, StoryCorps will travel across the country during the 2011-2012 school year, recording interviews with more than 600 teachers. According to the website, the initiative's mission is "to call public attention to the invaluable contributions teachers have made to this nation, honor those who have embraced the profession as their calling, encourage teaching as a career choice, and unify the country behind its teachers."

Could this be a small step toward the mission often quoted by policymakers, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, of "raising the status of the teaching profession"? (Duncan is scheduled to speak at the initiative's launch, hosted at the White House.) It certainly fulfills one NPR reporter's plea for teachers to share their stories with the public.

A few teachers' recordings are already on the site, including one with Warren Weems, who works as a teacher's aide in his wife's 1st grade classroom. If you're ever in need of a good cry, happy or otherwise, StoryCorps is an excellent bet.

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