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Life Lessons Learned: The National Teachers Initiative

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You may have already heard of StoryCorps, the American oral history project on NPR. Two people sit down in a studio and talk, telling stories about their lives, and the people at StoryCorps record and archive the conversation.

StoryCorps is honing in on lessons about learning with a new project for the academic year, called the National Teachers Initiative. It'll feature conversations with teachers across the country — teachers talking to each other, students interviewing the teachers who changed their lives, and more.

"I think there is no higher calling than being a public school teacher in this country," StoryCorps founder Dave Isay tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Audie Cornish.

"Teachers are feeling under attack and underappreciated," Isay says. "We want to do our part over the next year to turn that around."

To kick off the series, Isay brings us the story of Al Siedlecki, a science teacher at Medford Memorial Middle School in Medford, N.J. One of his former students, Lee Buono, grew up to be a neurosurgeon. He came to StoryCorps with Siedlecki to tell the story about a patient who reconnected him with his favorite teacher.

Look for more stories from the National Teacher's Initiative on Weekend Edition Sunday each month for the rest of the school year.

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