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Nicholson Baker And Michael Copperman: Teaching In Public Schools


We sit down with authors Nicholson Baker and Michael Copperman whose new books each chronicle their experiences teaching in vastly different school districts.

We sit down with authors Nicholson Baker and Michael Copperman whose new books each chronicle their experiences teaching in vastly different school districts.

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Today we bring you a conversation we recorded earlier this month as part of the Wordstock literary festival. Nicholson Baker, a celebrated novelist and non-fiction writer, spent 28 days working as a substitute teacher in a middle class, rural school district in Maine. He wrote a book about that experience called “Substitute: Going to School With a Thousand Kids.”

Meanwhile, Michael Copperman, who now teaches writing at the University of Oregon, wrote a memoir called “Teacher: Two Years in the Delta.” It details his experience working as a fourth grade teacher in an impoverished, 100 percent African-American school in the Mississippi Delta.

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