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Coming up on Connections: Monday, September 4th

Sep 1, 2017

Credit NPR

First hour: The Working Tapes of Studs Terkel

Second hour: APM Reports - "Keeping Teachers"

On this Labor Day, we bring you special national programming.

In the early 1970’s, author Studs Terkel went around the country with a reel-to-reel tape recorder interviewing people about their jobs. The result was a book called "Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do." The book became a bestseller and even inspired a Broadway musical – something rare for an oral history collection. "Working" struck a nerve, because it elevated the stories of ordinary people and their daily lives. Studs celebrated the un-celebrated. But until now, few of the interviews have ever been heard. For decades, the tapes were packed away in Studs’ home office. Radio Diaries and our partner Project& were given exclusive access to those recordings and spent a year combing through them to produce a new series for NPR. We also tracked down some of the people Studs interviewed more than 40 years ago. In this hour, our series The Working Tapes of Studs Terkel. Featuring interviews with a telephone switchboard operator, a hotel piano player, a Chicago police officer, an auto factory work, an advertising executive and more.

Then, there may be nothing more important in the educational life of a child than having effective teachers, but U.S. schools are struggling to attract and keep them. The problem is most acute in rural areas, where kids may learn math from a social studies teacher. In urban schools, those most likely to leave are black men, who make up just 2 percent of teachers. This APM Reports documentary tells two separate but connected stories about the teachers these schools desperately need, but can't hold on to: black men and those willing to work in rural areas. There are surprising similarities in why schools struggle to attract and keep these teachers that are particularly relevant now, when the divides between urban and rural - and white and black – are getting so much attention.