Teacher Man


Teacher ManTeacher Man by Frank McCourt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such a great and satisfying book for where I'm at right now. I love Frank McCourt and who knows why it took me this long to read the third of his memoirs. But thick in the middle of my first year of teaching it hit the spot it ways I can't fully articulate.

What I loved:
His honesty. It has been so long since I read his first two that I forgot how much I love his writing style. But especially applied to the crucible of teaching, it was just exactly what I needed. He lays it out in a very refreshing way.

What I learned:
That I'm not alone. That it's just the nature of the beast to never feel completely sufficient for the task.

A favorite passage:
I didn't always love teaching. I was out of my depth. You're on your own in the classroom, one man or woman facing five classes every day, five classes of teenagers. One unit of energy against one hundred and seventy-five units of energy, one hundred and seventy-five ticking bombs. And you have to find ways of saving your own life. They may like you, they may even love you, but they are young and it is the business of the young to push the old off the planet. I know I'm exaggerating but it's like a boxer going into the ring or a bullfighter into the arena. You can be knocked out or gored and that's the end of your teaching career. But if you hang on you learn the tricks. It's hard but you have to make yourself comfortable in the classroom. You have to be selfish. The airlines tell you if oxygen fails you are to put on your mask first, even if your instinct is to save the child.

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