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Learn Me Good

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,638 Ratings  ·  273 Reviews
Jack Woodson was a thermal design engineer for four years until he was laid off from his job. Now, as a teacher, he faces new challenges. Conference calls have been replaced with parent conferences. Product testing has given way to standardized testing. Instead of business cards, Jack now passes out report cards. The only thing that hasn't changed noticeably is the maturit ...more
Paperback, 210 pages
Published June 28th 2006 by Createspace
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 24, 2008 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone, especially teachers
Shelves: teaching
After each email ended, I was faced with a conundrum: keep reading on or stop and save the rest for later, savoring each email like a piece of fine chocolate. I wanted to keep reading on, but didn't want this book to end!

I stumbled across this book as I searched for books with the same themes as mine (humor, education). The book preview was enough to convince me to buy the book--I liked the author's style of humor and the writing was good.

This book is hilarious! I especially like how the author
Fun, true-to-life, with an authentic voice. Often I get impatient with first-year teachers' memoirs...too cute, too smug...too Esme. But this is a hoot. Maybe it's because it's written as emails to a friend--a snarky friend. Pearson entered teaching after he was laid off at his old job. But I never doubted his six city and commitment to his students...

His stories about his students are ones every teacher can smile at, nod his or her head at....we recognize his fear of parent conferences, his si
Arni Vidar Bjorgvinsson
Feb 15, 2011 Arni Vidar Bjorgvinsson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
The premise of the story may not seem overly interesting at first glance; an engineer starts working as a teacher and tells the reader about his experience with the children he teaches.
And this is definitely not my regular type of reading material, seeing as I prefer fantasy over reality.

That being said, perhaps because I wasn't expecting anything, this book just blew me away. Although mostly reading it in bed at night, with marginally half a brain running and thus barely 1/10th a sense of humor
May 11, 2011 Celia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: celia-can-read
Storyline: What can I say about Learn Me Good by John Pearson other than it really are good?! It’s better than good; it’s gooder even! Mr. Pearson’s hilarious book chronicles his first year of teaching through a series of emails to a former coworker. It almost makes me want to be a teacher. Almost. Jack Woodson was laid off from his engineering job that he worked at for nearly 4 years and decided to become a school teacher. After all the necessary tests, certifications and teacher’s training, he ...more
Jun 05, 2011 Judy rated it really liked it
John Pearson earned a degree in Engineering from Duke University and then worked for nearly four years in Dallas, Texas as a thermal design engineer before being laid off. He decided to go back to college to be certified as a math teacher and found himself at the beginning of the next school year standing in front of a class of 3rd graders in an inner city school as their Math/Science teacher. This book is the journey of that year of teaching told through a series of emails to his friend, Fred B ...more
May 13, 2011 Sheryl rated it really liked it
This book is entertaining even if you aren't a teacher. I am not a teacher nor have I worked in an elementary school but I still thought this book was very funny. Told entirely in emails from a first time teacher in an inner city Texas school to a friend and ex-coworker, "Learn Me Good" is wickedly entertaining and clever. It's not just the stories he tells but the way he tells them that make this book so funny. Be prepared to laugh out loud.

Since it is told in a series of emails of varying len
Feb 24, 2013 Shilpa rated it it was amazing
Aha! The book that I was sneakily reading when I was supposed to be studying for my university exams.. I remember my floor-mate giving me the has-that-chick-gone-bonkers look while passing by the place I was sitting and laughing my head off at apparently nothing in sight. Only after showing her my kindle app, she was convinced of my sanity!
Such perils of perusing this book..
So, be warned! ;)
Jun 19, 2010 Bridget rated it it was amazing
What a quick & fun read. I laughed out loud at something in every chapter. If you are a teacher or know one it's a must read. And if you're not, it's still a must read if you are looking for lighthearted escapism. I especially loved the great puns(is the term great puns an oxymoron?). Do yourself (and the author who is really a 3rd grade teacher) a favor & buy this book.
Jul 04, 2010 Al rated it it was amazing
The premise, one side of a back and forth email exchange between a first year elementary school teacher and a former co-worker, seemed a touch shaky. But as various books and TV shows have have proven for years, kids are funny. Something light and amusing fit my mood, so I decided I'd give it a try.

The kid part worked. As Art Linkletter used to say,"Kids Say the Darnest Things." (You kids reading this - anyone under 50 or so - google it.) The kids will keep you chucking most of the way. As will
Jan 17, 2011 TC rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour
This book takes the form of a series of emails from Jack Woodson to a former colleague, Fred. Jack was made redundant after nearly 4 years at a thermal design firm, and decided to retrain as a teacher. The emails cover his first year as an educator, teaching 3rd grade and while names have been changed to protect the innocent the emails are based on real experiences.

The format of the book meant it was a nice easy read, with the emails creating an equivalent to short chapters. It would have been a
Rachel "Rai29"
Jun 01, 2012 Rachel "Rai29" rated it really liked it
ISBN: 9781453646687
Publisher: Self / Indie
Pages: 210

Jack Woodson (Duke Engineering, class of '95) is currently living and working in Dallas, TX. He has forty children, and all of them have different mothers.

Jack Woodson was a thermal design engineer for four years until he was laid off from his job. Now, as a teacher (dealing with those forty children), he faces new challenges. Conference calls have been replaced with parent conferences. Product testing has given way to standardized testing. Ins
Mar 04, 2013 Derek rated it it was amazing
Learn Me Good is a fantastic book; one that will have you laughing from beginning to end.

My wife is a preschool teacher and I was constantly laughing as there were so many similarities between her stories and those in this book. For those with kids in grade school, you will definitely recognize your own kids in the characters in the book; hopefully more like Ariel and less like Mark Peter.

The book is written as a series of emails, and at first I wasn't sure but this turned out to be a brilliant
Sep 28, 2010 Candy rated it it was amazing
I am almost ashamed to say I purchased this book 15 months ago on my Kindle 2 during a buying spree, it quickly got lost. I found it again when the Kindle 2 got collections, but it quickly got lost in the "memoir" collection. I found it yet AGAIN and made myself promise to read it when my Kindle 3 came in, even making a special category for "read now" that has less than 12 books in it. So, I finally read it. I think part of my hesitation is that good self-published memoirs are rare, fabulous sel ...more
Mar 28, 2011 Penandra rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed John Pearson's "Learn Me Good". I frequently browse through a few of the "low-cost" kindle book blogs and this one was featured a little more than a month ago. I have family members who are teachers and my first major in college was ElEd. After reading John's book, I recall why I changed majors to Law Enforcement! ;-) I did think back to my own third grade teacher (Mrs. Woodrow at James Monroe Elementary) --- it really did give me a whole different perspective on third grade . . ...more
Mar 11, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable quick read about a teacher's first year.
The book was funny and reminded me of my own real life experiences as a teacher and a parent.
The format is strange: a series of e-mails to an ex colleague. But the format makes the read quick and gives some more variety than a simple diary or journal or memoir of events. Though you don't read the replies, the e-mails reference them and give a sense of a two-way conversation.
The author likes his puns and jokes and funny names. I think
Lauren Hidden
Sep 30, 2010 Lauren Hidden rated it really liked it
This was recommended to me by a friend, so I coughed up a few bucks and purchased it for my Kindle. (That’s rare; I usually just get the free ones!) It’s really good. In this “mostly true” account, John Woodson, a former engineer and victim of downsizing, makes a career change, and teaches 3rd grade math and science. Each chapter of the book is an email to a former co-worker at his old company. The book is downright funny—everything from the kids’ names to the funny questions they ask and ridicu ...more
Aug 06, 2010 Deanna rated it it was amazing
Learn Me Good is an often laugh-out-loud, 'probably-true' story of an engineer who loses his job and ends up teaching 3rd grade math in Dallas, TX.

The book is presented as a series of emails that Mr. Wooden...uh, Woodley...errr...Woodson (read the book, you'll understand that part) sends to a friend at his prior employer about the kids he's teaching and the crazy things they do and say. It's worth the small price of the book just to read the subjects & clever names with which he closes ever
1000 +
Jun 06, 2011 1000 + rated it really liked it
Jack Woodson is an Engineer turned Elementary School teacher. Follow Jack through his first year as a Math Teacher as he emails former co-workers his funny and strange stories straight from the classroom.

A funny look inside the classroom through the Teachers eyes.

Lets Talk About It:

This is a cute, funny book.

I love the unusual format of reading 'emails' in the book as the way to tell the day to day antics of his classroom and students.

Every single 'email' had a cute funny story about the chil
Jan 15, 2016 Aimee rated it liked it
Learn Me Good is the story of Jack Woodson's first year as a third grade teacher in Texas. He started his career as an engineer but when he was laid off from his job he decided to try teaching instead. The book follows the ups and downs of his first year as math teacher through emails sent to his former co-worker.

This is a funny and fast read that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Pearson had me laughing through the entire book. Each of the e-mails tells a story of something that happened during the sch
Mar 25, 2008 Johntaylor1973 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: current and future teachers
Recommended to Johntaylor1973 by:
I got this from my friends at They're in Texas and this was a surpise they threw into my order. I was so excited! Though it's written by an elem. school teacher, I found so many instances where (I teach HS) I found myself laughing and remembering similar situations.

It's told via emails between the brand-new teacher and his friends back at the Heat Pump Company (I guess due to legal reasons he had to make up a fake name or something).

It becomes a nice and easy-to-read calendar of
Jan 22, 2011 Liz rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
John Pearson's first year teaching memoir, Learn Me Good, is an accurate portrayal of the life of a classroom teacher. Pearson's entire first year of teaching math and science to forty third graders is told in a unique e-mail format. Though Mr. Pearson teaches third grade in what seems to be an urban district and I teach high school in a small town, I often found myself giggling because our day to day interactions with students are strikingly similar. No matter where or what you wil ...more
Feb 04, 2012 Heidi rated it liked it
We follow a first year teacher as he emails his former co-worker about the crazy antics of his third grade class in Dallas, Texas.

This was free on my Kindle and it looked mildly interesting so I picked it up. When I started reading I thought, "Here's another joe (or Barry!) who thinks he can just gather up some emails he's sent and call it a book." but the more I read, the more involved I got into these kids' lives. You find yourself nodding and laughing when he says to his buddy, "And you know
Jan 05, 2012 Tmholland38 rated it really liked it
This book wasn't quite what I was expecting - it was better!

I downloaded this as a freebie on my new Kindle Fire as something light-hearted to read. There were definitely moments where I was in tears from laughing so hard. Pearson has a great sense of comedic timing which can be extremely difficult in writing. Just when there's a lull, he drops in a pop culture reference or a tie in to an earlier segment. The laughs were great and if that were it, I would have given it three stars.

What really a
Karen Fowler
Jan 20, 2012 Karen Fowler rated it really liked it
Learn Me Good is a funny, quirky glimpse into the day of a third grade teacher. I haven't been reading much in the way of non-fiction/ humor lately, but I've seen the author on some Kindle forums and I liked his style. So I got the book. Now, I like his style even more.

With Learn Me Good, Pearson mines comedic gold and I found myself LOL-ing (laughing out loud, for the uninformed) one too many times. My husband was beginning to worry about me. Well, probably not beginning to worry-- but that su
Jan 09, 2016 Julie rated it it was ok
I would give this 2.5 stars. As a teacher, many of the stories were relatable, and at times, funny. However I just didn't connect to the teacher and his experiences the way I wanted to. I'm not sure if it was the writing style or format (emails), but for me, this was just okay.
Todd Cannon
Feb 02, 2012 Todd Cannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
I loved this book. I guess my only criticism was that it was too short. I wish it had gone on longer. I was able to get this book free from a limited time deal through It was described as being like "Up the Down Staircase" which it is. I may have to buy the sequel, "Learn Me Gooder" which is probably why they offered this first one for free. Anyone who has been a teacher, knows a teacher, or even remembers what it was like to be in school should read this book. I sometimes laughed un ...more
Jun 14, 2011 Janell rated it really liked it
This is the story of a laid-off-engineer-turned-third-grade-teacher, "Mr. Woodson". Mr. Woodson recounts his classroom exploits via a school years' worth of very funny emails to one of his former coworkers at a heat pump company. The email format of the book is engaging, allowing the reader to feel privy to the highly descriptive and at times guffaw-out-loud stories (yes, I admit - I didn't just chuckle, I outright guffawed in places reading this. How often can one claim to guffaw, I ask?)

The f
Jan 05, 2012 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-adult
I did find myself laughing out loud several times. Kids do say the darnedest things! The author's caustic sense of humor did occasionally make me uncomfortable, but there were a few sweet parts to kind of counteract it. You can tell he does actually enjoy the children (for the most part) and he must be a good teacher to have gotten them all to pass the test. That said, there was a lack of understanding when it came to his special needs children that kind of bothered me (ie. just calling them nut ...more
Bill Semk
Jun 13, 2011 Bill Semk rated it it was amazing
The author mentions (I don't remember where; maybe on his blog) that this book is geared to and for teachers, but it's very funny stuff for everyone. We've ALL been in grammar school (at least I presume that members of Goodreads have gone at least that far in school).

John Pearson's writing style is clever, current, and entertaining. You can check Learn Me Good out at YouTube where the author reads excerpts from LMG.

He's currently working on Learn Me Gooder and I'll be getting that one too ... al
R.M. ArceJaeger
Mar 28, 2012 R.M. ArceJaeger rated it really liked it
This book is full of dry humor that had me laughing out loud a couple of times. Everything from scatology to sex is discussed (though thankfully in no further depth than a mere mention!), and one is left wondering exactly what kids know (and how they know it!) nowadays. There were a couple of teaching ideas mentioned that I may snare if I ever become a teacher, and a renewed respect for all educators. I was also left in awe of how knowledgeable Mr. Pearson must be. His in-line mentions of everyt ...more
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John Pearson was born just outside of Washington, DC, but moved to Texas as quickly as he could. Growing up with a passion for science, math, and calculator watches, he obtained engineering degrees and basketball (watching) accolades from Duke University and Texas A&M. His first job out of college was designing small solid-state heat pumps, where his cubicle simply was not big enough to contai ...more
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“Jack Woodson is currently living and working in Dallas, TX. He has forty children, and all of them have different mothers.” 3 likes
“However, mathematics-inspired books such as Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians (with its valuable, realworld lessons on subtraction) are fair game.” 0 likes
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