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Teacher Man: A Memoir
 
by
Frank McCourt
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Teacher Man: A Memoir (Frank McCourt #3)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  20,110 ratings  ·  1,704 reviews
Over a decade ago Frank McCourt became an unlikely star when, at the age of 66, he burst onto the literary scene with "Angela's Ashes," the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir of his childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Then came "'Tis," his glorious account of his early years in New York. McCourt's classic audiobook about how his thirty-year teaching career shaped his second act as...more
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Published October 28th 2008 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Janean
This book is difficult to review. While I appreciated McCourt's attempt to recognize teachers (especially English teachers) and the work (often underappreciated) that we do, I felt that his theory of if we all "think outside the box" and try to be friendly with our students, than we will have a successful teaching career, a bit unrealistic, overly idealistic, and in many ways, condescending. While I do admire some of his methods, and enjoy his writing style, I found that the times when he let hi...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jul 20, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Charles Van
Shelves: memoirs, series
My fourth book by Frank McCourt and I am still impressed.

Teacher Man (2005) is the last book of his 3-part tragicomic memoir and it is about his experiences as a teacher in at least 3 schools in New York. He spent 33 years teaching high school students before he retired at the age of 60 and wrote his first book, Angela's Ashes at the age of 66. The book changed his life tremendously. He won a Pulitzer in 1997. National Book Critics Circle Award in 1996. He met President Bush, Lady Diana and othe...more
Luana
Titolo: Ehi, prof!
Sottotitolo: I libri non sono oggetti. I libri hanno l'anima

Caro Frank, è ormai la terza volta che ti scrivo, ti do del tu perché ti conosco da quando eri un moccioso e vivevi a Limerick, e anche se sei morto professore a New York, io ti ricordo così, come quell'infelice infante irlandese e cattolico.
Siccome ormai abbiamo la confidenza adatta, e non mi piacerebbe essere disonesta nei tuoi confronti, te lo devo dire, ho pianto per le prime trenta pagine di questo ultimo libr...more
Kate
May 16, 2007 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers, avid readers
Shelves: nonfiction, memoirs
At first, I was a little disappointed, because the book went by so fast. He summed up 30 years of teaching in a little over 200 pages.

Then, when I thought about it, I realized how much it made sense. I've only been teaching for five years, and at times, it feels like forever, but at the same time, it's gone by so fast. I think McCourt captured that perfectly.

Also, I love his self-deprecating humor. There are many times when I feel like a fraud as a teacher, but I know that if I tried to write li...more
Tom
McCourt has a compelling style of writing, an extraordinarily masculine style (I don't know what this means exactly, but if I were ever to try to pin down what I thought made for "masculine" writing, I'd definitely look at McCourt's book, if only to avoid the traditional recourse to Hemingway). One thing that was nice about it was that it was a memoir that happened to be about a period in his life when he was a teacher -- i.e. that happened to be about teaching. It clearly wasn't a "teacher mem...more
E
Feb 25, 2007 E rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
i hated this book. i didn't like the style of his writing. i didn't like the way he talked about his teaching and what he did in his classroom. as i kept on reading, i was just like- dude- you are not a good teacher. but maybe it's just the way he presented himself.

when i got to the end, i was like- so. what was the point? but i guess the point was that this is part of his life story.
Fred Gorrell
The first chapter of this book is so exquisite that I have caught myself rehearsing it as a possible public reading many times. Mr. McCourt describes his first day as a new teacher standing before a class of hardened urban students. It bristles with irony and suspense comparable to great classic comedy scenes. I read the book for the first time shortly after it was published, at the end of my first year as a teacher, and identified with Mr. McCourt's predicament completely. If only I had managed...more
Amy
I read this book years ago, at the start of my teaching career. I can't remember if I was student teaching or if it was my first year, but nevertheless, I was a newbie. I actually started reading it again forgetting this was the Frank McCourt book I had read years ago. It took me about two pages to realize my mistake, but I figured I might as well finish it since I hadn't even remembered I had read it in the first place.
McCourt no doubt has some questionable pedagogy. Some of his out-of-the-box...more
arcobaleno
Non è così appassionante e coinvolgente come Le ceneri di Angela, ma lo stile è ugualmente molto scorrevole, con la solita vena di ironia; l'ho letto tutto d'un fiato, nonostante sia un racconto non unitario, ma un succedersi di tanti episodi legati comunque tra loro dalla vita di insegnante di McCourt. Così emerge una miriade di personaggi, di alunni con le loro storie, storie uniche, personali, spesso con le loro vite difficili di figli di immigrati. In tutto questo mondo McCourt si trova coin...more
Dusty
Jan 04, 2008 Dusty rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Inexperienced teachers!
Shelves: read-in-2008
Frank McCourt: The Irish-American Larry McMurtry?

I ended up with mixed feelings about this book. I loved -- no, adored -- the first section of this wry, honest memoir. The second section was solid, also, but felt a little out of place. (My reaction: What? McCourt's in Dublin drinking, cheating on his wife, and not getting the doctorate he's supposed to be working on? What does this have to do with his high school teaching career?) The third section returns to and wraps up his teaching career. I...more
JJ Marsh
A very different book to Angela’s Ashes. It’s like listening to a witty, self-deprecating yet passionate man tell you stories of his life. You can even hear his accent.

McCourt talks about his time as a teacher; how it came about, his successes and failures, his talent for telling stories.
In other hands, this could read as one long ego trip. But this man is, was, a master storyteller. He draws you in with his confidences and asides, making you believe you’re sharing his secrets.

I met Susan Jan...more
John
Almost As Good As "Angela's Ashes"

McCourties of the world rejoice! You have nothing to lose but your tears of woe anticipating when he'd return with his next book; the foremost memoirist of our time is back. Frank McCourt's "Teacher Man" is a spellbinding lyrical ode to the craft of teaching. It is a rollicking, delightful trek across nearly thirty years in New York City public school classrooms that will surely please his devout legion of fans, and perhaps win some new admirers too. Truly, with...more
Discoverylover
Frank McCourt has been a favourite of mine since high school where I read 'Tis and then Angela's Ashes, so when I saw a copy of the final book in his memoirs, I snapped it up, and read it. I enjoyed it so much that I passed it on the a friend from TColl, who enjoyed it just as much as I did, and so she passed it on to another friend of ours from TColl...so it's done a miniring among friends :-)

I'll probably take this one to the meetup on Tuesday :-)

From the back

"From the Pulitzer Prize-winning,...more
Roberta
i'm fascinated, as usual by the negative reviews of this book. ive never read anything that spoke to me about teaching the way this book did, and about the rest of the stuff we're all to deal with in general. perhaps the people who dont get it arent rebels at heart...perhaps they are individuals who havent had a boss scold them or perhaps theyve just always felt in control. but i am grateful for this book, and moreso for frank mc court writing about everything he chose to detail in all three, an...more
Greg Morrison
I read Teacher Man on a whim. I read Angela's Ashes seemingly in a past life, and scarcely remember much of it. Did he throw up his communion wafers, & did the priest chastise him for rejecting the body of Christ? And do I remember him having to lick it up? Was there also some closing section that involved the long death of a sweetheart to tuberculosis, or am I confusing that with Van Morrison's "T.B. Sheets"?

Teacher Man doesn't demand extensive knowledge of Frank McCourt's other two memoirs...more
Alien  Citizen
Also heard this one read by the author on cd. Not nearly as good as 'Tis. I liked hearing about his life and the impersonations of students was somewhat amusing, if not repetitive and grating on the nerves, but I actually felt like this story was a little cheesy. It seemed like he fell back on a lot of cliches of that old standby, the uplifting story of the teacher who makes a difference. I don't think that this was at all intentional and I'm sure that he probably was as honest about his teachin...more
Melissa Proffitt
Not as good as Angela's Ashes, better than 'Tis. McCourt is unfailingly honest about what it was like for him to teach English at four high schools and one college of varying levels of quality. Unfortunately, what it was like for him was pretty bleak. Well-trained in the Catholic art of Examining your Conscience (his words), McCourt also supplies a ready stream of insights into his personality. I can't fault him for this, but it made me sad for this Irish American who was so consistently hard on...more
Heather
Feb 23, 2008 Heather rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Heather by: self
Shelves: nonfiction
I do not like this book. I thought, "He's a teacher, I'm a teacher. I should read it," and "He wrote 'Angela's Ashes' which people seem to like, so I'll read it." I wish I'd left it alone. I actually bought the book for someone else, but then I decided to read it myself and give her something else. I'm glad I didn't give it as a gift.

Frank McCourt was a high school teacher in New York and is an immigrant from......Ireland! He was actually born in America, but his family moves to Ireland, and he...more
Mikey B.
An amusing book and the author can to spin a good yarn. It is noble that he sings the praises of being a teacher for it is a profession well worthy of being written of. However there are times where he seems self-absorbed and draws too much attention to himself (Woody Allen style).

The book can be a little too much of “McCourt and his students” instead of being “the students and McCourt”. There is self-centredness of how the students feel about the author. The writing can be wonderful when he foc...more
Russell Bittner
This is the second work of Frank McCourt’s I’ve read (the other being Angela’s Ashes, which I read and reviewed in September of last year). And since he chooses to call both of them ‘memoirs,’ I can only conclude that the man knows what he’s talking about and is a master of the form.


McCourt is about as real a writer as I can imagine. His language is straightforward – never hackneyed, never trite – and every situation he describes seems to lift right off the page and into a reader’s eyes, ears, n...more
Philip
Wow. I loved this book. LOVED it. Maybe I'm just a sucker for a good teacher memoir.

McCourt got the Pulitzer for Angela's Ashes, and he didn't write it until he was 63. Until then he'd been teaching. And he was (negatively) categorized as such.

McCourt epitomizes teachers in this book, and he humorously documents the challenges we all face.
Cathy
I had read this one before, but decided to listen to the audio version from the library because #1 it's good, and #2 it's read by the author. Hearing the author made it even better the second time around. His accent is great, and his sense of humor comes through better on the audio. A couple times, as he tells a story, he chuckles, and it's so great I had to rewind to hear it again.
Mr. Z
"This is the situation in the public schools of America: the farther you travel from the classroom the greater your financial and professional rewards." While I can certainly related to and even laughed at many of McCourt's classroom challenges and adventures, I tried not to buy into the feeling of all being lost with today's students. No, the bulk of today's students don't appreciate their education nearly as much as they would have 50 years ago, but let's not blame our students for all of thei...more
Linda George
What did I think of this book...and of his previous two books? Amazing. And the only way to "read" his books is to listen to him narrate his own story. What a gifted writer and teacher!

I loved Mr. McCourt's honesty. At no point did I hear him excuse his poor judgment away by whining about his horrendous upbringing in poverty or his father's affinity for the bottle. It may have been there, for sure, but *I* didn't hear it, simply because I enjoyed every single word that the man spoke.

As a woman...more
Bart Breen
More of the Same - And that is a Good Thing!

McCourt has a very consistent writing style with a very appealing, and revealing style.

I listened to the Audio Book as McCourt read it himself. I highly recommend that. There are very strong meanings and reinforced patterns to be gained by listening to his lilting Irish Brogue.

McCourt writes as he thinks, and in doing so his book is both biographical and very psychologically revealing. Sure it gives insight to the teacher. But it really shows us oursel...more
Heather
Apr 15, 2011 Heather rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather by: Lorri's b.o.b pick
This book doesn't fall into my normal type of readings. That doesn't account for the low rating though. I needed to read this for my book club (I know I sound like I have to justify why I read this book, sorry). I love my book club, because I get to read books I normally wouldn't, at least not right away.

I didn't like this book for a number of reasons. Frank McCourt's writing didn't appeal to me. Most of the book seemed like one long diatribe about how sucky it was to be a teacher. A lot of us k...more
Ryan
Pretty lame. I'm actually quite disappointed. My dad bought this for me for my birthday the first year I began my teaching career, and after reading 20 pages I had to put it down -- the first chapter read like every single day of my new existence. I set it aside, vowing to come back to it, and now that I have I feel like this guy was perpetually stuck in the cycle of a first-year teacher.

I really didn't like anything about this book. I hate most memoirs in general -- their style, their narcissi...more
Rebecca
Lately I've been obsessing about what-I-will-do-when-I-finally-grow-up-quit-trying-to-escape-my-destiny-and-go-back-to-teaching-high-school-English. This book was on the shelf at the library with all sorts of dreary How-to teaching books, decorated with apples. But this is not a cutesy book with lists of activities. I recognized McCourt's name, but I haven't read anything else of his, so I had no expectations going in. It's a quiet, sort of sad, really funny story of an entire teaching career. I...more
John
This author wrote ANGELA'S ASHES which I have not read, but the title of course intrigued me.

There is a lot of adult information and language, not for the junior high yet.

I could identify with this author on many different levels. I haven't cheated on my wife (or gotten a divorce). I teach junior high, maybe that's the difference (I guess I also teach fifty years after McCourt).

However, when he talks about the suitcase full of papers watching you from the corner (definitely been there and done...more
Kristen
Wow...I really enjoyed this book! I feel it is a definite must read for all teachers, and also for those who don't understand what teachers really experience. In my mind, he captures teaching quite accurately - you go to college to prepare for the classroom, but you never learn what you really will be doing. You're not just a teacher; you're a confidant, a story teller, a therapist, a parent, a friend, a police officer, and so many more occupations. I don't pretend to understand the plight of a...more
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Francis "Frank" McCourt was an Irish-American teacher and author. McCourt was born in Brooklyn; however, his family returned to their native Ireland in 1934.

He received the Pulitzer Prize (1997) and National Book Critics Circle Award (1996) for his memoir Angela's Ashes (1996), which details his childhood as a poor Irish Catholic in Limerick. He is also the author of 'Tis (1999), which continues t...more
More about Frank McCourt...
Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1) 'Tis (Frank McCourt, #2) The Angela's Ashes/'Tis Boxed Set Angela and the Baby Jesus Angela's Ashes/'Tis/Teacher Man

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“Just let them sit in the goddam sun. But the world won't let them because there's nothing more dangerous than letting old farts sit in the sun. They might be thinking. Same thing with kids. Keep 'em busy or they might start thinking.” 21 likes
“There are so many ways of saying Hi. Hiss it, trill it, bark it, sing it, bellow it, laugh it, cough it. A simple stroll in the hallway calls for paragraphs, sentences in your head, decisions galore.” 8 likes
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