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Teacher Man: A Memoir (Frank McCourt #3)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  24,666 Ratings  ·  1,929 Reviews
Nearly 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.
Now here at last, is McCourt's long-awaited audiobook about how his thirty-year teaching career
Audio, 0 pages
Published November 15th 2005 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 11, 2008 Janean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  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
May 16, 2007 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  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
Sep 27, 2011 Luana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 30, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teacher Man is as good example as any that if you have wit and personality you can tell an entertaining story.

I think McCourt, with his humble yet playful, self-degrading Irish charm could read from the phone book and hold a reader's attention. But he has lots to say worth hearing, as he recounts thirty years of teaching in New York's high schools and community colleges.

A working class, blue collar teacher in the trenches, McCourt helped me better appreciate teaching as a profession; this is a
Aug 14, 2007 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jose Monarrez
4 estrellas y una reseña pendiente

De esos libros que empiezas a leer y no esperas mucho de él... Y lo terminas con una sonrisa grande...
Necesito más tiempo del que tengo, para expresar lo que este libro me hizo sentir/pensar...

“El aula es un lugar de gran dramatismo. Nunca sabes lo que has hecho para o por los centenares de alumnos que llegan y se van. Los ves salir del aula: soñadores, apagados, burlones, con admiración, sonrientes, desconcertados”
Feb 25, 2007 E rated it did not like it  ·  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
Jul 05, 2012 Fred Gorrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-biography
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
Mar 24, 2011 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reads
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
Feb 23, 2008 Heather rated it did not like it  ·  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
Sep 19, 2015 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favourite of Frank McCourt's books. I found Angela's Ashes just too unremittingly bleak.

Teacher Man is not all about teaching as it tells of how he lives in New York before accidentally becoming a teacher. Anyone who's ever been in a classroom and especially teachers will 'enjoy' his descriptions of being in a room with a group of kids who would rather eat dirt than listen to him. But he succeeds through his having 'kissed the Blarney Stone' and tells tales (mostly true) of his life.
E' il primo libro di McCourt che mi capita di leggere, anche se Adelphi ne ha pubblicati altri due, sempre autobiografici. In questo l'autore si concentra sui suoi lunghi anni d'insegnamento nelle scuole superiori di New York. La prima parte è molto divertente, brillante, si simpatizza subito con questo "povero" professore costretto ad avere a che fare con branchi di alunni adolescenti senza controllo. La seconda parte è invece più frammentata, non so se fosse stanco di scrivere, ma sembra aver ...more
JJ Marsh
May 17, 2012 JJ Marsh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 04, 2008 Dusty rated it liked it  ·  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
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
Kressel Housman
Angela's Ashes is Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer prize-winner, but I’ve been attracted to this lesser-known memoir of his since I heard him promoting it on NPR years ago. His younger brother Malachy is also a favorite guest on NPR shows; I’ve heard him read two of his short stories on “Selected Shorts.” One of them was about an Irish doorman working in a Manhattan luxury building on Christmas, and it was absolutely hilarious. I admit I got the two brothers mixed up, but this book set me straight. Both ...more
Thanh Hằng
Mar 25, 2012 Thanh Hằng rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Người thầy" mở ra bằng cảnh tụi nhóc choai choai ở 1 trường nghề ném bánh mì kẹp vào nhau. Nhân vật tôi - ông thầy trẻ tuổi dạy văn trong buổi dạy đầu tiên chẳng biết xử sao với tụi nhóc. Sau khi đấu tranh tâm lý, "anh" thầy bèn nhặt chiếc bánh mì lên, ăn ngon lành! Tụi nhóc phục lăn, nhưng sau đó anh bị hiệu trưởng gọi ra khiển trách vì...dám ăn trưa ngay giữa lớp lúc 9h sáng.

Bắt đầu từ câu chuyện đó, nhân vật tôi - thầy Franck McCourt kể lại bao nhiêu kỉ niệm làm thầy. Ông kể cả thời niên thi
Jan 15, 2012 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 11, 2012 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 11, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah... a book only English teachers could love. It's not for the faint of heart.

McCourt deals so well with the inner lives of English teachers. How we second guess ourselves, get embarrassed by superiors on not having read enough of the "right literature", fear kids will think we're either too strict or too relaxed, wonder if they'll ever respect us, pray they don't go off about how reading is not relevant to their lives.

He nails it.

Reader be warned though. I found myself laughing hysterically
María Paz Greene
Aug 26, 2016 María Paz Greene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobio
Aunque a veces tiene un humor demasiado amargo (o adulto) y presuntuoso... sigue siendo un libro casi excelente. La descripción de lo que es ser un profesor y los ejemplos cotidianos... ah, es tan inspirador y a la vez tan cierto. Siendo profesora yo misma, y años después, puedo decir que los alumnos no han cambiado. Tampoco los que luchamos contra ellos y, a la vez, procuramos amarlos. Porque sí, hay mucho amor involucrado, y es que no puede hacerse esa labor de otra manera.

Consuela, además, sa
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 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,
Jun 03, 2009 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 24, 2009 Roberta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2013 Greg Morrison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 McShane
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
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
Mike Staresinic
Nov 25, 2015 Mike Staresinic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who doesn't want to be a teacher and Irish after reading this, will never be either.

Better the second time around. McCourt is simply funny and entertaining.

You feel yourself in the classroom with him. You feel yourself understanding and understanding the laughter, of teachers that you know. Now that the author is late, I feel like mapping out the sites he mentions in Limerick. We should take the authors who are with us seriously, to appreciate where they're from. Reminds me that I miss both Mc
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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 about Frank McCourt...

Other Books in the Series

Frank McCourt (3 books)
  • Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1)
  • 'Tis (Frank McCourt, #2)

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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
“You have to give yourself credit, not too much because that would be bragging.” 11 likes
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