Janean's Reviews > Teacher Man

Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
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Jan 10, 2008

liked it
Read in June, 2008

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 his true sentiments show (like telling a kid to stop being so ignorant and have some respect for the English language, or having days where you were just sick of whining teenagers...does that make me mean or already jaded?)or when he simply let the student anecdotes speak for themselves, were my favorite parts of the book. I do think this is a more honest perception of teaching (especially the first part where he is working in the "tougher" schools during his first few years) than many other movies I've seen that try to portray teaching. Some of the autobiographical stuff could have been left out--too much information sometimes.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Jillian Interesting choice! I thought you were gravitating towards fiction! Well, enjoy! It's pretty good--I just remember it not being what I thought it was going to be.

Andrea Comment re: being Jaded. No, whining teenagers get sick of themselves and eachother, too. The best liked teachers where I work use sarcasm, (they love sarcasm) and other non-recommended interaction with students, like telling them when they're full of it.

Heather Emokpae I'm not sure his message was to replicate his teaching methods in a classroom to be successful, but rather to find what works best for each individual teacher to have the most impact on students within their classroom.

Mister Southwick I agree with Heather - I don't think he was really giving out any "advice" on how to teach, but rather telling a story and hoping others glean something out of it. The point is to have an impact in whatever way you can.

María Paz Greene As a teacher myself I do think it was honest as hell. You do carry those children everyday and everywhere after school class. Times does slip. You do care. It was a relief for me reading a testimony or so, of a real teacher, even though sometimes he is specially cocky and definitively shares too much info (affairs, getting drunk, be obsessed with people admiring him, haha).

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