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Stories from a Teacher

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  654 ratings  ·  81 reviews
"On my first official day of teaching, I had a backpack with me. There was nothing in it. I don't really know why I took it. Maybe it made me feel more secure, the way children sometimes carry around a blanket or a teddy bear.

I actually hadn't prepared anything. I had no lesson plans, no ideas about what I might say. I had no books, no materials. I didn't even think I was
Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published June 28th 2012
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E.D. Martin
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I taught high school English, and I know that teaching is hard. Excruciatingly, heartbreakingly difficult. If you've never been in a classroom, officially responsible for subject matter but becoming a counselor, a parole officer, a shoulder to cry on; or if you have, and need articulation of what keeps you going or what made you stop, I highly recommend Stories From a Teacher by J. Flores.

He chronicles his four years teaching high school English, told in about two dozen stories. He writes about
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is so awesome, I am almost beyond words. Flores puts into very real detail the overwhelming emotional minefield that is teaching, and I wish we could read this as a staff book study at school instead of motivational crap like "Who Moved the Cheese?" It is such a shame that he didn't stick with teaching, because I think he's brilliant, but moving on is an understandable choice, given what he experienced. This should be required read for school board members and administrators in urban s ...more
Dec 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction
Certainly one of the best self-published efforts out there, but little niggling errors like "reign in" instead of "rein in" drive me bonkers and undermine his credibility as a teacher.

(You can "rein in" your impulses, as you would a horse, but you "reign over" your nature. Make sense?)

That doesn't detract from his message: Teachers are overworked, underpaid and expected to be heroes. Even the best can get ground under.

The teacher problem reminds me a lot of the thesis of Connie Willis's Domesd
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book touched me in ways that I thought not possible. The author clearly was one of the 'good ones', a teacher that wanted to change the world, one student at a time. I loved the laughter and connection that was displayed throughout the book. My heart broke as I read the poignant chapters that so deeply characterized the thoughts and inner workings of a teacher that actually cares. I felt this book deeply. I was a teacher in what I deeply suspect was the same county. Ironically enough, if it ...more
Dixie Goode
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny, teaching
I got this book as a free kindle download and glanced at it at first because I have been a teacher myself, since 1989. I see some points in common with my experience and a couple that are really different, but I did find this book to be very captivating for the authenticity of its voice. As a high school teacher, Mr. Flores had more leeway with the topics he covered and more ability to speak directly with his students about real life, and sex, suicide and abuse than grade school teachers have. ...more
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers, educators, those interested in public education
This is a short but interesting perspective of one man's experience as a public high school English teacher. Covering four years of teaching HS reading, Flores succeeds in reaching the readers and causing them to engage with the issues present in the classroom and education today, as well as enjoy the humorous situations that teachers find themselves in with a classroom full of young men and women.

There are several light-hearted moments and scenes, however most of the vignettes that Flores offer
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
As a teacher, I could totally relate to this book. The author doesn't pull any punches and writes about the bad things as well as the good things he did. I like that he admitted mistakes and explained how hard it is to be a good teacher. I really enjoyed his explanation of how some teachers have absolutely no life- no time for family, exercise, cleaning, hobbies, etc.-just to be a great teacher and how it is not worth it. You need some time for yourself. He explained that if he assigned an essay ...more
Apr 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing

After four years of teaching high school, Jonathan Flores has wrote his letter of resignation. When his students demanded to know why. In response he wrote this book of stories that span his teaching career. His plain, no-nonsense language describes in gritty detail the physical stress and the emotional pain of carrying the weight of society on your back. He details how teachers' lives often become unbalanced, how the students lift you up so high, and how they beat you back into the ground.
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This was fun and engaging - an easy read. I was able to pick it up and put it down without a problem. These are stories of his four years teaching high school. But only four years and just stories. He does a good job of explaining a teacher's workload -- that each required essay (200+ students, 15 min per essay) is 50something hours of grading. And he's required to have 7 essays per class per year. He talks about the good kids, and the bad, the pregant and the teenage parents. It underscores pro ...more
Levi Tronnes
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone that is weighing the idea of entering into a career in education. With first hand experience working in inner city schools facing down real students and real problems it gives great insight into how to not walk away from a school year feeling burned out! He also gives some great advice on how to not give up when everything seems to be against! However, I personally took away from this book that it is essential for teachers to have a distinct separation in life where they c ...more
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm a teacher and I recently finished both this book and the similar book "Learn Me Good". Maybe it's because I also teach older age groups, but I far preferred this book! Jonathan Flores collected so many unique and touching short stories that it was difficult to take a break between stories... "just one more!" I'd keep promising myself. He writes acknowledging both stereotypes of teaching as a noble occupation and as a mostly thankless occupation. His stories made me feel better about my worst ...more
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I found this book eerie- only because a lot of the events that happened in Mr. Flores' teaching career have paralleled my own... My first year of teaching was highlighted with a "go fuck yourself" as well. I do not blame Mr. Flores- I also was a young teacher of color, who felt that I needed and had the responsibility to change the world. I recently left teaching to continue earning a graduate degree full time, but Mr. Flores' stories encourage and remind me that there is so much work left to do ...more
Lindsay Wilcox
Oct 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, read-in-2012, ebook
I know Jonathan personally. We actually did some of our undergrad teaching training together. I, too, only taught for a few years before giving up and moving on to a new career. I've experienced many of the situations he portrays, from the parents who actually don't want you to mollycoddle their children to the ninth-grader who drops out of school to have her baby. Jonathan does a great job of fictionalizing undeniably real situations. But he doesn't have any answers. And neither do I.
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book by a great teacher. The book is honest and touching. I think we lose the great teachers, like Mr. Flores because great teachers have a high burnout rate. I really enjoyed reading the candid snapshots from the classroom during the four years Flores was a high school English teacher. I hope to read more from Flores in the future. I got a free Kindle edition of this book from Amazon.
Paul Garrett
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A bright young man becomes a teacher to make a difference in young lives and, thereby, in society. His bittersweet stories are must-reading before one ever votes on education budgets or talks about how easy teachers have it, are over-paid, have too much time off, etc. Can society afford to lose educators like Jonathan Flores because they fail to cover his back? Can it afford to let students fail because no one cares? While fully enjoyable, this is also a thought-provoking book.
Kristin Cook
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very powerful book. Hard to read, impossible to put down. Tells the story of teaching pretty well. The Author's school was a bit rougher than my first and a lot rougher than the one I am at now, but, the challenges translate. I'm sorry this young man got burned out on teaching so quickly. Sadly, it happens...

"A teacher is like a candle, giving of itself in order to light the way for others." Damn right...
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teachers
From a teacher's perspective, this book is hilarious and easy to relate to. Jonathan shares some great stories, that often leave you in shock. I felt like I could relate to his dejected attitude at times as well as his appreciation for teaching in the end.

Our job is not easy and this story lightened the hard parts of teaching and made me feel like someone else knows exactly what I go through.
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Mr. Flores' anecdotes. Some were disturbing, some were heartwarming, and some left me wondering what happened to the students involved. Wish Mr. Flores would share more stories from his teaching days.
Son Poyer
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jonathan Flores has written a funny, poignant memoir of his four years teaching English in a public high school. What really sticks, more than the humor, is the tragedy that faces high school students today. This is a very timely look at being young and in school. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
May 04, 2013 rated it liked it
This brought back many memories of my high school English teaching years at the beginning of my career ... 30 years ago before changing to an educational field I loved more -- the library! He wrote with a sincere, believable perspective. I liked it.
Sep 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Wow, this is an eye opening, honest and touching account of a young teachers first 4 years of teaching. I have always known that I could never have what it takes to be a good teacher and I have tremendous admiration for those that do it well. My admiration has been raised significantly....
Lacey Aubihl
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
Very good portrayal of difficulties teachers face daily. It is truly a job where it is easy to loose yourself and forget that you have to put you first sometimes. However, seeing the heartache these kids live with it's a hard balance to find.
Adam Slade
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Raw reflection on the emotional toll teachers take in the classroom, from struggling in the first years to dealing with bad administration to the emotional turmoil it takes to be invested in the lives of your students.
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing

As a former educator, I would like to say this is the most dead-on first hand account of teaching I've ever read. More inspiring than any feel-good Hollywood film, this book brought back many fond memories and not so good ones. A highly entertaining read.
Barbara Duckett
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I work at a public school. This is the REAL deal. I found myself inserting teacher and student voices from my past as the people being written about. Funny, Sad, scary and very real. I highly recommend this book.
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Heart wrenching but so honest and true. Wish all parents and anyone associated with educating today's children would read this book. Maybe it would make a difference in the future of education.
I'm enjoying his perspective of teaching young people.
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Got this as a free download - not bad. A collection of short stories documenting 4 years in the life of a HS English teach.If you have ever taught HS you might enjoy this book.
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Every teacher needs to read this. I can totally relate to the stories told by Mr. Flores.
May 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed his straightforward, yet entertaining writing style. I'm looking forward to reading more from him.
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“Maybe I'm the naïve one. Maybe I'm the one that has so much to learn – about how dark the world really is, how awful and threatening this planet really can be. And maybe I'm also learning that, even in this darkness, we can find a little bit of hope... if we look hard enough.” 0 likes
“That's why you're looking at the floor – because you're good people, and you feel guilty, and you have to be a good person in order to feel guilty. So the question is: why? Why would you, even though you're good inside, do something that you know is wrong?” 0 likes
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