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The English Teacher's Companion: A Complete Guide to Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession
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The English Teacher's Companion: A Complete Guide to Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  908 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
In the four short years since publication, the first edition of "The English Teacher's Companion" quickly became the instructional bible for English teachers. Covering the entire English curriculum, from basic reading and writing to digital literacy, media literacy, and integrated instruction, it proved to be a revolutionary guide for preservice and inservice teachers alik ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 544 pages
Published January 23rd 2003 by Heinemann Educational Books (first published January 30th 1999)
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Nov 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nov. 2012: Still just about the most comprehensive ELA methods textbook out there, that I've seen. I am looking forward to this year's 4th edition, because some sections in this one are really showing their age.

I'm actually referring to the 3rd edition, which doesn't show up on Goodreads, but which is nicely updated from the 2nd edition. Like the Alsup and Bush book, this is one that has become a staple for my Methods course for preservice English teachers. Some chapters are more extensive, and
Molly Christina
Feb 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: upenn
Though it was assigned as reading for my graduate studies in the fall, I finally read this book in full during the spring break of my first year as a teacher. Not only was the book engaging enough to hold my attention in Spain, it was so full of ideas that I began planning my next year of teaching in our hotel in Seville. I fully plan to reread this book and then reread it again. Thank you Jim Burke, for a practical, smart, and engaging book on teaching English.
Kelly Rice
Mar 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This really is a must for a new teacher. I wish I'd had it ten years ago!
Apr 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any English teacher
Shelves: for-work
I recently went back through this book. It contains so many ideas that teachers can use. Personally, I find something to revamp in my teaching/room everytime I look through it.
Heather S
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Favorite educational writer. A must read for any English teacher.
Aug 17, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a text that Jim Burke has written several times. In fact, the edition I read was his fourth one. In it, Burke lays out strategies for teaching all the different areas of the English discipline: writing, reading, speaking / listening, assessments, and language study. He offers tips and techniques that have worked in his classroom over the years as well as tons of research to support his suggestions. There are a number of student examples and reproducible graphic organizers and templates t ...more
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The positive: I mean, it's Jim Burke. He takes incredibly dry material and injects some life and passion into it. This really is one of the most indispensable texts I've used (the second would be When Kids Can't Read: What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers 6-12) in my college career.

The negative: As with most "complete guides to X," certain sections were less interesting/applicable than others.

The summary: An excellent resource and a wonderful gift for any English teacher or future teacher.
Anne Bettencourt
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
As a mid-career high school English teacher, I don't often come across books that are useful for me content-wise. However, both Bruce Penniman's "Inside the English Classroom" and anything by Jim Burke have proven to give me practical food for thought and lots and lots of models to look at that I can modify and adapt to students' needs in my classroom. Both offer a nice balance of research and practical application, and an abundance of samples of student and teacher work. It is precisely what I ...more
There are lots of great practical suggestions for English teachers, but there's also a lot of "oh, you need to buy and read my other books," with a definite emphasis on "buy." I'm getting tired of authors of pedagogical books trying to sell their other books in a book we've already bought.

Very well written, Burke's tone is personable and affable. Definitely a must for anyone who is teaching English at the secondary level.
Kristi Carden
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grad-school-pd
Absolutely loved the latest edition of the English Companion by Jim Burke. It includes tons of valuable and succinct resources that every teacher can actively use in their classroom. He gives actual examples of things that he has done in his classroom, and I really appreciate the way he talks to me throughout the book - like I am his colleague and he is just mentoring me. This is the best resource that I have found thus far during all of my graduate classes and I highly recommend it.
Hillary Howard
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have read both the 3rd and 4th editions of this text and love them both for different reasons. The 3rd edition has a lot of ideas and activities that you can immediately put in place in your classroom. The 4th edition, however, contains a lot more theory about the evolution of English education. Both are phenomenal, both should be on your shelf.
Araminta Matthews
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Some of its categories are overly simplistic (like the chapter on teaching ebonics in the English classroom), but most of the tactics and lessons are valuable. I especially liked the reflections and activities at the end of each chapter and Burke's literary lessons. He has integrated some fascinating tactics into the English classroom!
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Full of ideas to bring a variety of strategies into classroom use. A more practical application would be a pdf of all the great handouts, but I can make do adapting Burke's ideas into my own classroom practice.
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book can be a bit subjective, and he mostly quotes ideas from books I had already read, but overall is a great index of teaching ideas for an ELA teacher. Does seem to overcomplicate some aspects, but is still useful.
Nov 26, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: education
I found this useful at the time I read it for my student teaching, but I don't remember anything about it clearly now. This book was required reading for my student teaching, but I've come across many other books that would have worked better, especially in conjunction with In The Middle.
Aug 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
How does Jim Burke find the time to write such high-quality books and teach? He's either got a ghost writer or he doesn't sleep. Either way, us mere mortals reap the benefits of his Puritanical work ethic and passion.
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pre-Service & NEW English Teachers
Recommended to Pauline by: Tom Reigstad
Shelves: teaching
Well, this is the best book I could find for the English Methods's quite long, and sometimes overly thorough if that's possible...but extremely thoughtful and provocative in the sense that it will get pre-service teachers thinking and reflecting on their practice.
Jun 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: english teachers
I think all English teachers should read this book. It changed the way I approach lesson planning, teaching students, and my understanding of the humanity of teaching. This is one of those books that should be reread periodically.
Valerie Jones
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far, I am 100 pages into it and I can't put it down. I picked it up hoping that it would by dry and boring and cure my insomnia..but I picked the wrong book. It is currently 4am...and I have been reading all night! I LOVE THIS BOOK! I can't wait to read more!
Janine Darragh
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: textbooks
I'll definitely use this textbook again next year. User-friendly and great practical applications offered. I didn't give it 5 stars because it is a textbook-- and "textbook" and "amazing" just don't work in my head. But as far as textbooks go, it was great!
Apr 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked some of his ideas for integrating technology, but you'd have to be a super teacher to incorporate everything he suggests. My favorite chapter was "Teaching English and Having a Life," it which he argues you really do need to be organized to make it through this job.
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this textbook for a class, and it was one of the most practical books I've bought for my MAT. I know that I will use the ideas in Burke's chapters for years to come! This is worth the money, and even then, it wasn't that expensive.
Oct 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: english teachers, obviously.
This was actually the textbook for my English Methods class in college. And although my professor was mean and condescending, this book already feels like an old friend.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching-english
Awesome resource!! English peeps, def get a copy! Anything you might want to know about is covered in here.
Debs Taylor
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the 4th edition and nothing short of inspirational. I intend to reread and implement as much as I can!
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well arranged and very applicable. Makes lots of great recommendations, but is only exceptionally useful if you've already been teaching for some time.
Alena Reid
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Practical and helpful.
Aug 13, 2013 rated it liked it
This was incredibly helpful. Almost too helpful - I have to restrain myself from trying to incorporate every single new idea/variation on something I already do/etc. all at once.
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school, teaching
reading this for my teaching english looks promisingly helpful.
so far so good...burke has some great ideas that i would like to implement in a class.
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