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Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor: A Master Class on Mentoring, Motivating, and Making It Work!

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,052 ratings  ·  205 reviews
A timeless book of lessons on mentorship, teaching, and learning from New York Times bestselling author Tim Gunn, host of the Emmy Award–nominated Project Runway and the reality show Under the Gunn.

Tim Gunn, America’s favorite reality TV cohost, is known for his kind but firm approach in providing wisdom, guidance, and support to the scores of design hopefuls on Project
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 24th 2015 by Gallery Books
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Nerisa Eugenia Waterman (T)ruth-telling, (E)mpathy, (A)sking, (C)heerleading, and (H)oping for the best. This is how the book is divided into chapters. For example Chapter 1…more(T)ruth-telling, (E)mpathy, (A)sking, (C)heerleading, and (H)oping for the best. This is how the book is divided into chapters. For example Chapter 1 is Truth-telling and Chapter 2 is Empathy...(less)

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  1,052 ratings  ·  205 reviews


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Sarah
Nov 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
Tim Gunn is on my short list of celebrities I'd invite to a dinner party. He will not be making it to the list of celebrities I'd like as pen pals. This is poorly written and uninspiring. It's not funny or educational or motivating, and my main takeaway is that Mr Gunn loves loves loves Diane Von Furstenburg.
Bree
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf-shelf
So there's a lot of good stuff in this book. Tim Gunn knows mentoring and teaching. But apparently another thing he's an expert at is transphobic speech.

[TW for the rest of this review, transphobic BS]

My hackles were raised at some uneducated comments he made about homeschooling being an Ideal, but that's a fringe issue not many people ARE educated about, so I let that slide.

But I DNF'd SO HARD as soon as he started railing against trans models being included on runways, as "just another
...more
Merry Farmer
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'll be the first to admit that I'm an unabashed Tim Gunn fan. I admire and love him. That being said, I adored this book for Tim's heartfelt views on teaching and the arts. He hits the nail on the head of what makes an excellent teacher and mentor.
Rachael Kamm
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just love Tim Gunn. Also, this book has surprisingly practical and helpful tips for mentoring.
Adam
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Teachers who save us from ignorance should be given the glory (and income!) of open-heart surgeons."

"Some people believe in being 'practical,' and only studying things that will prepare us for the exact job we will have. But I believe that education should broaden our horizons. Nothing we learn that we care about is ever wasted."

"Teaching is undervalued and underpaid in this country. To all the classroom teachers out there: bless you. To all the eager students and supportive schools and parents
...more
Bill
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
An entertaining, but rambling, look into the teaching and mentoring philosophy of Tim Gunn. It's loosely structured by the five components of his "T.E.A.C.H." approach, but in reality, the chapters often have little connection.

I would have preferred a more linear book -- talking about his own experiences with education first, then on to his career as a teacher, then at Parson's, and then his television experience. It would have given the reader a chance to see the evolution of his teaching
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Kersten
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not sure what to rate this, as I do feel he has a good idea of what makes a good teacher, and I did enjoy listening to the audio book, but he is also not afraid to bash people he looks down on. I do feel some of the stories could have been told to the same effectiveness without calling people out directly. Not that I think there is anything wrong with calling people out, but he does do it a lot in this book and sadly that’s all I can seem to remember now that I am finished and not the helpful ...more
Beth
Apr 11, 2015 rated it liked it
In this book by Project Runway mentor and former teacher Tim Gunn, he offers advice on teaching and mentoring. Anecdotes from Gunn's life, along with gossip and insider info on the fashion world, are interspersed with the teaching guidance. If you like Gunn, you will enjoy reading this, although I enjoyed some of his previous books more. I met Gunn at a book signing and had my copy autographed which was fun and he seems just as nice and genuine in real life as on his TV shows.
Lisa N
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, 2019
I love Tim Gunn, and Project Runway.
I am so confused by what this book was. Part insights, part b$tchfest and self defensive tirades. Not a make it work moment to be found.
I did like that Tim read the audio book. Only reason it got 2 stars not one.
Monica
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just re-read this for a presentation I gave on feedback and assessment in teaching. I love his approach to teaching--his "TEACH" acronym (truth-telling, empathy, asking, cheerleading, and hoping for the best) approach to giving students feedback is spot-on and helpful. Plus, his stories of being an administrator were useful and interesting, too.
Kristen
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This was a very fun audiobook and is narrated by Tim Gunn himself! I didn’t know how I’d relate to him or the book since I’m not into fashion other than watching Project Runway. Tim talks about his early life, his education prior to the fashion world, and some more personal details of his teenage years. He doesn’t see himself as a celebrity, but as a teacher and mentor, and is actually very relatable. He spills a good bit of tea on ProRun contestants and celebrities, both in positive and ...more
laura (bookies & cookies)
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read, audiobooks
Tim Gunn is an American gem
Helen
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Probably more like a 4.5, but there were just too many moments in the book that brought me joy to not round up.
Lisa
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book because I always felt Tim Gunns Advise was sound . Although not a educator his advise is certainly transferrable for achieving a successful life.
Nerisa  Eugenia Waterman
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You’ve probably experienced this at least once in your life…
That moment where you are reading a book…and that one sentence…those few words…leaps off the pages and gives you that warm hug and a pat on the back that lets you know that everything will be okay.

Well that’s how I felt when I read “Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor” it was these few words “So many people who do great things in life follow many different paths before ending up in the role that defines them, and none of that time is
...more
Sarah
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tim Gunn is one of my favorite celebrities - not that I have many favorites. He is not glamorous, but he is classy and a true gentleman in an age in which this type of man is in short supply. The book is advertised as a tutorial in mentoring others, but people would do well to take some of Gunn's advice in living their everyday lives in how to treat others and encourage them in their pursuits.

He also give sage advice in when in conflict. He says that one should offer critique on what the other
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Donna
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm a huge fan of Project Runway and I love Tim Gunn. He always seemed like a teddy bear with pom poms. I did the audio on this and am glad that Tim Gunn did the narration. This book described what makes great teachers amazing. That part was inspirational. There are so many bad teachers out there. You can be an expert at math, but that doesn't mean you would be an expert at teaching math.

He seemed very real in this book. He made mistakes and owned up to them without blaming others. I always
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D
tim gunn is a national treasure. and better than reading this book, his persnickety uncle voice coming through so clearly, is LISTENING to this book, delightfully narrated by the author himself. it is well within the tim gunn vein of literature -- opinionated, sensible, self-deprecating, and gossipy. i still get uncomfortable with how willing tim is to name and detail transgressors and their sins, but it does play into his Truth Teller persona. he's a delight, though i sometimes feel a little ...more
Brien
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: paper-book, education
I'm a bit disappointed in the way this book changed my opinion of Tim Gunn. On TV and in interviews he seems like such a nice and interesting person. In the book...he doesn't. I also hoped for more ideas about teaching and mentoring, but these were overshadowed with name-dropping stories and Tim-Gunn-saves-the-day tales.
Darth
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Wanted to read it because the author was on Jimmy Fallon promoting it. Thought there was gonna be a nice story about Jimmy but ended up only a brief mention. A little disappointing. There were stories about the Prada-wearing-devil, DVF, and Padma Laksmi.

Mr. Gunn sparked my interest in fashion. I'm interested in reading the books he mentioned.
Nann
May 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Gunn narrates the audio edition of his book. Partly about teaching/mentoring/motivating but mostly about himself. He does include letters from readers/viewers/fans about their favorite teachers, and that keeps it partly on topic.
Corinne
May 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. Tim Gunn does come across as a very likable person but his book reads like a bad business self help book.
Kelly
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
A no nonsense guide to mentoring and teaching students to be successful and motivated. Tim Gunn is a great guy and a great teacher.
Rachel
Didn't change my life, but was worth it to listen to Tim Gunn for the better part of 6 hours.
Kim
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is mainly a promo for his shows.
Rick
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
A great memoir about teaching.
Jan
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks, q-books
Part simplistic pedagogy, part petty gossip, part serious meditation on being a thoughtful person in a thoughtless world--a guiltier pleasure than any of his TV shows.
Aubrey
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(https://www.aubreysalyers.com/single-...)

As much as I love Tim Gunn and his what his T.E.A.C.H. method represents, I did have a few problems with this book.

I'll start with the good though.

T.E.A.C.H. stands for Truth-telling, Empathy, Asking, Cheerleading, and Hoping for the best.

The books is broken down into sections with these titles as well, but the connection was so loose, I sometimes had to flip back to see what section I was actually in.

Each concept is explained in roughly one page,
...more
Mary Jane Hurley Brant
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Natty Professor is a delightful book - funny and frank. It feels like a friendly conversation as the author and teacher, Tim Gunn, writes about the importance of being empathic, standing up to bullies, telling the truth, cheerleading, asking reflexive questions, and knowing when to let things go. Are these not noble goals? I think they are.

There are inserts throughout the book where others have shared their favorite teacher stories. I would have shared mine about a nun, Sister Mary Cora,
...more
Robin
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017books, memoirs
Although I've never seen an episode of "Project Runway," I was eager to listen in as Tim Gunn spoke with the Executive Director of the Providence Children's Museum last month. I loved hearing him say how children's creativity must be encouraged and that he had a career in teaching! I borrowed this book after he referred to it during his talk. (He is the author of two other books.)

This book is revealing about his own mental health struggles, specifically in a chapter titled aptly "My Therapist's
...more
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Timothy M. Gunn is an American fashion consultant and television personality. He was chair of fashion design at Parsons The New School for Design from August 2000 to March 2007 and is well-known as on-air mentor to designers on the Bravo reality television program Project Runway. Gunn's popularity on Project Runway led to his spin-off show, Bravo's Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, as well as his book A ...more
“One of the hardest things for a teacher is to know when to keep quiet and when to let go. It is a terrible thing to hold someone back from success, or to insist on sharing credit, or to tie someone to your apron strings. We need to have faith that we have done all we can, and then we need to kick our birds out of the nest.” 3 likes
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