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It Won't Be Easy: An Exceedingly Honest (and Slightly Unprofessional) Love Letter to Teaching
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It Won't Be Easy: An Exceedingly Honest (and Slightly Unprofessional) Love Letter to Teaching

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  757 ratings  ·  124 reviews
Tom Rademacher wishes someone had handed him this sort of book along with his teaching degree: a clear-eyed, frank, boots-on-the ground account of what he was getting into. But first he had to write it. And as 2014’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Rademacher knows what he’s talking about. Less a how-to manual than a tribute to an impossible and impossibly rewarding profess ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Univ Of Minnesota Press
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Randal White
This is a difficult review to write. The author, an award winning teacher, has penned an interesting book (part memoir, part instruction manual, part rant) about his thoughts and experiences in teaching. Part of me deeply admires Rademacher, for the obvious care he takes in his students. Part of me struggles with his constant demeaning of other teachers and the educational system as a whole. Part of me is very puzzled at his understanding of "white privilege" and "micro-aggressions", (perhaps be ...more
Danika at The Lesbrary
This is the first teaching book I've read, but I have a feeling it will remain the favourite for a long time . I loved how he was willing to point out his own screw ups (as well as others'), and the best and worst parts of teaching. I really appreciated his emphasis on anti-racism in education, and continually trying to learn and improve.
Rose Peterson
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Neither heady theory nor overly-simplistic strategy dump, this book is perfectly humorous and critical and heartening. Rademacher articulates the tangle of teaching in a way that acknowledges what is and encourages what ought.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A good look into the real world of teaching in America. Teachers will benefit from all the practical advice and words of encouragement, but everyone else will gain valuable perspective into how messy teaching is because it is an inherently 'human' profession. If you read this and clutch your pearls at how unprofessional he is, you probably weren't actually paying attention to the point of the book: teaching is messy and unprofessional because developing children into self-actualized adults is me ...more
Indigo Crayon
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So the whole last chapter/acknowledgements made me cry. Because teaching makes me cry (in a good way, sometimes in a bad way, but mostly a lot of times in a "it's all about the kids" good way).

I appreciated that the contents of the book held true to the book's subtitle! I liked that Tom didn't shy away from the hard stuff and the sometimes terrible stuff that we have to contend with and figure out how to address in teaching, education, the classroom. I like that there was so much about race in h
Austin Hall
For all of my teacher peeps, this one's for YOU.

Tom Rademacher, 2014 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, has put together an unflinchingly honest look at the realities (both the joys and frustrations) of being a teacher today. I first came across this book after following Tom on Twitter. One of the things I admire about "Mr. Rad" is that he seems genuine, even through his online interactions. You get the sense that he is not one to sugarcoat things, and I think that's something I appreciate because
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read!

This is a memoir about teaching- the good, the bad, and the ugly! There are things said in this book that you won't believe but most teachers have felt, but the author is sincere and you always know it comes from a place of love that is evident throughout the book. Teaching is hard, but the sign of a good teacher is someone who is passionate and always questioning which this author does throughout the course of the book. There are things in this book that made me laugh out loud like c
Tom Jorgenson
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read #4 July 2020:
Sure enough, here I am 4 years later, somehow drawn again to this book during the time when I’m working the most closely with kids and simultaneously feeling like I’m doing the worst at it. I mean, we’re in a pandemic, for crying out loud. And I’m trying to take some wobbly baby steps on the path of inclusion and anti racism through a Zoom program that I make up from scratch the day before it’s scheduled. This book is here to remind me that the mess is so worthwhile, as long a
Jennifer Bridge
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is by far the best book about teaching that I have ever read. His voice is casual, honest and relatable. His advice is actually grounded in reality, which is surprisingly rare for a book about teaching. Trust me, I read a lot of them. I wish that I had had this book back in 2011 when I started teaching. He explains his own failures, past and ongoing, and how that is FINE and expected as long as you learn from those mistakes. Teaching is a messy business and he promises no short cuts or cure ...more
Ms. Warchol
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teacher-books
I have read many books for educators. It Won't Be Easy by Tom Rademacher is unlike them all. In some circle Rademacher might be considered a radical. I like radicals. He tackles issues in education head on, exploring how race and gender add complexity to our lives in the classroom. While I might not agree with EVERYTHING he says here, I agree with much of it. It also made me ready to go back to my classroom and do better. I have seen a review which takes issue with Rademacher pointing out flaws ...more
Lexie Frensley
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is unlike any other education book I've read -- it's memoir and advice and true introspection. It's painfully honest and made me think deeply about where I am at in my career and how I want to teach moving forward. I love that it is less about "fixing" our broken system and more about digging into ourselves and figuring out how we can be the best we can be for our students.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I really, really liked this book. Stood apart from other teaching memoirs in the discussion of white privilege and racial justice. This book challenged my thinking and made me wonder if I'm working at the wrong school. The salty language worked for me and some vignettes definitely made me laugh.

Some teachers might be offended but I think this is an important book.
Erin Thompson
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This will definitely a book that I continue to return to throughout my teaching career. Although I don't agree with all of Rademacher's ideas, he did an amazing job putting my own thoughts about the beautiful and challenging world of education into actual words. I have tons of quotes underlined in this book and I can't wait to share it with a few of my colleagues.

I loved the reminders that we do this for students. We do this because we choose to do it. We do it for the kids. I hope that is some
Mercedes McLean-Wheeler
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book about teaching that I’ve ever read. Not that I have an exhaustive knowledge about teacher-books, but still. The author articulates to a tee the philosophy that is at the core of my educational philosophy- the radical idea that students are people and that good teaching requires constant remembering that the humans in your class are equally human as yourself, with equally important thoughts and feelings that need to be respected and cultivated. Love this book. If you’re a te ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
whew. good lord. hits the spot, don't it?
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Disclosure: I know Tom. I supervised his student teaching, and then researched his classroom later on. Still, believe me when I say that current and future teachers will get so much out of this book. His voice is funny and true. He reminds us what the heart of this profession is, always: the students. He also provides other important insights and guidance, like how to get along with the other adults in education. Perhaps my favorite part of the book is how Tom shows many of the things wrong with ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So, I’ve taught for three years. It isn’t long, but in many ways, is an eternity. I’ve read countless educational books, thinking many of them wise, and yet lacking a measure of “realness.” This book discusses education as it should be discussed, as student-centered and very (VERY) human. It amazes me that the author (I say the author because his last name is hard and I don’t want to look it up (laziness) is able to address each and every concern I have. In my own teaching, in where I teach, how ...more
Susan Barber
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This book is exactly as claims - exceedingly honest and slightly unprofessional. I was on the fence for a while about this book - the language seemed unnecessary, unprofessional, yet true and the honesty was just too honest at times. Once I got to Spring though (the book is organized by seasons), I saw the exceedingly honest and slightly unprofessional narrative as a plus. Some of Rademacher's confessions gave me the courage to be transparent in my advisement class this week while we were talkin ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love how frank and honest the author is. It’s so affirming to have a person talk in detail about the mistakes they’ve made. We don’t talk about our mistakes enough, probably because we are just trying to survive. We often let the “good enough” be our bar, and are likely embarrassed to admit that it’s not even close to what many students need. This was a great read, and I snorted out loud constantly and shared anecdotes regularly. Sometimes an inspiring workshop or book or person makes me feel de ...more
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a terrific read. The author really does a great job getting into some of the important truths about teaching that need to be addressed while being genuine and funny enough to hold on to those readers who may shy away from some of the topics. I would love to see this be a book study in a school setting...I have a few colleagues in particular I would love to invite to participate!
Mr. Armstrong
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Maybe a little too sarcastic for some, but it is nice to see a flawed but dedicated teacher be so completely honest and open about his own hopes, insecurities, screw ups, disappointments, and goals.

"I'm so tired and so full of energy. I am frustrated and inspired."
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
First book I’ve read ABOUT being a teacher that is not just all theory and strategy and super self-congratulatory academia. Wow. I like how it’s organized and separated. Some chapters really spoke to me and some really didn’t. The quality of writing for me varied.
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hands down the best book about teaching I've ever read. It's real. It's honest. It's inspiring. And though it's not meant to be professional development, I do feel more "developed" right now, somehow. If you teach, or you want to teach, or you love a teacher, you should read this book.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A refreshing, honest and funny read about teaching... by... wait for it... someone actually teaching! This book, though no where near heady, made me think a lot about who I am and want to be as a teacher. Perfect for back to school or any time you need to pull your head out of your... well, you get the point.
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it were so refreshing and funny and then some were just overbearing. Good conversation with co-workers on this one.
Seneca  Hart
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOVE the honesty. This is a quick, thoughtful, valuable read for any teacher. It's also SO funny, it will make you literally laugh out loud, often.
Thomas De Ceglie
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A funny, earnest, close-to-home book that has reinvigorated me on the eve of an upcoming school year!
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every teacher needs to read this book. ASAP.
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This book makes me so excited to be a teacher.

Worth. Your. Time.
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Completely renews my love of teaching and awe of young adults. Hands down best book about teaching I've ever read.
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