It’s 1973, and Tony decides he needs a carefree year off after college—with pay.
To the shock of his tight-knit family and closest friends, he postpones law school and talks his way into a job teaching sixth grade at a Catholic school in Staten Island, N. Y.
A paid vacation i...more
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
On the verge of graduating from college, Tony Piza (long "I", and yes, he's heard all the jokes), decides he's not ready to head to law school and would like to take a year off. Inspired by a suggestion from his roommate, he applies to teach at a Roman Catholic school near his home. He figures that it'll be pretty easy -- spout some facts and figures from the text-book, assign some homework, do a little grading, catch ...more
The trope of someone taking a teaching job because they think it's a cakewalk is a well used literary plot. Surprise and shock that it's difficult, and the kids have their own personalities and problems, don't forget the political nonsense with the administration, and oh, there are parents, too. Not such a cakewalk, before you even get into the whole subject matter knowledge, homework, and tests.
This one is set in the mid 70's, with an Italian teacher, Mr. Piz ...more
This is a well written engaging story with well-developed characters and plot, about a young man wanting a gap year before starting his law degree. The best way he can figure is to teach for a year, you get paid and it's not really work.
This soon changes, and the relationships he end ...more
I liked this book very much. The writing gleamed with abundance and the editing is excellent. Mr. Piza enters the classroom with no experience or idea how to do his job. But as time moves on he leaens and throws himself into being sensitive and aware of his 27 students as individuals. He teaches them, works on helping them think and analyze the work they're asked to do and how to take responsibility for their words and actions. Of course he gets in trouble ...more
Tony's sabbatical from college sends him on a weird journey to teach 6th grade in a parochial school for a year, and the story is as much about what the kids teach him as vice versa. It's a meandering tale with some surprises in the end. Kind of a sweetly nostalgic and often funny exercise in friendship, respect, a ...more
The story of Anthony Piza’s entry into teaching at a Catholic school is both entertaining and touching. Even characters you think are there as space-fillers surprise you with their depth.
I really enjoyed it.
The characters are well developed. The conversation is engaging. The plot… is life.
I highly recommend this book.
I found this an enjoyable and uplifting book to read. The main characters were skillfully drawn and I found myself invested in their wellbeing. I would have liked a little different ending but I’m an incurable romantic.