Ms. Yingling's Reviews > Because of Mr. Terupt

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
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Feb 09, 2012

it was ok
Read in January, 2011

A class of diverse students are glad that they have a new teacher; he's funnier, more aware, and more creative than the "mean old farts" that have been teaching long enough to be wise to the kids' tricks. Classroom dramas unfold; the mean girl, Alexis, tries to start a "girl war"; students have family problems; the class reads Summer of the Swans (which Mr. Terupt says is not an exciting book, but a good one that will make them think) and works with a Collaborative Classroom on several projects. Things are going well until an accident changes all of their lives, and the students need to figure out how to go on despite it.

Strengths: This is a very well-written book; many clever lines, good characterization, enough interest to keep students reading even though, like in Summer of the Swans, nothing really exciting happens. I cried. I rarely cry.

Weaknesses: This is a teacher book. We all like to think that we're going to have some huge impact on students. I'm an old fart who knows I won't no matter how hard I work. Like Frindle, this will be picked up by teachers everywhere and they'll love it. Sixth graders? A few. Seventh graders? Doubtful. I'm going to see if Mr. Buxton will read this and opine.

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08/08/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Tory Shepeluk I gave this book 5 stars and I don't agree with you in the least. I am trying not be mean here. ARG!!!


message 2: by Ms. (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ms. Yingling I'm glad that you liked the book. I did, too. It's not mean at all to have a different opinion. I have had very few students check this one out- the students at my school seem to like more action. The ens who have read the book like it, though. I am glad there are lots of different kinds of books.


message 3: by Annette (last edited Jun 07, 2014 08:16AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Annette I have to say that I'm saddened to read in your review that you feel that you can't make a difference no matter how hard you try. I graduated from high school 26 years ago, but I still remember each and every one of my teachers that I had throughout elementary school. Each one of them made an impact on me. Each one of them influenced my life in one way or another. I may not remember anything that they said to me but I do remember how they made me feel. That will stick with me throughout my entire life.
A child spends a great deal of time in school. Besides family, teachers are the most influential people in a young child's life. Having the opportunity to influence the lives of many children for generations to come is the only reason that I can think of for being a teacher. It certainly isn't for the income.


message 4: by Ms. (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ms. Yingling I'm glad that some younger readers are liking this; it is rarely checked out in my library no matter how much I recommend it, but I did buy a copy. As for influence-- I do what I can. What's the quote about throwing rose petals into a canyon and listening for the echo? I think when I read this book it just struck me as being particularly message-heavy, which is not the type of book my students tend to ask for!


message 5: by Ave (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ave Moore I don't think this is a "teacher book" at all! You won't matter how hard you work? That's not a very motivation statement! It's true, as teachers get older, they might be seen as the heavily stereotyped "old, boring teacher". But you can easily escape that by simply incorporating fun elements into your classwork! I read a review that said her husband is a math teacher, and he used the "Dollar Words" activity used in the story. See, now THAT'S getting the most out of a book! It doesn't sound like you're exactly confident in your teaching methods.
Why not? Be friendly, be kind, and just make your class interesting. There's really no need to be hard on yourself. The book is great... you just need a pair positive eyes to see it!


message 6: by Ms. (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ms. Yingling My meaning is that only the young think they will make an impact, and the only you get, you know that if you do, it's only by accident. I do my best every single day and think I'm fun and awesome, but in the end, no matter how well I do my job, the school district can still decide to let all of the librarians go. I was a Latin teacher in a past life, and that was unsustainable. I fully realize that I may find my self out of a job no matter how good I am.


message 7: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen My 5th grader insisted we buy our own copy and nagged us parents to read it. I can see why you'd feel cynical about the premise, but I disagree - the vulnerability and empathy in the story touched my son's whole class.


Rebecca I loved this book, thought it was very good, and I'm not a teacher


Susan Had to say, as a former teacher, I empathize with your thoughts entirely! My 6th grade niece just told me she loved this book so I'm going to give it a try.


message 10: by Rosa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosa I have to disagree with the part when you say that not many students will read it. I know many 5th, 6th, and 7th graders who have not only read the book, but enjoyed it very much. I read this when I was in 5th grade, and absolutely LOVED it!!!!! I later read the sequels when they came out, and they were pretty good too! Same thing with Frindle. I've reread that book so many times by now!


message 11: by Evan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Evan Guys stop trying to attack her comment, it's a matter of opinion. An opinion to which a person is entiteled to like this book or not anway, it shouldn't cause you any harm really its just a breif synopsis and supporting details why she didn't agree with the book. Just don't give a **** about her opinion if you clearly can't stand it.


Stephanie As a teacher, I totally agree with Ms. Yingling about affecting my students. If you go into teaching thinking that you are going to "save" kids, then you are going into the wrong profession. That's narcissistic thinking and my mantra is, it's not about me, it's about my students. I go in every day and try to be open and present for my kids, so that THEY can bring themselves to me; I don't try to impose myself on them.


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