Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Teacher Man

I always like books and stories about teaching. I haven't read Frank McCourt's more famous books, but I was drawn to this one. Listening to him read the audiobook was a wonderful experience -- I always feel bad for people who eschew audiobooks, because they miss out on the personal encounter with the author that audiobooks make possible.

Everyone talks about the "wonderful experience" of teaching, but I liked how the book does a good job of addressing how bad teaching can make you feel. Students ignore you, they insult you, they complain about you, they disrespect you, they take you for granted, they see you as an obstacle, they lie to you, they lie about you, they treat you like an object. The teaching experience can make you feel incompetent, small, dirty, and used. Frank McCourt talks about all that in detail, but still manages to make it seem worthwhile. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way.

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