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Topic: Teacher's Memoirs

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Subject: Teacher's Memoirs
Date Posted: 2/2/2008 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2008
Posts: 2
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Does anyone have any memoirs by teachers that you would recommend?  Thanks, Carmen

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
Posts: 389
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Sorry, I know I've read several that would fit into this category...I just can't remember the names!

I'm a homeschooler, so every so often I like to read books about teachers in one room schoolhouses, etc.

Oh, wait!  Have you read any of the books by Miss Read?  These are based on the real life of an British teacher from the '40's through the '60's.  I really enjoy them.

Subject: one serious, one serio-comic
Date Posted: 2/6/2008 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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There's a kind of 'classic'-----Teacher, by Sylvia Ashton-Warner, who taught Maori children.

And there is Bel Kaufman's Up the Down Staircase, detailing her experience as a neophyte teacher in a N. Y. City high school.  Sometimes it is comical, and sometimes it is sad and touching.

Of course, Frank McCourt concluded his memoir with (Vol. 3), Teacher Man.

Subject: Miss Dove
Date Posted: 2/7/2008 7:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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I forgot a delightful book about a teacher, Good Morning, Miss Dove, by Frances Gray Patton.  It isn't a memoir, but a novel, but the central character is a teacher, and the other characters are some of her more memorable pupils.  It's a gentle, human story of a dedicated teacher.

Date Posted: 2/23/2008 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,511
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Don't forget To Sir With Love.  And possibly Blackboard Jungle?

Date Posted: 3/20/2008 5:44 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2005
Posts: 391
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Anything by Frank McCourt gets my vote... I adore his work :)

Date Posted: 3/23/2008 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2007
Posts: 4
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"Among Schoolchildren" by Tracy Kidder

I read it when I was a teenager trying to decide if I wanted to be a teacher. Instead, much later, I found myself doing the work of the author: writing creative nonfiction/literary journalism.

Here's what Library Journal says about the book on Amazon.com:

"Many readers have come to expect that anything authored by Kidder ( House, LJ 8/85; Soul of a New Machine, LJ 8/81) will be of high merit. This latest nonfiction work is no exception. It tells in detail the story of a young teacher's daily life and work in the Kelly School, a part of the Holyoke, Massachusetts school system. From September to June, Chris Zajac, a caring, dedicated teacher struggles with the nearly superhuman task of teaching inner-city children, many from impoverished and broken homes. Her pupils are often ill-fed, victims of severe neglect, or worse. Readers will become engrossed in her daily battle to teach these youngsters. (Over half stay up until 12:30 a.m. to watch TV). She agonizes over her pupils, one Clarence in particular. Kidder allows the reader to savor the small daily victories and taste the angst of failure. A warm, honest, refreshingly positive look inside a classroom."

Date Posted: 4/4/2008 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 1,241
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P.S. Your Not Listening  I forget the author, but loved the book

Date Posted: 4/4/2008 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2007
Posts: 1,424
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The first is not a memoir, but it's supposed to be very good. I haven't read any of these, but they were all recommended to me as good reads by friends.

Elaine's Circle: A Teacher, a Student, and One Unforgettable Year by Bob Katz about a teacher in Alaska with a sick student who takes the classroom to the student when his illness prevents him from coming to school. 

32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny by Phillip Done 

Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year by Esme Raji Codell


Date Posted: 4/14/2008 6:45 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 830
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I would recommend anything by Mary McCracken, including Turnabout Children, Lovey and others.  McCracken taught all types of special needs children, including those with behavior disorders and learning disabilities.  Remarkable woman and inspiring author.

I have In The Classroom by Gerson and Mentors, Masters and Mrs. McGregor on my TBR pile.

Also recommend anything by Jonathon Kozol.  Letters to a Young Teacher is on my WL.


Date Posted: 8/27/2008 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
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I second "Among Schoolchildren"  by Tracy Kidder!  I'm not a teacher, but have worked with preschoolers in a day care and sub as a teacher's aide now, although I read this book many years ago.  Even back then, I loved the book, I read it twice and it's a keeper on my shelf. 

Also enjoyed "Up The Down Staircase". 

Date Posted: 8/27/2008 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2005
Posts: 463
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Oh!  Look for "Tisha" by Robert Specht, about a teacher in the early 1900s who went to teach in the wilds of Alaska-my mother and I read that book at the same time and we'd fight each other for our turns to read it.  :o)   Great read.

Date Posted: 9/2/2008 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
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If you're interested in something outside the US school system, I heartily recommend:

Crossing the Line - A Year in the Land of Apartheid, by William Finnegan, about a white American teacher who teaches black South Africans in the '80s.

Date Posted: 9/18/2008 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,511
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I completely forgot about The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy, until it just popped into my head today.  I have no idea why!!  But what a great book!!   The movie "Conrack" was based on this book.


Date Posted: 2/13/2009 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2008
Posts: 2,067
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I have always enjoyed Torey Hayden's books about her experiences teaching special education classes.  It's been a while since I've read them, but I remember One Child, Ghost Girl, and The Tiger's Child all being good reads.

Date Posted: 3/14/2009 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,652
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I recommend Louanne Johnson's books about her teaching experiences in California.  They look really good.  The movie, Dangerous Minds was based on her experiences, I think, so hers would be books I'd recommend.  :) 

Last Edited on: 3/14/09 5:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: Probably not what you had in mind, but...
Date Posted: 4/1/2009 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2006
Posts: 27
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The Teacher Who Couldn't Read by Donna D. Feeney is a very interesting book.