Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Must Read for High School Teachers

by Frank McCourt
AR Book Level: 5.9
Point Value: 14
Interest Level: Upper Grades
Audiobook Available in HS Library

On the recommendation of my principal, I listened to the audio version of this book, which I would also recommened because McCourt reads it himself, so each word, sentence and inflection sounds exactly as he heard it in his own head while writing it. Combine that with McCourt's beautiful Irish brogue, and you've got the makings of a fantastic listen!

TEACHER MAN, titled after the way he's referred to by his students, chronicles the experiences that McCourt had during his 30 year stint as an educator in the high schools of New York City. McCourt's teaching style was developed mainly as a defense mechanism--he learned to teach in a way that kept the natives from eating him alive! I'm not sure about how much he got across to his students as far as teaching English goes, but he definitley taught them (and learned from them) many valuable life lessons.

I laughed, got angry, and cried while reading this book. I highly recommend it to any high school educator. Even though it's set in NYC quite a few years ago, I think many teachers today will recognize some of McCourt's students as their own.

I just found out that this is actually the third book in a trilogy--and I have just placed orders for the first two books: ANGELA'S ASHES, and 'TIS.

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