Teaching is a career ripe for interesting stories from a variety of viewpoints. There is of course, the humour of working with children who sometimes say and do whatever comes to mind. There is the heartwarming nature of kids who have grown up to credit the influence their educators had on their careers and lives. And inevitably, there is the frustration of a career in a system that is plagued by various public opinion and continuing challenges such as lack of funding, etc. Here are 3 books I enjoy by current and former individuals who have dabbled in education and put their experiences to paper:

A Teacher in the Wild, by Devin Siebold:
Stand up comedian and former Florida teacher Devin Siebold financed a picture book on Kickstarter based on ideas he had about how students react to running into teachers outside of class in a ‘natural setting’ like the mall. His trademark humour from his stand up matches with hilarious illustrations from Izzy B that will make adults and kids smile imagining how the encounters look from each POV.

32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny, by Phillip Done:
This memoir combines vignettes on teaching that will have educators nodding and laughing in agreement. I picked up this book at a second hand store and have recommended it to many of my friends. Be prepared to be entertained by essays comparing entering school compared to an airplane, the hazards of using a laminator with ties, and trying to make the perfect Open House presentation.

I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had, by Tony Danza:
Yes, “Who’s the Boss” actor Tony Danza did a brief stint teaching high school English (he got a teaching credential before his career took off) as part of a show for A & E. Although one must be cautious of how ‘reality television’ is filmed, the book is an expansion of the reflection of an ‘outsider’ in a system based on Tony Danza’s memory of being a high school student years earlier. The thesis is simple: if more individuals were able to see education from the perspective of the staff, they would see that it is a lot more difficult and that often when we are young we don’t always appreciate what others do for us.

The common thread that all of these books have is that there is a fine line between laughing at experiences that are not easy and being relieved at relating that it may happen to everyone. Whether you read books from teachers for entertainment or reflection, there are many voices to relate to on a variety of school experiences.


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