teacher memoir

A Memoir of a Tired Teacher

“Miss I Wish you a Bed of Roses” — exactly the kind of wish to put a smile on the face of a tired teacher. In my book I draw on my 35 years of experience in teaching English at a private secondary school in Greece as well as university freshman composition. The book combines a memoir of my teaching journey as well as classroom and teacher tips for teaching language and literature. It might sound very “teacherly,” but you don’t have to be a teacher to enjoy the book. Weren’t we all students once?

Many years ago, after being observed in my first classroom assignment, teaching adults in New York City, I was advised to keep a teaching notebook and write down what worked well in a class, what didn’t and what could be improved. These dogeared notebooks eventually turned electronic but the content was the same – capturing joys and venting frustrations, and even recording dialogues I found amusing or perhaps disturbing!  The inkling I had for years about using all these notebooks in a book on teaching, was finally realized after I retired several years ago.

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As with anyone embarking on a journey, the traveler is usually a different person at the end than at the beginning.  At the start of my teaching journey, I was indecisive, without a clear teaching philosophy, as captured in the first stanza of my poem “Life Sans Spine” found in chapter 1, Off and Running: (Throughout the book, poems enhance the material as an added “bonus.”)

I’m an invertebrate, call me jellyfish or kalamari

No backbone, no spine, just blending and blobby

Whisper in my kind-of-ear and I agree with you

Tell me something else and that sounds good too.

But along the way, I eventually did develop a teaching philosophy. It goes without saying that this is essential for every teacher to have, not to forget a sense of humor.

Based in Greece, I write a monthly travel/culture blog: https://www.olivesandislands.home.blog. You can follow me there or on facebook or Instagram.

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