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Teacher Man: A Memoir
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Teacher Man: A Memoir

4.0 94
by Frank McCourt
 

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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, mega-bestselling author who wore his celebrity with extraordinary grace comes a magnificently appealing book about teaching and about how one great storyteller found his voice.

Frank McCourt became an unlikely star when, at the age of sixty-six, he burst onto the literary scene with Angela's Ashes, the Pulitzer

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Teacher Man 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 95 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Frank McCourt's poignant account on his experiences as a teacher is sure to open the eyes of those living in mere oblivion or outright ignorance those who think teaching is 'easy' and 'so what if teachers are underpaid, they get all those days off'. He falls nothing short of genius and his words are undoubtedly captivating. This book is surely one of the year's best, and it's truth --that teachers are society's unsung heroes-- promises to reach even the most stoic of people.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This man is a true survivor. I feel like I know him, since he continues to expose his vulerabilies to us in his writings. In his books, I followed him from his birth in America, through his very rough childhood and adolescence in Ireland, then back to America. I love the way he shares with us his insecurities and takes very little credit for his successes. In Teacher Man,it seemed as though his life as a teacher was one big experiment that seemed to work for him and most of his students. I always thought that teachers had all the answers. What folly! I am a nurse and I certainly don't have all the answers either.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Teacher Man is an inspiring novel about a man pursuing his dream of becoming an English teacher. Beginning his first year teaching he slowly figures out universal secrets of becoming the ultimate teacher. He almost gets fired during his first few days Frank McCourt overcomes these difficult times and continues with his teaching. After switching to numerous schools Frank found the school which suited him best. Between the different cultures of students he had varieties of difficult situations, for them to overcome their problems along with Frank. Because of the different cultures he had to face, Frank was able to overcome his fears and stand with confidence in front of the classroom. Gaining control of the classroom was one of the biggest accomplishments Frank overcame. A major theme of the novel is to be yourself. This is important because showing people who you actually are shows them you are not afraid therefore are confident they will be able to uphold a relationship. He displays this by first going into a new classroom timid, but then after a while he feels he has the freedom to show the class he is open to new and exciting ideas. Once he had started to loosen up he rambled on about things that are not relevant to English. This book is highly recommended because it shows everyone to learn to be happy with themselves and not change for anyone. Another recommended book would be 'Tiss and Angela¿s Ashes which are novels Frank McCourt has also written. The overall rating is completely outstanding.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It had been awhile since I had read Frank McCourt. I had read the rivoting accounts known as Angela's Ashes and 'Tis, and my son purchased this book for me on the chance I would be interested in a 3rd installment. Teacher Man has brought me back to the reason I love reading: Frank McCourt's ability to create a moving account of experience with humor and honesty. While I read, he is a friend telling a story, teaching a lesson, and sharing pain. Thank you, Mr. McCourt, for another glimpse into your brilliance in simplicity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Frank McCourt is without a doubt one of the most skilled and entertaining writers I have ever encountered in my many years of reading for pleasure.His intelligence, wit, sparing prose, (no excess verbiage), e.g.'At thirty I married Alberta Small....' That's all we hear about Alberta until occasional mentions creep out during the rest of the book to help the reader get to know Alberta. Another example is 'My Papa's Waltz' by T.Roethke,a poem used in one of his lessons. It is such a moving poem in so few words. McCourt's kindness and sensitivity towards his students, together with his unique teaching style,makes me wish all teachers were as talented. Learning would be enjoyable for every student.I am glad I read Angela's Ashes first. It gave me an understanding of how Frank McCourt evolved. Apart from his teaching career, his personal life is facinating-that old Irish guilt thing rears its ugly head and makes for many funny stories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this book is being hailed as the end of Mr. McCourt's trilogy, I think that is really not the case. Each book stands on its own. You don't have to read the first two to enjoy this third. I have read all three and enjoyed each one. This book gives those of us who aspire to be become writers, hope in our future if we just follow McCourt's advice. He makes it sound easy, but of course, it isn't. I predict that Frank McCourt will go on to win prizes for writing this book as he did with the other two.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This memoir cannot possible receive less tham 5 stars. Whether you are familiar with McCourt's background or are a first time reader, this books grabs you and it's hard not to race to get to the end. Then when the end comes, disappointment sets in, for you realize you have devoured it too soon. The fact that McCourt chooses to view his life with humor rather than drama is a treat for us all...all of us who 'get it'.
Cyberpunk_Paleobiologist 11 months ago
"Teacher Man" opens with a hilarious Prologue that would seem quite self-serving if written by someone other than Frank McCourt, in which he reviews his star-struck existence in the nine years since the original publication of "Angela's Ashes". In Part I (It's a Long Road to Pedagogy) he dwells on the eight years he spent at McKee Vocational High School in Staten Island. It starts, promisingly enough, with him on the verge of ending his teaching career, just as it begins in the lawless Wild West frontier of a McKee classroom (I was nearly in stitches laughing out loud, after learning why he was nearly fired on two consecutive days, no less.). Frank manages to break every rule learned in his Education courses at New York University, but he succeeds in motivating his students, raising the craft of excuse note writing to a high literary art. He finds time too to fall in love with his first wife, Alberta Small, and then earn a M. A. degree in English from Brooklyn College. Part II (Donkey on a Thistle) has the funniest tale; an unbelievable odyssey to a Times Square movie theater with Frank as chaperone to an unruly tribe of thirty Seward Park High School girls. But before we get there, we're treated to a spellbinding account of his all too brief time as an adjunct lecturer of English at Brooklyn's New York Community College, and of another short stint at Fashion Industries High School, where he receives a surprising, and poignant, reminder from his past. Soon Frank will forsake high school teaching, sail off to Dublin, and enroll in a doctoral program at Trinity College, in pursuit of a thesis on Irish-American literature. But, that too fails, and with Alberta pregnant, he accepts an offer to become a substitute teacher at prestigious Stuyvesant High School. Surprisingly, Part III (Coming Alive in Room 205) is the shortest section of "Teacher Man". After having spent fifteen years teaching at Stuyvesant High School, you'd think that this would be this memoir's longest section, replete with many tales rich in mirth (Room 205, located a few doors from the principal's office, was Frank's room throughout his years teaching full-time at Stuyvesant High School.). Indeed I'm surprised that it is so brief. Yet there is still ample fodder for Frank's lyrical prose to dwell on, most notably a hilarious episode on cookbooks and how he taught his creative writing class to write recipes for them. He describes with equal doses of hilarity and eloquence, his unique style of teaching at Stuyvesant, which he compares and contrasts with math teachers Philip Fisher and Edward Marcantonio - the dark and good sides of Stuyvesant mathematics education in the 1970s and 1980s (I was a student of both and will let the reader decide who was my teacher while I was a student in Frank's creative writing class.) - but he still implies that his students were having the most fun. Will "Teacher Man" earn the same critical acclaim bestowed upon "Angela's Ashes"? Who knows? Is it deserving of it? I think the answer is a resounding yes. Regardless, Frank's many devout fans - his flock of McCourties - will cherish this book as yet another inspirational tale from the foremost memoirist of our time.
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Andrew-B More than 1 year ago
The memoir "Teacher Man" by Frank McCourt is one of the best books I have read in a while and really made me not want to put it down. The book is a re-calling of his teaching days in NYC and his personal life as well as his triumphs and down-falls. There is a mix of humor, honesty, courage, grit, and sarcasm which makes this book delightful to the reader. He also uses a very unconventional teaching style in which he teaches his students in the ways that they know best. For example, he had his students write an excuse note for Adam and Eve to give to God. The witty and honest tone of the book was one of my big likes about this story and also seeing how the inner-city schools are a lot different than my own, and I could relate to that and think about what it would have been like as a student or as a teacher. The one confusing part of the book was how McCourt very seldomly used quotations, which sometimes made it hard to follow who was talking, or if in-fact, someone was talking in the first place. If you are a student, or especcially a teacher, I strongly reccomend this book for you. Even if you are none of the above, I think you will definitely get something out of this book. McCourt's best-seller is "Angela's Ashes" so if you are unfimilliar with Frank McCout, this might be a good starting place. I give this book 4 stars.
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In my opinion, his best work.
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