No Place But Here: A Teacher's Vocation in a Rural Community

No Place But Here: A Teacher's Vocation in a Rural Community

by Garret Keizer
     
 

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Weaving anecdotal narrative with trenchant reflections on his profession, Garret Keizer offers one teacher's answer to the hue and cry over the crisis in education. An English teacher in rural Vermont, he writes of the opposing realities he faces every day: the promise and energy of the young and the oppressive effect of their economic disadvantages; the beauty

Overview

Weaving anecdotal narrative with trenchant reflections on his profession, Garret Keizer offers one teacher's answer to the hue and cry over the crisis in education. An English teacher in rural Vermont, he writes of the opposing realities he faces every day: the promise and energy of the young and the oppressive effect of their economic disadvantages; the beauty of the countryside and its people and the harsh, sometimes ugly edge of life there; the need for discipline and the importance of rebellion. In exploring the demands peculiar to his own community, Keizer movingly depicts the difficulties-some triumphantly overcome, some overwhelming-that form the heart of teaching anywhere.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Northeast Kingdom, in rural Vermont, is not only ``an amenable place to settle,'' but evidently a fine place to be a teacher. Keizer, an Episcopal minister, writes here about his seven-year teaching career at Lake Region Union High School and his students, who present special challenges arising from the isolation of farm communities. In his warm, anecdotal narrative Keizer shows how an artful iconoclasm in the classroom promotes sprightly discussion and, sometimes, a change in outlook among students. One such class involves the study of mythology, made immediate by Keizer's stories of his own bouts with the mythology surrounding the ``facts of life,'' and we see the amusement and understanding of the farm-wise students. There are the usual bureaucratic frustrations, professional defeats and victories, but the good fit of teacher and student as recounted here speaks of a true vocaton. (August)
Library Journal
In Keizer's compassionate and articulate narrative based on his experience teaching high school English in Vermont, he examines fundamental issues ranging from the philosophy and role of education to student mores and the salaries of teachers. Although the focus is on rural education, the topics discussed are intrinsic to education everywhere. One can only hope that the majority of teachers are as sincere and sensitive as Keizer. Whether pedagogists and lay readers agree or disagree, they will enjoy Keizer's tale and his unpretentious, often humorous writing style. L.R. Little, Penticton P.L., British Columbia
From the Publisher

“What's fresh and even exhilarating about Keizer's book is its locale -an uncelebrated, backwater corner of New England-and his commitment to this place, to altering the lives of his students. On subjects ranging from student courtesy to teenage sex, Keizer opens up his classroom and his commitment with wry wit and rare zeal . . . A seasoned, razor-sharp testament to the complexity and fulfillment of a beleaguered yet essential vocation. Garret Keizer can do the truly remarkable, he can make a reader yearn to go back to high school.” —Smithsonian Magazine

“A beautiful, sincere, and terribly important book about how a young teacher grew into his vocation and learned a great deal in the process. It’s also a book about values — intellectual, educational, and moral values — in an age that seems instinctively to distrust them . . . A rich, amusing, and deeply wise book that should challenge and inspire those who care about what happens in our schools.”—Jay Parini, USA Today

“A compelling mixture of autobiography, sketches of rural life, and social criticism from a tough-minded and compassionate high-school English teacher in northeastern Vermont . . . A refreshing combination of arrogance and humility that reveals the author as neither policy-maker nor theorist, but as a teacher and writer aware of contradictions, ever seeking fresh truths.”—Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611688764
Publisher:
University Press of New England
Publication date:
10/01/2015
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
184
File size:
432 KB

Meet the Author

GARRET KEIZER lives in northeastern Vermont, where in addition to writing he serves as an Episcopal minister, a role he explored in A Dresser of Sycamore Trees (1991).

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