Letters to a Teacher by Sam Pickering

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Sam Pickering has been teaching, guiding, performing, and inspiring for more than forty years. As a young English teacher at Montgomery Bell Academy in Tennessee, his musings on literature and his maverick pedagogy touched a student named Tommy Schulman, who later wrote the screenplay for Dead Poets Society. Letters to a Teacher is a welcome reminder that teaching is a joy and an art. In ten graceful yet conversational letters addressed to teachers of all types, Pickering shares compelling, funny, always elucidating anecdotes from a lifetime in the classrooms of school and universities. His priceless, homespun observations touch on topics such as competition, curiosity, enthusiasm, and truth. More than a how-to guide, Letters to a Teacher is an invitation into the hearts and minds of an extraordinary educator and his students, and an irresistible call to reflection for the teacher who knows he or she must be compassionate, optimistic, respectful, firm, and above all dynamic. This is an indispensable guide for teachers and laymen alike.

About Sam Pickering

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A native of Nashville, Sam Pickering is a professor of English at the University of Connecticut & author of eleven previous books of essays. His most recent collections are Living to Prowl, Deprived of Unhappiness, & A Little Fling & Other Essays.
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 260 pages
Genres: Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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“A teacher must be patient and incredibly flexible,” Pickering observes atop one paragraph, then muses below about inflexible schools, quotes a friend named Josh, ends with a Palestinian parable—thus exemplifying the predominant pattern.

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Publishers Weekly

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Modest reflection ("I marvel at how superficial and fragmentary my knowledge seems to be") coexists with firm suggestions ("Instead of humiliating a child, you should talk to parents, generally the force pressuring a child to cheat") amid discussions of the practical matters of teaching (handling...

Nov 29 2004 | Read Full Review of Letters to a Teacher

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