I love inspirational teaching books...
And I love books that teach me how to teach.
I recently found a book that doesn't fit into either of those categories. More a teaching memoir, Brendan Halpin's Losing My Faculties chronicles his teaching career thus far, beginning with his student teaching experience and extending into 2003 (when the book was published).
What I liked about this book, and its author, was that Brendan Halpin seems real to me. He gets frustrated with decisions that affect him, he becomes angry with disillusioned teachers who just don't care, and he doesn't do everything perfectly. It really makes me feel better, as a first-year teacher. It makes me feel good that he was in survival mode, just as I am. I mean, sometimes we have GREAT days, and I am like, "Wow, go me!" But other days I just want to go to sleep and forget whatever weird things happened.
I also liked that he taught in a variety of settings - public school, truancy prevention program, and charter school. It was really interesting to compare the politics of each of the different settings, and I liked having a peek into a world different than my tiny private school.
So that's the scoop!! I know you are totally overwhelmed with back-to-school business, but if you have a chance, I recommend you read this. It's not a feel-good book, and the language is a bit on the strong side. Just to forewarn you!
And on a semi-related note (in that it has to do with reading), this article from the New York Times gives answers to some burning questions about popular children's books: what does Brown Bear see? Can the pigeon drive the bus? It made me smile! Check it out. :)
Do you have any professional development or teaching-related books that are a must-read?