Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Losing My Faculties

Losing My Faculties by Brendan Halpin is THE best teacher memoir. Period. Get it and forget about Frank McCourt. Halpin manages to write with a hilarious, ego-free voice. How many teachers write with an ego-free voice? Not me, that's for sure. Every other teacher memoir I've read has somehow annoyed me. Losing My Faculties is different. It's obvious Halpin cares infinitely more about kids than kissing ass. He taught high school English in Boston area public schools. And no, I don't know the guy.

An excerpt:

"One day John busts out with, 'Your mama's so black she went to a night class and got marked absent!' I am getting ready to yell at him, and I'm really afraid I am going to have to pull Latoya off of him in about two seconds. How could a white kid be so dumb as to make such a totally racist joke?

The class explodes with laughter. Latoya says, 'Good one John,' and he gets high fives all around the table. I have no idea what just happened."


Anonymous Schoolgal said...

Sounds like a good read.


3:59 PM  
Blogger Katherine said...

That book kept me from killing myself the last year I taught at my wonderful middle school that had become a horrible horrible place. I LOVE that book. =) It also kept me sane the following year at the high school I transferred to. And now that I have left teaching (I'm one of those statistics, yes, but an outlier--I said fuck it after 10 years of successful special ed teaching, not the normal 1 or 2) that book makes me miss it. Well, parts of it. =)

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Maggie said...

That is too funny! I can completely see that happening in my class. Now, say something about someone's mama, and it's an entirely different story!

7:39 AM  
Blogger Mike in Texas said...

That is an excellent book, he also has a book about his wife's battle with breast cancer and how if affected the family

10:21 AM  

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