Teacher’s Gotta Dance by Philip M. Fishman

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Stars: *** 1/2

Createspace (2010)
200 pages

Summary: At 66, Philip Fishman decides he wants to become a teacher. This is the story of his (very) short lived career. It’s a memoir of that choice and that adventure and where it lead him. It’s also the story of what he learned during his few weeks as a teacher.

Yes, weeks. He was a full time teacher for 3 weeks. When I heard that I was thinking, wow he must have really messed up. I was also thinking, he wrote a whole book on 3 weeks of his life? But I was wrong. First of all, his career wasn’t short because he messed up and was fired. It just wasn’t for him and he learned many lessons along the way. Second of all, it really is possible to write an entire book on three weeks without it being repetitive or boring.

I was pleasantly surprised and was very interested in reading as I was curious why he only taught for 3 weeks. Actually he did substitute teaching first, but he was a full time teacher for 3 weeks.

The book also has his personal reflections on many topics such as the no child left behind act, inclusion, standard test score mandates, ESL and testing. He also includes his actual tests he gave his students (he taught science) so you can try them out. I didn’t personally care for this part but it is a neat add on if you want to test your science skill, see what grade 6-8 need(ed) to know about science or want to see if his test writing ability is what ended his career he he.

It would however have been better if it was picked up by a publishing company that could have helped with editing but it is one of the better self published books I’ve seen, that’s for sure. I enjoyed reading it and recommend it to anyone who ever considered being a teacher, especially if you are older and think it’s too late.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.