A Life in School - What the Teacher Learned.
I am so much enjoying Jane Tompkins' teacher memoir A Life in School: What the Teacher Learned. [I bought it 2 years ago and just started reading it over this Christmas break.]Tompkins graduated from Bryn Mawr about 8 years before I did and went to Yale for a PhD in American literature, with a dissertation on Melville. She recounts her struggles as a graduate student and a new professor, through her tenure at Duke, and the new looser way she wanted to teach her classes. She's a big fan of Parker Palmer's spiritual teaching approach. She's very honest about the fear that even experienced teachers feel in front of a class, hoping that the students will like the material, will like the class, will like her, will learn. Maybe I'll recommend this book to our OSU MA graduate teaching assistants, though I know that they already have too much reading. I would want it to inspire and reassure, not alarm them with the rigors ahead. Her writing style delights me. This has been perfect reading all week. Ostensibly, I was hunting for ideas for the 4C's paper on teacher identity formation, but found so much more to enjoy.