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Teacher Man: A Memoir

Teacher Man: A Memoir

Scritto da Frank McCourt

Narrato da Frank McCourt


Teacher Man: A Memoir

Scritto da Frank McCourt

Narrato da Frank McCourt

valutazioni:
4/5 (81 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
8 ore
Pubblicato:
Nov 15, 2005
ISBN:
9780743552462
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

Nearly a decade ago Frank McCourt became an unlikely star when, at the age of 66, he burst onto the literary scene with Angela's Ashes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir of his childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Then came 'Tis, his glorious account of his early years in New York.
Now here at last, is McCourt's long-awaited audiobook about how his thirty-year teaching career shaped his second act as a writer. Teacher Man is also an urgent tribute to teachers everywhere. In bold and spirited prose featuring his irreverent wit and heartbreaking honesty, McCourt records the trials, triumphs and surprises he faces in public high schools around New York City.
Teacher Man shows McCourt developing his unparalleled ability to tell a great story as he works to gain the attention and respect of unruly, hormonally-charged or indifferent adolescents. McCourt's rocky marriage, his failed attempt to get a Ph.D. at Trinity College, Dublin, and his repeated firings due to his propensity to talk back to his superiors ironically lead him to New York's most prestigious school, Stuyvesant High School, where he finally finds a place and a voice.
For McCourt, storytelling itself is the source of salvation and in Teacher Man the journey to redemption -- and literary fame -- is an exhilarating adventure.
Pubblicato:
Nov 15, 2005
ISBN:
9780743552462
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Frank McCourt (1930–2009) was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Irish immigrant parents, grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and returned to America in 1949. For thirty years he taught in New York City high schools. His first book, Angela’s Ashes, won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. In 2006, he won the prestigious Ellis Island Family Heritage Award for Exemplary Service in the Field of the Arts and the United Federation of Teachers John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    This is a wonderful book filled with the easy storytelling that Frank McCourt has become known for. If you have read Angela's Ashes and 'Tis by Frank McCourt, then you will definitely enjoy this book. It is written in the same style as his two earlier books, but is in no way a sequel to either. Whereas Angela's Ashes and 'Tis tell the story of his life, Teacher Man simply shares his stories from teaching and his progression within the education system. Nevertheless, it is a great read filled with humor, wit, sadness, and joy. Overall a good and easy read.
  • (5/5)
    Reflections of a life well lived. Mr. McCourt has been instrumental to my enjoyment of reading.
  • (5/5)
    I got Teacher Man from the library on my husband's request, and ended up reading it first! It is Frank McCourt's memoir of the 30 years he spent teaching in public high schools (and one community college) in New York City. McCourt is an excellent writer and I thoroughly enjoyed his memoir. He has many insightful comments about teenagers, teaching, and life in general. I highly recommend Teacher Man whether or not you are a teacher yourself.
  • (4/5)
    hits the highs and lows of an award winning teaching career. no one wants to write about the day to day boredom of teaching or any other job.
  • (4/5)
    This is a "real" account of Frank McCourt as a teacher. It is his deep truth. He has opened his school door and allowed us in, to experience and feel what it was to be a teacher in his shoes up in front of his class. We learned what it was like for Frank McCourt on that first day of his first class up until his last day. We understood and he wasn't much like the other teachers around him. He did things differently. He had a difficult time of trying to grab his students attention. When he found he had the class engaged, he went with the flow. Sometimes, having other teachers, parents and even the students wondering what the purpose of this lesson was. Even Frank wouldn't know.Frank was not shy about telling us his story of the way it really happened. There were times, when I thought, if I was the author, I would have skipped "that part", just so it would make myself not look bad. Frank laid it all out on the table. This book gave me more appreciation for all teachers. A must read for everyone.
  • (1/5)
    I am an educator and boy did I dislike this book. I couldn't finish it. McCourt has a sense of humor, but the book doesn't offer much of interest when it comes to the profession. Books prior to his and movies in the dozen on tough kids growing up in poor neighborhoods is nothing new. I wanted to be intrigued, even inspired, by McCourt's hard road to becoming an educator, but I was not -not even mildly. I'm not alone in this regard. I've spoken with more than a few individuals, educators and non-educators, and most wonder what all the fuss is about with Teacher Man. Some did really enjoy it, but, it seemed to me, most did not.
  • (4/5)
    I recommend the audio, as it is read by McCourt himself, and he?s a wonderful reader, hah hah (you?ll have to listen to get that). Those who have read [book:Angela?s Ashes] ? a marvelous memoir of Frank?s early childhood in Ireland? will remember him growing up in abject poverty, worn to the breaking point by hunger and a father?best intentions notwithstanding? who drank away whatever little money he was able to earn. Alcohol is a desperate problem for the Irish in McCourt?s books. It seems no one could do anything or go anywhere without a few pints. The local tavern?of which there must have been thousands ?apparently substituted for home life. Still, both books have an undercurrent of humor that?s very enjoyable. ?Tis takes up where Angela?s Ashes ends. Frank is 19, fresh off the boat in New York ? he?s an American citizen, having been born in New York ?and he has bought the American Dream, a land of riches where everyone has enough to eat and can become president. But the 1930s finds New York as inhospitable to the poor as Limerick. Ironically, his ship lands at Albany and he has to find his way to New York in the company of a friendly?too friendly as we later learn?priest. A recurrent theme, never quite explained, is Frank?s problem with his eyes: ?like two piss-holes in the snow.? Never completely cured, his problem is repeatedly misdiagnosed, and, perceived by some employers to be contagious, he is banned from public contact in his first menial job (of many) cleaning up after rich patrons at the Biltmore Hotel. There?s a very funny scene in which he is ordered by the manager to dig through the garbage to find a paper napkin on which some ingenue had inscribed the telephone number of some Princeton beau. Thinking it was trash, Frank had taken it out with the garbage. Incensed, he spills some coffee on a clean napkin, writes some made-up phone number on the ersatz napkin, and presents it to the teary girl as the authentic one. It?s a wonderfully satisfying scene. Some reviewers, including my wife, have found this book to be much gloomier and not as sympathetic as Angela?s Ashes. I found it otherwise. It?s true that many of his assumptions and illusions about America were destroyed, but it?s a great story about the value and power of teaching and education. Libraries were his salvation. It was because he was a reader and loved books that he was able to get into college without a high school diploma. But there is an undercurrent of jealousy and envy that pervades his relationships with others. He resents the privileges of the rich, and complains about the sons and daughters of the rich who can send their children to Stuyvesant High School, where he later taught, so they could make money and grow ?into their fat 40?s.? He wants to be middleclass, but he complains he doesn?t know how to dress or act, and he turns his wedding day into an alcohol-fueled debacle. There?s also a view of the Irish as a very clannish bunch who were constantly urging each other to stick together. They helped each other out, using the political power they had accumulated to create jobs for themselves to the exclusion of anyone else, but particularly blacks, something Frank abhorred. McCourt?s mother makes it over to the United States, but she?s not a happy woman, constantly complaining about tea-bags from which one certainly cannot make a decent cup of tea, and whining about not having any friends. McCourt has a wonderful storytellers gift, and I found the vignettes of his friends, most of them rather sorry individuals, quite amusing. There is Andy Peters, who changes a few unapproved loan applications every night to approved in order to help out some of the less fortunate, and Harry Ball, an 85-year-old neighbor who spends most of his time in a chair near his car trying to scout out better parking places.

  • (5/5)
    This is the second work of Frank McCourt?s I?ve read (the other being Angela?s Ashes, which I read and reviewed in September of last year). And since he chooses to call both of them ?memoirs,? I can only conclude that the man knows what he?s talking about and is a master of the form.


    McCourt is about as real a writer as I can imagine. His language is straightforward ? never hackneyed, never trite ? and every situation he describes seems to lift right off the page and into a reader?s eyes, ears, nose and gut.


    If I think this particular memoir should be recommended reading for every teacher in the New York Public Educational system, I?m even more convinced that it should be required reading for every administrator in that same system. (I?m of course assuming that those teachers and administrators can be both honest and introspective enough to read the book with an open and receptive mind.)


    I?ve substitute-taught, myself, in the New York Independent School system here in Brooklyn, in Manhattan, in the Bronx and in Queens ? and my application to teach in the public school system was twice rejected. The chief distinction in qualifying for the former and even being considered for the latter is now ? if it wasn?t already ? crystal clear to me after having read McCourt?s own experience of both. (Although Stuyvesant High School is not, properly speaking, part of the Independent School system, the guiding philosophy of that particular school ? as we have it from McCourt, and as I know it from some of its graduates ? is very much in line with that of NYC?s Independent schools.) The Independents look for passion and creativity in their respective staffs; the Publics look for obedience, strict adherence to rules, and a Master?s Degree in Education.


    Please allow me a second anecdote. This one concerns a school I attended in South Florida when I was a kid?.


    I?d just graduated from Bayview (public) Elementary School in a section of Fort Lauderdale known as ?Coral Ridge,? and I was now headed off to middle ? or as we called it those days ? junior high school.


    I ended up, quite felicitously, going to what was then billed as an ?experimental? school called ?Nova? just west of Fort Lauderdale in a little town called ?Davie? and right down the road from some obsolete gravel pits. It was one of a kind in the entire U. S. At the time I entered the 7th Grade, the school had only 7th ? 10th, the plan being to add 11th and 12th over the next two years, then to start building back to kindergarten and eventually to build out to a university. In other words, kindergarten through graduate school, all on one campus.


    What made the school ?experimental? other than what I?ve just described as its future plans? Apart from state-of-the-art science labs and foreign language instruction in several languages, both ancient and modern, starting already at the 7th Grade level, no bells or buzzers to mark the start and end of class periods; carpeted hallways; college-like lecture halls for some of the Intro to XXX classes. And the most innovative and exciting thing of all? Every student could advance at his or her own pace in a given discipline. You could ? as a motivated eleven- or twelve-year-old ? find yourself sharing classroom space with high school seniors.


    In fact, many students went on to college at the age of fourteen or fifteen.


    It was the happiest and most fulfilling year of my long academic career ? and, I?d like to think, at least the germ of a start to my writing career.


    My parents, for various reasons, pulled me out after one year and put me back into the public school system. Within short order, the annoying habit I?d developed at Nova of reading (rather than gabbing) while waiting in line in the lunchroom rendered me something of an apostate, but I wasn?t in school to win a popularity contest. Also within relatively short order, a science teacher put an end to my incessant questions by reminding me publicly ?You?re not at Nova any longer. Rusty.?


    (It wasn?t until I eventually moved to Brooklyn that I better understood the meaning of a name ? which I still remember quite well ? namely, his: ?Mr. Schmuck.?)


    But back to Frank McCourt?s memoir, Teacher Man. Two descriptive words occur to me immediately: ?vivid? and ?compelling.? If you have any thoughts about the state of the present educational system(s) in America ? or have children of your own who may already be in one of them or are about to enter ? I can?t give this memoir a high enough recommendation.


    But I should let McCourt, himself, have the last word ? just as he did with his students on the last day of their secondary education, and on the last day of his teaching career.


    ?This is where teacher turns serious and asks Big Question: What is education, anyway? What are we doing in this school? ? I?ve worked out an equation for myself. On the left side of the blackboard I print a capital F, on the right side another capital F. I draw an arrow from left to right, from FEAR to FREEDOM.


    ?I don?t think anyone achieves complete freedom, but what I am trying to do with you is drive fear into a corner? (p. 253).


    RRB
    06/30/14
    Brooklyn, NY

  • (3/5)
    I was surprised by the number of reviewers who did not like this book. I enjoyed it. Audiobook is definitely the way to go, even though the author sounds like he has marbles in his mouth, because he is a natural storyteller, and his imitations of students are priceless. I would have been one of those students frustrated by McCourt's teaching methods. I wanted to be able to measure what I had learned on a test. He wanted students to explore their creativity. Students have taken many, many classes by the time they graduate high school, so there should be room for a few random classes where success isn't measured on a test. I don't think I would have felt confident enough to open up in his class -- he really doesn't address the issues of loners vs. popular kids -- I probably would have been on the outside looking in on the fun everyone else was having. But, who knows -- maybe he would have taught me to laugh at myself, not take myself too seriously, like he tried to do.
  • (4/5)
    This was a great memoir on the way "things used to be" in the education world. As a former resident of New York, I have plenty of friends who are teachers in the New York City public school system. While the demographics and logistics have changed, it seems that the core problems faced in McCourt's teaching days are still alive and kicking. I would highly recommend this book, but not as summer reading for a teacher!
  • (4/5)
    Really enjoyed this; especailly since I have been a Brit out of my depth teaching NYC teens myself, I could relate to it. He has a unique style of disrespect for authority, but compassion fro the individual. I can appreciate that.I've also lived in Staten Island, so could relate to the people he comes across.
  • (4/5)
    Frank McCourt tells the story of his teaching career with humor, insight, and humility. He?s not reticent about his shortcomings as a person or teacher, and gives his many students credit for teaching him as much or more than he taught them.
  • (2/5)
    I didn't enjoy this book! The man seemed so self-effacing and incapable of doing anything right - it was only a matter of time before his marriage failed. He seemed to lack any spunk and I kept hoping that he would find some courage before the end of his tale, but alas! It was not to be. His story holds more appeal for the feminine reader....
  • (3/5)
    I found Teacher Man a very interesting read; as a teacher, the book certainly told it like it was, and still is, for teaching in the trenches of high school, and the impact teachers hope and sometimes can make upon their students. On the downside, the book can be a little ranty and long-winded--and especially over the top with the self-effacing attitude. McCourt devotes a little too much to his own education and adolescent troubles in Ireland. Also, I didn't find his dating and/or marital troubles to be particularly relevant--interesting: yes; relevant:no.All in all, I'm glad I read it.
  • (3/5)
    McCourt's voice is lyrical and convincing. He has a respect for his profession and his students, and some anecdotal moments that will make any teacher smile and nod in an "I've been there" kind of way. However, it seemed to me that he experienced very little progression as a teacher. He started out blundering, as all of us do, but he shared no triumphs, no insights, no growth, no faith that, in the end, he learned how to make it work, which saddened me. I suppose I was looking for inspiration, but only got comradery.
  • (3/5)
    actually enjoyed this book more so than his more famous ashes.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed Frank McCourt?s childhood biography, Angela?s Ashes, but never bothered to pick up ?Tis, so I wasn?t sure if I would find any coherent link between the child of Ireland and America, and the teacher of American children? McCourt, however, brought his whole life to his teaching experiences, and his memoir of those years is a moving, (if directionless), wholly worthwhile read. I could have spent a lot longer reading about the first 8 years of his career, because his floundering and occasional flashes of brilliance made for fascinating reading. I was especially moved by the respect and appreciation he granted the pupils that graced his classrooms, even those that tested his early, fledgling teaching ability beyond its limits. I admit I expected something much more cynical from a retired teacher, but McCourt?s cynicism is reserved for his own life, bringing the internal Catholic guilt down upon himself for not somehow knowing or achieving what he wanted to do with his life ? this despite having obviously done it, then and later, and quite successfully, at that.
  • (4/5)
    A memoir that includes stories of students and classrooms, stories of teacher peers, stories of building (surviving) a career in education. The approach is focused on the challenges and self-doubt faced throughout. He documents not only his own experience as a teacher, but also the struggles of his students making their own way in society/American culture through the decades of his career.
  • (2/5)
    It was a little difficult for me. I confused.
  • (5/5)
    And the Frank McCourt marathon continues. This is the sequel to 'Tis, the sequel to Angela's Ashes. And like the other two books, I couldn't put it down.
  • (2/5)
    I don't like this story so much because the writer always complains in this book.He was poor when he was child but he was a good teacher for students. I want him to teach me one time.
  • (4/5)
    he was a great teacher. I wanna be taught by interesting teacher like him.
  • (2/5)
    At first, I enjoyed reading this book. Mr. McCourt's way of teaching was funny and interesting. A Sandwich Situation (chapter 2) was especially funny. But I lost my interest at last. It was because all chapters had similar stories. And Mr. McCourt was negative.
  • (4/5)
    This story is about how Mr.McCourt taught his students.He was a very funny teacher, and met a lot of students.They had their own problems and characters.This story is very funny because of Mr.McCourt's unique way of teaching.I like this book.
  • (4/5)
    This book was a good read. It was light with equal parts humor and stark reality. It is an inspiring read for immigrants and/or teachers. The writing style keeps you attention, and the little classroom anecdotes offer wonderful glimpses into the life of the author and his students.
  • (2/5)
    Well, this was a pleasant enough read, and after a few months' break from the reading it was a good way to get back in. Here, McCourt describes his long career in teaching in America. It's interesting, and there are enough details to satisfy teachers who want to try out some of his own techniques. I wasn't entirely happy with the style of his writing - somehow it seemed patronising and preachy even when McCourt was describing his own failures.
  • (5/5)
    Frank McCourt writes about his experiences as a teacher in the New York Public School System. Through his experiences in several public high schools, we watch him slowly gain insight into what teaching really means and how his students have shaped the man he's become. McCourt is a brilliant memoirist: funny, authentic, honest.
  • (5/5)
    If you are preparing to be, are or have been a middle or high school teacher, you should read this. Every thought Frank McCourt had in the classroom belonged to me at one time or another in the classroom during 11 years. His self deprecating humor as well as his insecurity about how he is viewed by administrators, students and parents provided assurance that this is not uncommon among teachers. His view that a teacher must to his own self be true is oh so valid. Wanting to be like the teacher in the next room who has everyone sitting up straight, teaching a black and white lesson, spoon-feeding the thoughts you want regurgitated on a test was never McCourt's style and never mine. I can really identify with Frank McCourt and am ever so glad I read his book.
  • (3/5)
    A mosaic of stories from McCourt's life as a high school teacher. I could relate to some of his foibles and insights into the classroom, but was bored by the absence of cohesiveness. A worthwhile read, a great glimpse into the real lives of high school teachers.
  • (4/5)
    Really liked this esp. the way he couldn't get down to do the phd in Trinity and kept putting it off but did have index cards. Good insight into teaching.