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(Reminder: You already know my theories on why students don't appreciate non-fiction enough, that I'm attempting to recommend good non-fiction titles, and some of the other books I've reviewed here. This post is for August.)
The Natty Professor by Tim Gunn was the most refreshing teacher book I'd read in a long time, and since it's relatively new, I wanted to make sure you heard about it.
You don't have to be a fashion person, a Tim Gunn fan, or a Project Runway aficionado to appreciate this book. Though many stories are in the context of teaching at a fashion school, since those were the classes he taught, that's not the focus of the message, and it can be read and understood with little to no background knowledge in the fashion industry.
This is one that every teacher should read, regardless of subject/age group, but I find it particularly compelling because:
- It's SO, so funny. (And how many teacher books are that engaging?)
- Its short vignettes are easy to read in small doses... In case you have to keep picking it up and putting it back down.
- He actually knows what he's talking about. You know how some theorists/educational writers don't seem like they apply to you, or don't sound like they live in the real world? Tim Gunn has fought the battles more authentically than I realized, and he's both honest and uplifting. It's a good tone to keep you going during the year.
- I actually got something out of it. The stories and chapters at first seem random, but I genuinely appreciated his TEACH acronym/philosophy (Truth-telling, Empathy, Asking, Cheerleading, and Hoping), and every story makes a good point.
So good luck this school year, friends. Make it work!