Sunday, March 04, 2007

I Have a Book for Sale!

I've been a teacher for 33 years and in that time I like to think I've learned something about what it takes to be good at it. If you're so inclined, check out my book on the art of teaching at the high school level here. Preview it and see what you think. (I'll also keep a link on my blogroll.)

Thanks mucho!


Anonymous said...

It always feels very strange to critique a teacher's work. Here we go anyway, though. ;)

The content page looks fascinating. I'm especially curious about Section III, for obvious reasons (I am one, and I've always wondered what the teacher people think about us, how much they see through the facade, etc). It looks like you covered all the important topics, even ones that don't necessarily get much face time. In all, it's very thorough and intriguing, certainly enough for me to want to order a copy.

The introduction is also strong. I wish this had been finished in time to present it to my father, who earned a Master's in Education after a long career in another field, taught for three years, and then gave it up to return to industry. Also, the last part brings tears to my eyes, but then, I am a sap.

Section I, the content: I really like the part about intellectual satisfaction. I think it's quite true; the best teachers are the ones who challenge themselves to stay somewhat current in the field even if opportunities to disperse their specialized knowledge are rare at best.

I also like the quote from A Man for All Seasons and the imperative writing style, which is somewhat reminiscent of your teaching.


This is the part that is odd, but I guess all-positive review is not particularly useful...

On page 1, the sentence, "Some people would find that sentiment funny or over the top; I obviously don't" is entirely enclosed by parentheses, so the period should also be inside the parentheses. Likewise on page 4 with the sentence that begins, "That doesn't mean of course...".

Also on page 4, in the last paragraph: "there are actually people on the faculty who love to discuss actual ideas" - "actual" might be a bit redundant there.

On page 3: "this is a fine ambition to have but be warned" might flow better with a comma after "have".

On page 2, last paragraph: "r" in "royal Court" should probably also be capitalized.

I think that's it... it's a bit more difficult to read things closely on the computer (for me, anyway). I will probably order a copy, and I could go through the rest of it in the same way if you liked (probably over spring break). Recently I've been contemplating becoming an editor, so it would be good practice.

Joseph said...

Thank you so much for your feedback! And thank you for the very useful criticisms. I would like to correspond with you about the book, if you like. My e-mail is on the home page.

Allan Sluis said...

Joseph, or as I referred to you as "Mr. Miller", my warmest congratulations on the publishing of your book! My name is Allan Sluis and I had you as a history teacher when I attended Lincoln-Way High School (class of '88). I would overtly mention just how phenomenal of a teacher you were to myself as well as the rest of your students, but undoubtably several people have beaten me to it. I could not think of a better way for you to spread your expertise at educating than by writing it down for others to benefit from. What I really wish could be conveyed for others though is how fortunate a student was to have been included in one of your classes. Although my grades throughout my high school career were less than stellar and school in general was an archetypical annoyance to me, your classes kept me captivated and eager to learn more on a daily basis.

Again my congratulations to you and I'm thrilled that I was able to discover your blog via the considerate linking to your friend Lance's website.

All the best Joe,

Allan Sluis

Joseph said...

From the bottom of my heart, thank you Allan. That means more to me than you know.