A Book New–and Veteran–Teachers Will Want to Read

They Call Me Mom

by Pete Springer
Pete Springer’s memoir They Call Me Mom (Outskirts Press 2019) about his first years teaching will delight new teachers and have experienced educators nodding along with him. As a teacher, Pete’s early experiences remind me of the joy inherent in teaching:
“This job required about as much brainpower as my tree planting experience.”
“This is the story of how I fell in love with teaching and the joys and challenges that this noble profession provided to me over the course of thirty-one years.”
He breaks the book into chapters every teacher will understand:
  • How did i get here
  • Setting up your classroom
  • Working with students
  • Working with colleagues
  • Working with your boss
  • Discipline
…and more. Aside from grading, parents, lunch duty, conferences, and yard duty, these are the biggest issues teachers face. Even as a veteran teacher of thirty years, I still couldn’t wait to read Pete’s take on these timeless issues.

“Instead of saying, “Do everything my way, and you can become a successful teacher,” she was giving me her permission to find my way.”

“…storytelling was one of the most successful methods to get my students to pay attention.”

“…when we lose our calm, we are teaching them that it is okay to behave in this manner when something is not going right.”Xx

Every new teacher will benefit from Pete’s daily experiences of what in the end results in a journey well traveled with more importance than most of us would care to admit. Educational philosophies change. Favorite tools like iPads and Chromebooks change. What doesn’t is the fundamentals Pete covers in this book:

“…tell the kids when I made similar mistakes growing up.”

“I do think that it is possible for parents or schools to provide too many rewards for kids.”
Overall an excellent book. If you’re a new teacher, I’d call this an essential read prior to your first day.

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.

12 thoughts on “A Book New–and Veteran–Teachers Will Want to Read

  1. I really enjoyed reading Pete’s book, Jacqui. I love reading about other teachers’ experiences, particularly when they are like-minded.

    1. Me, too. It brought back many memories though my teacher start wasn’t quite like his (I wish it was!). He’s a good storyteller.

    2. You know I always enjoy talking education with you, Norah. Your commit to children is truly inspiring.

      1. As is yours, Pete. Your dedication must inspire so many young teachers, showing them what it means to really reach the children, the heart of teaching, rather than just sharing content.

  2. Thanks so much again for the kind thoughts about my book, Jacqui. We experienced (notice I didn’t say old) educators have this need to pay it forward to the next generation of teachers. Thank you for all that you do in the tech world with all your resources and tips. I imagine that you find fewer teachers with tech phobias since the teachers of today have grown up in such a tech era..

    1. Interestingly, I still find more afraid of tech than not. Even my colleagues who teach grad school classes in education try to avoid the tech when they can. Sigh.

      1. That surprises me. The last few years I taught at the same school with one of my old 4th-grade students. We truly had come full circle as she often assisted me when I had technology questions.

    1. Thank you, Sandra. I’ve seen you on some of the same blogs I follow. I’ve heard others speak kindly of your writing. I know I picked up Gwen Slade, Bounty Hunter recently. It’s waiting with about 100 other unread books on my Kindle. I look forward to getting into that in the next few months.

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