Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Teaching: From Author Pat Conroy's Experience

When you tell someone you were once a high school English teacher, that person often asks, "Who's your favorite author?" Or, "What's your favorite book?" I never hesitate; my immediate answer is Pat Conroy. I stumbled upon his book The Lords of Discipline and The Great Santini while in college and have never turned back. I can honestly say I have read every word he has put down on paper. But, there was one of his books I read back in the 1980s that was an inspiration for me in my becoming and staying a teacher. That book was The Water Is Wide. This book was based on his experiences teaching school on Daufuskie Island, just off the coast of South Carolina.  His attempts to introduce the kids of Daufuskie Island to the world beyond have always inspired me in some way to believe that "Teaching is undoubtedly the noblest profession of all and our job is to reach out to kids no matter what."

In the video below, Pat Conroy says of his time as a teacher, "Our job is to grab kids and set'em on fire." That's what true teaching is about. This book will inspire you to reexamine what is most important about what teachers do every single day.

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