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The English Teacher's Companion, Third Edition: A Complete Guide to Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession [Paperback]

Jim Burke
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
The English Teacher's Companion, Fourth Edition: A Completely New Guide to Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession The English Teacher's Companion, Fourth Edition: A Completely New Guide to Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession 4.2 out of 5 stars (12)
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Book Description

November 2, 2007 0325011397 978-0325011394 3 11 - 17 years
This book covers the entire English curriculum, from basic reading and writing to digital literacy, media literacy, and integrated instruction.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Burke is the author of numerous bestselling Heinemann titles, including the English Teacher's Companion, Fourth Edition and What's the Big Idea? The question he's always tried to answer is "How can we teach our students better?" He seeks these answers daily through his work in his own classroom at Burlingame High School in California where he still teaches after twenty years. Facing the same constraints and challenges as every other teacher, Jim shares his creative solutions in bestselling professional titles with Heinemann such as Reading Reminders and Writing Reminders as well as through Heinemann Professional Development Services. As part of his commitment to helping teachers and learning how to use the latest technologies, he founded the English Companion Ning, described by Education Week as "the world's largest English department" and winner of several Edublog Awards for Best Social Network for Education. In addition to the EC Ning, Jim offers a steady stream of recommended resources through his website ( and Twitter (@englishcomp) where he is ranked in the top 100 educators to follow at the top within the online English teacher community. Jim serves on several national commissions related to adolescent literacy and standards, including the Advanced Placement English Literature and Language Course and Exam Review Commission with the College Board and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) where he serves on the Content Technical Working Group, which advises PARCC on the national assessments being developed for the Common Core State Standards. In addition, he is a senior author on the Holt McDougal Harcourt Literature series. Jim has received numerous awards, including the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award, the NCTE Conference on English Leadership Award, and the California Reading Association Hall of Fame Award. He served on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Committee on Adolescence and Young Adulthood English Language Arts Standards. Through his work in the class and on such commissions, Jim Burke seeks not only to clarify but reimagine what English should be, honoring the past even as he works with others to create the future of the discipline he loves so much. Visit his website ( for more information.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 - 17 years
  • Paperback: 568 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann; 3 edition (November 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0325011397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0325011394
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Hesitate to Buy This Book May 10, 2001
By A Customer
In a world of disappointing texts on the nuts and bolts of teaching - Jim Burke's book delivers. I'm a new teacher, and I was given this book by a veteran teacher who considered it the English teacher's bible. She was not far off. I can't recommend this book highly enough as a complete resource for all teachers new and seasoned. With everything from structuring curriculum to bibliographies for further reading, I can't have asked for a better prep as I enter the world of teaching. I am infinitely grateful to Mr. Burke for his hard work in producing this magnum opus.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For Every English Teacher September 9, 2000
I just started my 25th year of teaching and I am always on the lookout for new, fresh ideas. That's exactly what I got in Jim Burke's book. You can tell a teacher wrote it because it is designed to be read a few pages at a time in the teachers' lounge over a cup of coffee. I carry it in my briefcase and pull it out when I'm waiting for the kids at the dentist, during commercials of Indianapolis Colts football games, and waiting in the school parking lot for my daughter after volleyball practice. I've also contacted Jim on several occasions about teaching issues and he is extremely helpful and incredibly responsive. I'm not quite sure how he does all he does. If you are a first year teacher, buy this book. If you're approaching the end of your career, buy this book. If you're somewhere in between, buy this book.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for English Teachers August 17, 2000
As a second year teacher, I have been stressing about my teaching style and what I want my classroom to be. This book is an immense help. The reading is straight forward and informative. Chapter 9 is great! If you need justification for teaching grammar or vocabulary this book really helps and it gives concrete ideas and examples for the teacher who needs plans for her classroom. It's a good buy!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book and accompanying web site are fantastic April 7, 2001
By A Customer
I first discovered Jim Burke in my English Methods class in college. Once I began student teaching, I referred to his companion web site ([...]) at least weekly. Both have wonderful tips and practical suggestions for running an English classroom, and the web site includes invaluable teaching tools and "thought organizers" that could go with infinite number of projects. Especially appreciated are Burke's classroom projects -- he challenges his students and appears to get good results.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has it all September 26, 1999
By A Customer
This book was recommended to me by one of my directing teachers after attending a seminar taught by the author. This book is an absolutely RICH guide and "companion" (very informal and user friendly) for the new (or experienced) English Teacher. I cannot recommend it more strongly. The author includes copious examples from his own teaching experience at Burlingame High School as well as abundant references to sources. This book is as good as it gets for new English teachers. The book has exhaustive chapters on teaching reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking, composing a curriculum, measuring student progress, digital literacy, media literacy, issues in teaching English, getting a teaching job in English, organizing, the politics of education, etc. These are very broad areas which are covered in detail.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Helpful - Highly Recommended October 14, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a soon-to-be new English teacher, I was terrified that I would be unprepared for class, so to speak. This book has really allayed my fears. The author gives detailed examples of ways to teach literature, grammar, etc, from plot diagrams to discussion questions, all based on standard school curriculum. The specificity and references to texts makes the information about instruction ideas that much better. In addition, the companion website and parts of the text give a more holistic view of the profession, its issues, and challenges. I *highly* recommend this book, particularly to new English teachers. Thank you, Jim!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How could you teach English without this book July 3, 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a resource book of information. It includes checklists for the beginning teacher, ideas for using technology in your classroom, and lesson plans for specific novels or units of instruction. This book covers all of the topics which a new or even seasoned teacher might need in order to sucessfully teach an English class. I could not possibly recommend this book more. I wish I could give it six stars.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My most frequently used textbook August 9, 2002
Typically after finishing one class, you never look into your textbook for that class again, right? I got this book a year ago and have used it consistently every semester since in lesson planning, problem solving, encouragement, etc. My mom (a 20 year teaching vet) glanced through this book the weekend after I got it, and now has her own copy of this and Burke's "Reading Reminders". Get them both - they will be worth every penny. Burke's writing style is also great - not jargon-heavy, but direct and downright conversational. The index is user-friendly for when you need to figure out just how to do that vocab activity you forgot the specifics on - just as the class is coming in the door. Definitely worthwhile investment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Every English teacher should own this book
Very very helpful book. Must have for all English teachers. Mr. Burke shares an amazing amount of information, freebies and support. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Redheaded Pirate
5.0 out of 5 stars A helpful resource
Have not finished this book yet, but so far I have a number of post-its and notes written throughout. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Ringydwm
5.0 out of 5 stars English Teacher's Companion
I love the ideas and charts that are in this book. I have enjoyed reading the book and gaining the ideas for my classroom.
Published 17 months ago by Godzchild
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
This book was required for a class, but its well worth the purchase. The quality is great and the content is excellent
Published 17 months ago by Katie Chapman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Information
So far I have only read a few chapters, but I have received a lot of useful information.Hopefully, I can finish the book before next school year and use it to plan my curriculum.
Published 19 months ago by Ashley Paschal
4.0 out of 5 stars Masterful
Jim Burke is a great help when developing curriculum for the English classroom. This is a man who has been an educator for a long time and is will to share and provide tools to... Read more
Published on October 28, 2011 by SAMaierson
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for New Teachers
As a new English teacher, I have been struggling with how to structure units and particularly how to approach novels. Read more
Published on March 8, 2011 by Laurenica
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent info and practical
While I am using this book in a Teaching Secondary English course, I have teaching experience and I find this book is well written and very practical. Read more
Published on March 3, 2011 by MN Momma
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for future teachers!
I'm a college student studying to become a secondary education teacher. I have been using this book for the last two semesters and it is amazing. Read more
Published on February 1, 2011 by Ren189
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to teach English - all in once place!
A practical handbook for every English teacher, Jim Burke's book The English Teacher's Companion: A Complete Guide to the Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession Third Edition is... Read more
Published on June 6, 2010 by Sara Kerns
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