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Learn Me Good Paperback – June 28, 2006
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About the Author
John Pearson was born just outside of Washington, DC, but moved to Texas as quickly as he could. Growing up with a passion for science, math,and calculator watches, he obtained engineering degrees and basketball(watching) accolades from Duke University and Texas A&M. His firstjob out of college was designing small solid-state heat pumps, where his cubicle simply was not big enough to contain him. When the engineeringmarket went sour, he decided to try his hand as a teacher, and he hasbeen a math teacher ever since.
When he's not teaching, he's reading, blogging, or making YouTube videos like "Darth Vader Explains thePythagorean Theorem." You may have seen (and hopefully rooted for) himon the Jeopardy Teachers Tournament in 2013 and the Tournament ofChampions in 2014.
His first book, Learn Me Good, was born of the baptism-by-fire nature of Pearson's first year as a teacher.
His second, Learn Me Gooder (a sequel, can you tell?) practically wrote itself after 7 years of teaching third grade.
His latest is a foray into the world of Fantasy Football. I Coulda CaughtThat Pass! (a true story about fake football) details one season in theNational Football Liquors, his fantasy football league.
His son Drew was born in May of 2012, so books about fatherhood and cluelessness may very well be on the way soon!
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Top customer reviews
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What a delightful book! The author began his teaching career after being laid off from his job as an engineer. He turned a negative thing into a very positive one.
You may think of engineers as being very structured, and you may be right. However, this engineer became an excellent teacher and used his creative talents to figure out how best to teach his students, some of whom were rather difficult to reach.
I never thought I would give a book 5 stars if it contained the F-bomb, but this one did have a variation (F. Bomm), and that was okay with me.
The book is made up of e-mails the author sent to a previous co-worker, and each e-mail was signed with an alias that often made me laugh out loud. I thought of trying to figure out what alias the author was going to use for each e-mail, but I enjoyed the content of the e-mails too much to stop and think about the upcoming signature.
Laughter is so important for a happy life, and I think the author's students were fortunate to have this man for their teacher. It was obvious that he enjoyed working with his math classes. Furthermore, he brought a little humor into the lives of his third grade students,his former co-workers, and now his readers.
- Lily Pewshun
I saw a tee shirt that sums it up very well:
Those who can TEACH;
Those who can't pass laws about teaching!
Down from my soapbox now. I really enjoyed this book. So many of his experiences mirrored mine that it made me laugh out loud.
In a negative review someone criticized his supposedly sharing these events with his former colleagues and repeating their reactions as being unrealistic. Au contraire. An absolutely hilarious paragraph about Louie Pasteur' s work with cholera was written by one of my remedial sixth graders during my husband's deployment to Korea. There was a cholera outbreak over there during this time. I sent him a copy of the paragraph, he put it on a bulletin board and I got all kinds of responses from it. The soldiers loved it!
If you've ever loved teaching or loved a teacher, you will enjoy this book. It's worth reading just for the imaginative ways he signs the emails. There is a sequel, and yes, I plan to read it.
I will say foremost that this was probably written with the elementary school teacher in mind as an audience, as I do not see it reflecting my work as an instructor many ways as I teach much older children. I did like the horror transitioning out of the world of engineering, which is my exact same situation. It is corny and cute, but it seems that most of the overarching chapters (emails) are extremely formulaic and are the exact same structure, tone, and approach through the entire school year's day to day, which is the format of the book. I am not sure if this was intentional, but I felt it got a little boring at times. "Hi, old work joke, thing that happened at school, recurring joke from earlier, sincerely, smarmy name that has to do with the story."
I also thought the allusions throughout the book were a little strange as they were inconsistent in what the audience should have prior knowledge of. In one place, he is simply signing his name "Ms. Havisham" in response to being a bit about being single, but in the next he was explaining how at the end of a GIJoe episode there was a lesson. I was not sure that he really had to explain every cultural reference, pop or otherwise.
What I liked was his sense of humor throughout the book, as corny as it was there was little I felt was terrible. It was cute - and perhaps a little too cute for my taste. My favorite parts were his addition of the allusions of literature that come every few pages. I just thought it was "ok" though. Perhaps I just don't fall into the intended audience. Maybe if Dave Barry were a teacher, this would be something he could have written; but strictly in my opinion, Dave Barry is just as clean but just a little bit funnier.
Most recent customer reviews
It's a bit drawn out but a lot of fun for a light read.