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It Won't Be Easy: An Exceedingly Honest (and Slightly Unprofessional) Love Letter to Teaching Paperback – April 25, 2017
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"Besides the fact that it is truly laugh out loud funny, this book stands in for what so many teachers need: the teacher-friend whose room you can stomp into when you need empathy over your lack of coolness; the friend who will make you feel better about the mistakes you made, who will celebrate your crazy schemes, who will help you find your reasons why you need to come back when you want to quit. That kind of friend is a rare and precious person who doesn’t exist on many campuses, so thank God that Tom gave us one in book form that’s portable enough to take wherever we need companionship."—Shanna Peeples, 2015 National Teacher of the Year
"In a breath of fresh air called Tom Rademacher, we get that desperately needed voice of a teacher who loves his kids enough to challenge us to think differently. It Won't Be Easy gets us into the classroom and on the path to new ways of educating and valuing the next generation."—R.T. Rybak, former mayor of Minneapolis, President and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation, and author of Pothole Confidential: My Life as Mayor of Minneapolis
"Rademacher does not hold back... his honest, inspiring, and often humorous book will appeal to teachers, future teachers, and those interested in education."—Booklist
"Many of these narratives are studded with insights into the art of teaching."—Library Journal
"Rademacher's classroom wisdom is suitable for anyone who is trying to communicate effectively with children, especially adolescents."—Pioneer Press
About the Author
Tom Rademacher is an English teacher in Minneapolis. His writing has appeared in EdPost, MinnPost, and on his blog, Mr. Rad’s Neighborhood, and he speaks about teaching at universities, conferences, and TEDx events. In 2014 he was honored as Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year.
Dave Eggers is author of ten books, including, most recently, Heroes of the Frontier. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house in San Francisco, California, and cofounder of 826 National, a network of eight tutoring centers around the country.
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Courtney Cochran, NBCT
2017 Arkansas Teacher of the Year
This should be required reading for anyone who wants to be a teacher, thinks they know what it means to be a teacher, EVER has to make a decision about teachers and schools (aka politicians), or any current teacher who is wondering what the __ they are doing. Do it. The author is credible and real- no bull.
First of all, Rademacher's writing is authentic and funny. Especially if you work in an urban school, his stories will speak directly to you and your experience. He also challenges educators with some tough questions about the right way to run our classrooms. The fact that he (mostly) leads with questions, followed by stories, followed by a few maybe-tentative-answers means that the book allows the reader to do a large degree of self-reflection about their own classroom. For the most part, it rarely feels preachy about "the right" way to do things for our kids.
I also appreciate that Rademacher is pretty open about the fact that yes, he is yet another white male writing a book about education. He owns that. He openly talks about race and his role in an oppressive, systemically racist system -- again, while relying mostly on stories and questions, rather than answers. I do think this is an especially important book for white educators to read, but could absolutely see how some teachers of color might be turned off by hearing another white guy tell them what it's like to be a teacher. All in all, I think the book works because it stays genuinely rooted in Rademacher's experience, rather than trying to speak some universal mantra of what it's like for all teachers everywhere.
I read this book at the end of the school year and it was perfect timing as I look forward to planning for next year, but I think it would also make great summer reading, beginning-of-year reading, or mid-year reading. Honestly, is there every a wrong time to think critically about why you became a teacher and how we can do the best job for all of our kids?
Most recent customer reviews
Tom Rademacher managed to make me feel human again as a teacher.Read more