Why Did I Get a B?: And Other Mysteries We're Discussing in the Faculty Lounge

Why Did I Get a B?: And Other Mysteries We're Discussing in the Faculty Lounge

by Shannon Reed

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“Funny...revealing....So send this book to your favorite teacher. They’ll know you’re sucking up. They’ll thank you anyway.” —People, Book of the Week

This hilarious, inspirational, and wise collection of personal essays and humor from a longtime educator explores all the joys, challenges, and absurdities of being a teacher, following in the footsteps of such classics as Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire, The Courage to Teach, and Up the Down Staircase.

Shannon Reed did not want to be a teacher, but now, after twenty years of working with children from preschool to college, there’s nothing she’d rather be. In essays full of humor, heart, and wit, she illuminates the highs and lows of a job located at the intersection of youth and wisdom. Bringing you into the trenches of this most important and stressful career, she rolls her eyes at ineffectual administrators, weeps with her students when they experience personal tragedies, complains with her colleagues about their ridiculously short lunchbreaks, and presents the parent-teacher conference from the other side of the tiny table.

From dealing with bullies and working with special needs students to explaining the unwritten rules of the teacher’s lounge, Why Did I Get a B? is full of as much humor and heart as the job itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982136109
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 06/30/2020
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 72,347
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Shannon Reed has been a teacher and professor in Western Pennsylvania and New York City for the last twenty years. She’s taught preschool, middle, and high school, and now teaches Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and more. Why Did I Get a B? is her first book.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xiii

Preface: You Are Not Alone 1

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Teacher?: A Quiz 7

If People Talked to Other Professionals the Way They Talk to Teachers 9

Part I Preschool, Elementary School, and Middle School

How I Came to Teach Preschool 13

Other Vehicular Styles of Parenting 25

All Your Children Are Broken 28

It's Cooking Day at Preschool! 32

A Letter from Your Child's Teacher, on Winter Holiday Gifts 37

Middle School Parent-Teacher Conference Night, in Internet Headlines 40

How I Imagined My Teachers Conversed about Me When I Was Thirteen 43

Memo to Parents and Legal Guardians Re: Our Updated Schedule for Spirit Days at Mapledale Middle School 47

Part II High School

How I Came to Teach High School 53

The Unspoken Rules of the Teachers' Lounge 58

An Alphabet for the School at the End of Beach 112th 61

Student Essay Checklist 89

A Conclusive Ranking of the Students at Hogwarts by Order of How Much I Would Enjoy Teaching Them 91

Dear Parents: We're Going with a Hamilton-Centered Curriculum This Year! 96

Somewhat More Free 99

Random School Motto Generator 121

The Other Class 122

A Field Guide to Spotting Bad Teachers 126

Paulie 128

It's Your Twenty-Minute Lunch Period! 149

To Stan, with Love 155

Field Trip Rules 161

Teachers Reveal the Holiday Gifts They Actually Want 165

I'm Going to Make It through the Last Faculty Meeting of the Year by "Yes, and…"-ing It 167

Part III College

All Part of a Plan, Maybe; or, How I Came to Be a Professor 175

If Bruce Springsteen Wrote about Adjuncts 182

On Adjuncting 184

Classic College Movies Updated for the Adjunct Era 192

A Brief List of What Students Have Called Me 196

On Student Evaluations 198

My Ideal Student Evaluation Questionnaire 207

Worst, Weirdest, and Best 209

A Short Essay by a Student Who Googled the Professor Instead of Reading Jane Eyre 213

Moral Quandaries for Professors 215

I See You. 218

An Incomplete List of Sources I Have Seen Plagiarized 220

I Know You're Asleep Right Now, but Please Get Back to Me ASAP 222

Sports Analogies for Academics 233

"Why Did I Get a B?": An Answer in Four Fables 236

Taught 240

Everyone Who Attends Must Converse 245

Part IV A Few Last Tidbits for the Cool Kids Who Like to Hang Out in My Room after School Is Out

My Last Pieces of Good Advice for New Teachers and Professors 257

How I Imagine Retirement from Teaching Will Be at Seventy-Two 259

Acknowledgments 263

Credits 272

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