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Nearly a decade ago Frank McCourt became an unlikely star when, at the age of sixty-six, he burst onto the literary scene with Angela's Ashes, the Pulitzer Prize -- winning memoir of his childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Then came 'Tis, his glorious account of his early years in New York.
Now, here at last, is McCourt's long-awaited book about how his thirty-year teaching career shaped his second act as a writer. Teacher Man is also an urgent tribute to teachers everywhere. In bold and spirited prose featuring his irreverent wit and heartbreaking honesty, McCourt records the trials, triumphs and surprises he faces in public high schools around New York City. His methods anything but conventional, McCourt creates a lasting impact on his students through imaginative assignments (he instructs one class to write "An Excuse Note from Adam or Eve to God"), singalongs (featuring recipe ingredients as lyrics), and field trips (imagine taking twenty-nine rowdy girls to a movie in Times Square!).
McCourt struggles to find his way in the classroom and spends his evenings drinking with writers and dreaming of one day putting his own story to paper. Teacher Man shows McCourt developing his unparalleled ability to tell a great story as, five days a week, five periods per day, he works to gain the attention and respect of unruly, hormonally charged or indifferent adolescents. McCourt's rocky marriage, his failed attempt to get a Ph.D. at Trinity College, Dublin, and his repeated firings due to his propensity to talk back to his superiors ironically lead him to New York's most prestigious school, Stuyvesant High School, where he finally finds a place and a voice. "Doggedness," he says, is "not as glamorous as ambition or talent or intellect or charm, but still the one thing that got me through the days and nights."
For McCourt, storytelling itself is the source of salvation, and in Teacher Man the journey to redemption -- and literary fame -- is an exhilarating adventure.
Published: Scribner on Nov 15, 2005
ISBN: 9780743282000
List price: $11.99
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I missed having Mr. McCourt as a teacher in Stuyvesant by only a year or two. He was going to come in for my senior writing class, but won the Pulitzer for Angela's Ashes! What a wonderful experience it must have been to have him as a teacher. That said, this is a wonderful book on it's own; as part of the trilogy, Angela's Ashes wins.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
McCourt's follow-ups to Angela's Ashes are, by his own admittance, not the best works he's produced. But I still liked it, for different reasons than Angela's Ashes. Still charming and very human.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An enjoyable account of how a bumbling immigrant becomes a teacher. McCourt explores the difficulties of teaching, and its joys. As a result, he grows and passes on wisdom.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

I missed having Mr. McCourt as a teacher in Stuyvesant by only a year or two. He was going to come in for my senior writing class, but won the Pulitzer for Angela's Ashes! What a wonderful experience it must have been to have him as a teacher. That said, this is a wonderful book on it's own; as part of the trilogy, Angela's Ashes wins.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
McCourt's follow-ups to Angela's Ashes are, by his own admittance, not the best works he's produced. But I still liked it, for different reasons than Angela's Ashes. Still charming and very human.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An enjoyable account of how a bumbling immigrant becomes a teacher. McCourt explores the difficulties of teaching, and its joys. As a result, he grows and passes on wisdom.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This book, on audio, was particularly enjoyable because of Frank McCourt's accent. Lots of good stories of Ireland, America, and the classroom -- excellent company while driving. And some good teaching ideas too.
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If you want to be a teacher you'll want to pick this up. McCourt may not be you but what he talks about in regards to struggles teachers go through and the joys are universal and timeless. We still have these students walking in the halls of our schools. I saw my own teaching style in McCourt's methods he shares with us in these pages and got good ideas for teaching too. Moreover it gave me a shot of good juju for the upcoming teaching year.
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I love McCourt's stories. Teacher man is not as good as 'Tis, which I loved (but I lost the book in an airport in Spain), or Angela's Ashes. Nonetheless, a fun and interesting read. He makes me smile. That may seem simple...but it takes ALOT to make me smile.
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