Books, books, books

If you’re shopping for the teacher in your life, consider Ms. Mimi’s It’s Not All Flowers and Sausages: My Adventures in Second Grade

Publisher’s Weekly calls the book “a breezy, irreverent, frequently sarcastic and hilarious account of teaching her little friends in a Harlem public elementary school.”

Her sendups of administrators are wickedly funny: the Weave, the assistant principal, is a pro at ignoring pressing issues, spending most of her time in her office reading the newspaper; a staff developer she calls the Bacon Hunter concocts whimsical, sadistic assessments after much time ordering her breakfast; the Fanny Pack, a support staffer, is a supremely clueless interrupter of the important daily schedule.

On her blog, Ms. Mimi recommends Roxanna Elden’s See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers as hilarious, thought-provoking and full of survival tips — and lists!

Another blogger-author, journalism teacher Carol Richtsmeier, has How To Lose Your Self of Steam & Other Teaching Lessons I Never Learned from Professional Development.

In another vein, Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life’s Challenges is Byron Pitts’ tale of how a shy, stuttering, functionally illiterate Baltimore boy got to be a college graduate and an award-winning CBS News correspondent. Hint: He’s got a strong mother.

I met Pitts at a conference when he was just back from covering the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan. He’s a very impressive guy.

Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea and the Charter School That Beat the Odds will help you lose weight, improve your sex life, make a million dollars and get your kids into a good college. Results may vary. (Check here for quick shipment of the hardcover edition.)

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