An education book that, despite its flaws, provides plenty of useful information.

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A RESOURCE GUIDE FOR THE NEW TEACHER

Four authors offer advice for newcomers to the teaching profession.

In this debut education book, former high school teachers Hill and Salazar, current educator Carrillo, and financial planner Sanchez cover fundamental topics for new teachers—from the first day of school to guiding students through successful research papers. Each chapter is structured as a conversation among the four authors, who draw on their own experiences and best practices to offer tips on classroom management as well as strategies for turning parents into partners, getting the most out of professional development opportunities, and preparing for evaluation and observation. Although the book is short, it covers a wide range of subjects and provides a surprising amount of insider information. However, the book’s lessons tend to be more general than they are detailed. The chatty, casual style of the dialogue format (“Rick, can you comment a little bit on classroom management?”) makes for easy reading, as if one is eavesdropping on old pros in a teachers’ lounge. The authors’ insights are often concisely and elegantly phrased (“It is very difficult to teach a student that you are looking for quality as opposed to quantity”), and they frequently remind new teachers that, yes, they can manage the challenges of their profession. Still, the book has its drawbacks in both style and content. The text is inadequately copy edited, with frequent punctuation and other errors that undermine the authors’ authority. Although it’s clear that the authors value students and want what’s best for them, the text sometimes has an adversarial quality, as when Carrillo warns that “some students may try to goad you into saying something, and they may want to get the teachers in trouble” with cellphone recordings of classroom activities.

An education book that, despite its flaws, provides plenty of useful information.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-72907-888-4

Page Count: 123

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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