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WHY DID I GET A B? by Shannon Reed


And Other Mysteries We're Discussing in the Faculty Lounge

by Shannon Reed

Pub Date: June 30th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-9821-3609-3
Publisher: Atria

A teacher and writer shares her thoughts on education and life in general.

Reed, who has taught at nearly every level, including her current position teaching creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh, uses essays, lists, quizzes, and other elements to share her two decades of wisdom. Though the author didn’t always dream of being a teacher, when a job opportunity opened up at a preschool, she took the position. One day, while explaining why the season was called “fall” and seeing the light bulb go on in one child’s head, she caught the bug. “That was it for me, the first moment I was ready to admit I was no longer just a person who liked kids and liked that they liked me,” she writes. “No. I was a teacher. I had taught. They had learned. They were smarter now! I was hooked.” From the preschool, she moved on to an all-girls Catholic school in Rockaway. Because it was such a long commute from her apartment in Brooklyn, she often arrived late to class, but she loved “the diversity of the student body,” which was comprised of students of numerous ethnicities. From there, Reed moved on to a high school, where she learned how to work with bullies, particularly one boy who not only verbally and physically attacked other students, but made rude comments to her. Eventually, she got her MFA, taught college classes, and found a comfortable, rewarding spot at Pitt. Using honesty and humor, Reed sheds light on what it means to be a public school teacher in a variety of locations, working with students from different backgrounds. She often indicates that she has learned as much from her pupils about everyday life as they have from her.

Reflective essays that expose the good and the bad sides of being an educator. Good reading for aspiring teachers.