Saturday, May 22, 2021

A Teacher Like You

I received this precious book, A Teacher Like You, as a gift from one of my students.  Reading it brought tears to my eyes as I close out 48 years of teaching.  

Second grade teachers, Frank Murphy and Barbara Dan, have taught together at Holland Elementary in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, for years.  Both teachers champion social/emotional learning and leadership development.  Their collaboration on this book was sparked by those interests.  In their story they mention the many, many ways teachers meaningfully and positively touch the lives of their students.  

The illustrator, Kayla Harren, is very good at drawing people.  I love how inclusive she was with all the races and cultures represented in her lovely artwork.  

This lovely tribute makes a wonderful gift for your child's favorite teacher.

Monday, May 3, 2021

The Straight A Handbook


            May - that time of year when college graduations are beginning to happen across our nation. Soon high school seniors will be taking that measured walk as well. It’s an exciting end to that chapter of a student’s life.    

            It can be like a wedding with all the excitement and busyness leading up to the joyous affair.  Once the service and the honeymoon are over, however, it’s time for the real event--making a marriage work day after day, year after year.

            The last strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” will fade away, and the family celebrations will come to an end.  Graduates must squarely face what lies ahead: a trade school, a college education, a graduate degree, or a new career.  Now the questions begin: What are the next steps? Have I made the right choice?  Will I be successful? 

            Author, John Chuback, had those same questions and many more.  In his book, The Straight A Handbook: The 50 Most Powerful Secrets for Ultimate Success In and Out of the Classroom, Dr. Chuback lays out fifty life lessons he learned and talks about many influential people who helped him along his journey.  His was most definitely on a lengthy and challenging journey that included four years of college, four years of medical school, five years of general surgical residency, and two years of cardiovascular surgical training.  It took a lot more than simply having a goal to become a cardiovascular surgeon.  

        Dr. Chuback uses experiences from his life to illustrate his points.  Then he goes on to explain how his stories apply to the reader's life.  Some of his chapters include Staying Out of Trouble, How to Eat an Elephant, The Truth About Worrying, and Choose Your Friends Wisely.

            The Straight A Handbook would be a good gift to give a teacher of juniors or seniors.  Spending just a few minutes of class reading and discussing the concepts in this book can spark some good conversations at a time when those students are making some life-changing decisions. 

            Dr. Chuback’s book would make a wonderful gift for someone ready for the next leg of his or her life journey.  The nuggets he details are valuable to those going on to the academic world or into the work force.  Each chapter is an easy read that can be finished in a few minutes but should be slowly digested.  There is so much to glean from this book, no matter the age of the reader.  If young people apply to their lives several of the lessons that resonate with them, they will enhance their success.  Those striving for excellence in their self-development will continue to incorporate more of Chuback’s lessons.