Monday, December 1, 2008

32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny

I recently read 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny: Life Lessons From Teaching, by Phillip Done, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The word I wanted to use over and over to describe it to myself was "delightful." And when I was done with that word, I wanted to use the word "charming."

And when I was done with those two words, I wanted to use the sentence, "This is the perfect teacher gift!"

This quick and fun book was a joy to read—and evocative too. As soon as I read that Done considers "I can touch the paper cutter," to be one of the boons of teaching, I instantly flashed back to elementary school and the paper cutter than every student was forbidden to go near.

As a former student, I loved this book. As a parent to children in elementary school, I wanted to enroll my kids at Done's school. Done has taught for 20 years and has won the Schwab Foundation Distinguished Teacher Award. He also was nominated for the Disney Teacher of the Year Award. And just from reading his words, it is easy to see why.

Although his story about almost being killed by the school's laminating machine makes one wonder. But it'll make you laugh too.

Done writes the way I hope that I come across. His self-deprecating prose is funny and genuine. And while he makes gentle fun of his charges, he easily lets his intense love for them and his joy for teaching seep through the pages.

We should all be so lucky to have a Mr. Done in our or our children's lives. At the very least we can read this lovely book to catch some of his spirit.

Honesty Clause: I received this book for free. The hardcover retails for $19.95. It is currently on sale for $13.57 at Amazon.