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Paperback Losing My Faculties : A Teacher's Story Book

ISBN: 0812969510

ISBN13: 9780812969511

Losing My Faculties : A Teacher's Story

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Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

I am just one of those rare and probably defective people who really enjoy the company of teenagers. Brendan Halpin's It Takes a Worried Man--a memoir of how he and his family dealt with his wife's battle against breast cancer--was praised for its can-dor, raw humor, and riveting voice. Halpin now turns his unique talent to an unforgettable account of the pursuit of his true calling: teaching. Losing My Faculties follows Halpin through teaching jobs...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Listen to the Experts - Ask a Teacher

Losing My Faculties By Brendan Halpin Hardly a day passes that we don't read an article or hear a story about schools. Most often, we hear what's wrong with schools. Reports of promised reform and fix-it-once-and-for-all solutions are commonplace. And one has to wonder after a while, if these magical solutions are finally going to fix things, then why do we continue to hear about how bad schools are year after year after year? Far too absent among the reports of what's wrong with education are the voices of teachers who spend day after day, year after year, in the schools that outsiders are always promising to reform! Teaching is a special calling. It is not a profession one enters for the money, nor for the prestige (and certainly not -- contrary to oft-heard cynic's explanation -- for the easy life, clean work and summers off!) By and large, most teachers want to do a good job. They want their students to learn and they try to do their very best to achieve those ends. Losing My Faculties is the story of one very committed teacher who truly considers teaching to be a special and important vocation. And it is also a story of teaching as a profession that can't help but make the person choosing it as a lifework to wonder about their sanity from time to time. Author Brendan Halpin tells his own story of his journey through his first eight years as a teacher in Boston area schools. This is Halpin's chronicle of his beginning years as he works in four different schools across the span the book. He tells of his good experiences with his students, his classes that are great. He acknowledges his failures and shortcomings as a teacher and he clearly considers what he, as one teacher, can continue to do to try to improve. Brendan Halpin tells his story in a straightforward almost conversational way. One can imagine sitting with a friend as he relays the story of work across a series of years. The result is a comical, blunt and spirited book that always shows a profound concern for kids. There is no question but that Brendan Halpin should be a teacher. He;s a natural! Sadly, I could easily see him hanging up his schoolbag and finding himself a new path on which to travel. There is ample evidence that schools indeed need to get back to basics and stop the business of constantly seeking to start over again. Education is big business for some. Reform is an industry into itself. Testing is a monopoly. There are as many educational experts and consultants as there are schools in this country! Few of these businesses are truly concerned about improving education. If legislators and school leaders truly want to make improvements in schools, they need to start with hiring, paying and affirming good teachers. Start spending time with teachers. Listen to them. Work side by side with them for a while. If someone regularly told me how lousy I was, or how bad everyone in my profession was, it wouldn't take me very long to get discouraged. We have far too

pegs annoying types as hilariously and truly as sedaris

... this is book is funny and so honest. oh, everyone says "funny" and "honest" about brendan halpin's writing. it's true!i love the way he is able to show us so sharply the kinds of irritating people we all know in our workplaces, and the way he can show how he loves his students without being at all self-aggrandizing.my favorite bit is when brendan is calmed by one colleague's extreme rage, as if there were only a certain quantity of rage available and the boss was hogging it all up.i look forward to b.h.'s next books...

Recovering Your Faculties

Brendan Halpin's second book is another anguished, hilarious, fast-paced, smart, and brutally honest memoir. The subject this time is his life's work-teaching high school-and the frustrations and joys he experiences teaching in a variety of schools in the Boston area over a nearly ten year period. There is nothing maudlin in his writing, although, if you read between the lines, you quickly realize he is a very compassionate person. And it's that compassion, whether for his wife or his students, that causes so much conflict (whether with medical professionals or school administrators), but also, at the risk of being maudlin myself, saves him. It's another excellent, refreshing, and heart-breaking book by him and I look forward to his next one.

Thank you.

I am officially on page 60 and looking forward to the rest of this book. I am 11 years into a career in education, and what I like most about the book so far is that the book is supporting the things that go on in my head and it makes me feel I am not alone. Thank you, Brendan Halpin, for putting a voice to these realities.

Witty/sad musings from a teacher who cares

I don't know how Brendan Halpin does it. Over a period of ten years, working as a high school English teacher in at least three very different educational systems in and around Boston--and faced with occasionally disruptive students, frequently disgruntled fellow staff, and sadistic-and/or-stupid administrators--he nevertheless keeps his cool (for the most part), enjoys his work, and (perhaps most impressive of all) successfully conveys on the printed page what's so special about teaching. He has a genuine love for his vocation and a genuine fondness for his students. The first-person narrative really gives you a sense of what he experienced--the good as well as the (sometimes hideously) bad. I'm glad I didn't go into teaching--but it's nice to know that people like Halpin have.
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