Notes from a Classroom: Reflections on Teaching

Kay McSpadden, Author
Kay McSpadden, Author C. D. Stampley Enterprises $22.95 (317p) ISBN 978-1-58087-131-0
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The latest in a recent spate of from-the-trenches teacher memoirs, this one is notable for McSpaddens clear-eyed understanding of teenagers, and her compassion for the underprivileged students she works with everyday. A collection of McSpaddens biweekly columns in The Charlotte Observer, these 70-some pieces share a knack for the well-observed detail, be it the sadness of a young man reciting a Sara Teasdale poem that quiets a class of wriggly sophomores, or the startling significance of a students note, placed among a student exhibit of photos they took of their homes, reading We dont got a camera. Sorry. Though it suffers when McSpaddens attention turns away from her classroom to other, more sentimental topics, and the brevity of unexpanded newspaper columns can wear thin when reading straight through, most of these snappy lessons feature plenty of hard-earned wisdom, gentle humor and memorable student portraits.
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