Monday, November 23, 2009

Is It Too Late To Turn In My Homework Mr. Done?


I have just finished a fantastic book, called Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind by Philip Done (pronounced like phone).

I was sent this book several weeks ago with the agreement that I would do a review. Normally, I'd have finished it in a day, because it was funny and smart and had heart, in other words, a great and easy read. Then my personal life went a little sideways and it took me over three weeks to read it, which was ALL ME and nothing to do with the book.

Being that it was written by a veteran teacher, I need to find out if I'm going to fail for not turning in my assignment in a timely manner. I should. I can't do this wonderful tome to 'teacherhood' (Mr. Done's word) justice.

First of all, the chapters are short. For any parent, this is a huge bonus, especially if, like me, you like to stop reading at the end of a chapter and have a toddler running around. It also made it easy to find my place again when my son repeatedly removed my bookmark.

There were passages so humorous that I insisted on reading them aloud to my husband. There were observations on the behavior of 8 year olds that brought me back to both my own experiences and that of watching my daughter's school existence at that age. There was a chapter on one student named Michael that I dare anyone to read without tearing up.

Philip Done loves teaching and children in a genuine and unabashed way. His honesty while describing his own embarrassing moments is refreshing and humanizing. You are with him during the telling of these tales as opposed to watching from afar. You can tell he is able to draw his students in as naturally as he does us, the readers.

It touched me in ways that few books are able; in my nostalgia zone. The smiles spread across my face often during reading.

Philip Done is the kind of teacher that kids want to get and that parents pray their children will get to spend a year with. Although he never really 'toots his own horn' so to speak, his gift for teaching is obvious with each passing page.

You will not be disappointed in spending your time in the pages of this book. I dare say, you'll be quite glad you did. Personally, I found it unforgettable. Things I know will creep up on me in a few years as my own son hits third grade running, and most likely acting very much like Mr. Done's student Trevor.

Whether you're a parent or a long ago student, don't miss this terrific book.

You can thank me later. ;-)



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3 comments:

Mr. Knucklehead said...

This one is definitely on my reading list. I saw it and it looks a lot like the book I'm hoping to write someday myself.

Along these lines, let me recomment "There Are No Shortcuts" by Rafe Esquith and "The Essential 55" by Ron Clark. You'll love 'em.

The Retired One said...

Sounds terrific.
Did I tell you I was in college to be an elementary teacher before I got married? At the time there were no jobs for teachers in the nation (it was in 1974). So when I finally got back to finish my degree, I changed my major to be an R.N. There was still a lot of teaching one can do when you are a nurse, so I used some of the same skills afterwards. But dang, I always wished to be a teacher instead. Besides, those summers off are not a bad deal....ha

Divorce Attorney said...

Well I'm always looking for a good holiday read. Thanks for the review I'll have to pick it up today.