Do you know of the author Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes, Tis: A Memoir, and Teacher Man? Mr. McCourt was an English teacher for 30 years in the New York City Schools and did not write his first book until he retired from teaching. In fact, he was 66 years old when his first book, Angela's Ashes, was published. He referred to his writing career as his "second act." Frank McCourt inspired me. He said this about why it took him so long to write his first book: "When you teach five high school classes a day, five days a week, you're not inclined to go home to clear your head and fashion deathless prose. After a day of five classes, your head is filled with the clamor of the classroom." Truly a great answer, and one with which every teacher can identify.
I would like to think that just like Frank McCourt, I am also on my "second act." My first book Student Teaching: the Inside Scoop from a Master Teacher, was launched on 9/27/2014. The book is doing well, and I am speaking at various universities, hosting webinars, and teaching teachers. My second book, albeit my first children's book, Grady Gets Glasses, will launch on 11/6/2015 in New York City in Times Square with two book signings in major chain book stores. I really wish Frank McCourt were still alive. (He died of cancer at age 78 on 7/20/2009) I would write him an email to tell him how much he inspired me, and I would ask him to join me for a selfie and a coffee with Times Square as our backdrop. I know for sure that Frank McCourt would know my exact feelings at the launch of a new book post-teaching and in retirement!
Frank McCourt did not know he would be a role model for me, just as teachers often do not know that they are role models for their students. So often, teacher actions and kindnesses speak much louder than their words.
On this, my 100th post, I want to thank all of you for being such loyal readers. I have developed a bountiful following and I will continue to try to inspire you every Monday. Have a great week.
One of my favorite quotes from Frank McCourt about teaching:
“In the high school classroom you are a drill sergeant, a rabbi, a shoulder to cry on, a disciplinarian, a singer, a low-level scholar, a clerk, a referee, a clown, a counselor, a dress-code enforcer, a conductor, an apologist, a philosopher, a collaborator, a tap dancer, a politician, a therapist, a fool, a traffic cop, a priest, a mother-father-brother-sister-uncle-aunt, a bookkeeper, a critic, a psychologist, the last straw.” ― Frank McCourt
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Dede could really use your financial help to make her dream of helping kids who need glasses come true. Please visit http://www.gofundme.com/zvzhuk for complete details about her upcoming book GRADY GETS GLASSES!