An essential guide for teachers and parents that’s destined to become a classic, The Art of Teaching Children is one of those rare and masterful books that not only defines a craft but offers a magical reading experience.
After more than thirty years in the classroom, award-winning teacher Phillip Done decided that it was time to retire. But a teacher’s job is never truly finished, and he set out to write the greatest lesson of his career: a book for educators and parents that would pass along everything he learned about working with kids. From the first-day-of-school jitters to the last day’s tears, Done writes about the teacher’s craft, classrooms and curriculums, the challenges of the profession, and the reason all teachers do it—the children.
Drawing upon decades of experience, Done shares time-tested tips and sage advice: Real learning is messy, not linear. Greeting kids in the morning as they enter the classroom is an important part of the school day. If a student is having trouble, look at what you can do differently before pointing the finger at the child. Ask yourself: Would I want to be a student in my class? When children watch you, they are learning how to be people, and one of the most important things we can do for our students is to model the kind of people we would like them to be. Done tackles topics you won’t find in any other teaching book, including Back to School Night nerves, teacher pride, the Sunday Blues, Pinterest envy, teacher guilt, and the things they never warn you about in “teacher school” but should, like how to survive recess duty, field trips, and lunch supervision. Done also addresses some of the most important issues schools face today: bullying, excessive screen time, the system’s obsession with testing, teacher burnout, and the ever-increasing demands of meeting the diverse learning needs of students.
But The Art of Teaching Children is more than a guide to educating today’s young learners. These pages are alive with inspiration, humor, and tales of humanity. Done welcomes us like visitors at Open House Night to the world of elementary school, where we witness lessons that go well and others that flop, periods that run smoothly and ones that go haywire when a bee flies into the room. We meet master teachers and new ones, librarians and lunch supervisors, principals and parents (some with too much time on their hands). We get to know kids who want to hold a ball and those who’d rather hold a marker, students with difficult home lives and children with disabilities, youngsters who need drawing out and those who happily announce (in the middle of a math lesson) that they have a loose tooth.
With great wit and wisdom, irresistible storytelling, and boundless compassion, The Art of Teaching Children is the new educator’s bible for teachers, parents, and all who work with kids and care about their learning and success.