Why Did I Get a B? And Other Mysteries We’re Discussing in the Faculty Lounge

Atria. Jun. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9781982136093. $26. ED
Reed (creative writing, Univ. of Pittsburgh) offers a raw, intimate look at her journey to become a teacher. Initially, she never wanted to teach but eventually realized it was her calling; she’s now taught for more than 20 years, at the preschool, middle and high school, and college levels. Juxtaposing personal narratives with humorous vignettes in a variety of forms (lists, dialogs, fables), Reed considers her own biases and discusses the realities, heartbreaks, and pleasures of teaching. The author offers a starkly honest, at times irreverent view of the triumphs and challenges of teaching. Readers will cheer at Reed’s accounts of student victories and sigh in exasperation at her descriptions of incompetent administrators. While the variety of formats results in a slightly unstructured work, overall Reed’s candid writing about a stressful yet rewarding career will resonate with educators.
VERDICT For educators who yearn to see some of their own struggles and joys represented through another teacher’s eyes.
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