book reviews / Teacher-authors

Teacher-Authors–A Book You’ll Want to Read


They Call Me Mom

by Pete Springer
5/5
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Pete Springer’s memoir They Call Me Mom (Outskirts Press 2019) about his first years teaching will delight new teachers and have experienced educators nodding along with him. As a teacher, Pete’s early experiences remind me of the joy inherent in teaching:
“This job required about as much brainpower as my tree planting experience.”
“This is the story of how I fell in love with teaching and the joys and challenges that this noble profession provided to me over the course of thirty-one years.”
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He breaks the book into chapters every teacher will understand:
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  • How did i get here
  • Setting up your classroom
  • Working with students
  • Working with colleagues
  • Working with your boss
  • Discipline
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…and more. Aside from grading, parents, lunch duty, conferences, and yard duty, these are the biggest issues teachers face. Even as a veteran teacher of thirty years, I still couldn’t wait to read Pete’s take on these timeless issues.
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“Instead of saying, “Do everything my way, and you can become a successful teacher,” she was giving me her permission to find my way.”

“…storytelling was one of the most successful methods to get my students to pay attention.”

“…when we lose our calm, we are teaching them that it is okay to behave in this manner when something is not going right.”Xx

Every new teacher will benefit from Pete’s daily experiences of what in the end results in a journey well traveled with more importance than most of us would care to admit. Educational philosophies change. Favorite tools like iPads and Chromebooks change. What doesn’t is the fundamentals Pete covers in this book:
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“…tell the kids when I made similar mistakes growing up.”

“I do think that it is possible for parents or schools to provide too many rewards for kids.”
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Overall an excellent book. If you’re a new teacher, I’d call this an essential read prior to your first day.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection Winter 2022.

94 thoughts on “Teacher-Authors–A Book You’ll Want to Read

  1. Sounds really good. I especially liked these two bits:

    “…storytelling was one of the most successful methods to get my students to pay attention.”
    “…when we lose our calm, we are teaching them that it is okay to behave in this manner when something is not going right.”Xx

    That last one is very true of parenting as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It makes me so happy to see your lovely review of “They Call me Mom” although I am not a teacher Jacquie it makes me glad when I read about awesome teachers like Pete and so many others as it gives me hope (which) you hold in your hands and heart for the few years you teach our offspring…Kudos to you and all the teachers of our children and thank you 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent review of Pete’s book, Jacqui! I also loved his word and felt the same way – a perfect book for a new teacher to read before the first day of school. New teachers would save a lot of headaches if they follow his advice. Good reminder for the veteran teachers also.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Jill. I’ve seen you on some of the same blogs I follow. In fact, I have to tell you a funny story. Right after I submitted my first middle-grade story to my editor, she suggested that “Peach Pie” might not be the most attention-getting title for kids. After careful deliberation, I changed it to Second Chance Summer. Then, right after that, I read a review for your book, Second Chance Romance, on someone’s blog. Romance is not my usual genre, but I’m trying to expand my horizons, and I picked it up. I know it’s sitting with about 100 other books on my overflowing TBR list.😎

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks so much for your kind words and excellent review, Jacqui. If you’re like me, then I know some reviews carry a little more weight. I know it means a lot to me when other educators and parents find my book useful. Even though I’m retired, I will continue to be a lifelong supporter of education, children, teachers, and literacy.

    It’s been a kick to throw myself into writing books for the age I know best—middle grades. Hopefully, sometime in the not too distant future, children will be reading my books as I feel like I still have a lot to give.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just reading this review of Pete’s book made me wish I was starting off a new year with a new class of third graders. This is the time of year when I can’t stop myself from looking at new school and teacher’s supplies. I loved my career as a teacher, and I really miss my kiddos. I was called Mom too. I’ll have to read this book! Have a great week, Jacqui!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I taught 5th and 6th grades for many years, but I worked my way down to 2nd and 3rd grade toward the end of my career. There were things I liked about every age, but third-grade was that sweet spot where most kids still loved school and their teacher. I knew all teachers would get the mom reference. I also take pride in having been called grandma a couple of times.😎

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a perfect time of year to review Pete’s book. It sounds like a great resource for teachers. Having read a number of Pete’s blog posts about teaching, I’m sure it’s filled with heartwarming memories and slices of life, too.
    Great review, Jacqui!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sounds like a good book. There was a time when I was in my 20s, I thought I would like to teach younger students… But outside of a few classes in Sunday school or religious education, all my teaching has been with adults and at the graduate level.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I taught from 2-6 grades and had some experiences working with junior high kids at summer camps. People ask me what my favorite age to teach was, but I don’t have one. There’s something great about working with children of any age. Adults need plenty of guidance and role models, so I’m sure your work was rewarding.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. How wonderful to see Pete featured here, Jacqui. Thank you for the rave review of “They Call Me Mom” (great title). I truly enjoy Pete’s writing style, insights, and personality. Like Clive mentioned above, his blog is full of enjoyable, insightful, and grateful snippets about life, teaching, role models, values, relevant topics, and much more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • If I had a dollar for every time I was called mom (more than dad), I could have retired a year earlier. It’s funny how some of the younger kids would say it and keep on going. Others would catch themselves and laugh, realizing it was funny to be calling their teacher mom. We know that moms are often doing the heavy lifting, and I took it as a great compliment even though I knew it was said unintentionally.

      Liked by 1 person

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