Opinion
Education Opinion

Learning on the Road

By Hanne Denney — August 01, 2007 1 min read

Traveling in a car is a great opportunity for me to read. Brought two books with me on this current trip to Savannah Georgia. Thought I would pass on a mini-review.

First, I’ve finished Inside Mrs. B’s Classroom by Leslie Baldacci. It’s the story of a career changer who enters the classroom for all the usual reasons. She is eager, and experienced in many things, used to dealing with lots of people and confident of her skills. Much like many of us who become teachers. And, like almost all of us, she struggled with school politics, limited resources, and student challenges. Interesting book. I could relate to her, but I don’t know if I learned anything new.

Also finished Not Much, Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers, by Linda Perlstein. This one gave me some good insights into the minds and lives of this age group. Definitely worth reading. A lot of the book is devoted to how kids feel and think abut their teachers and parents. I have raised two kids of my own, so I could imagine my kids thinking the same things of me. And I can easily imagine students reacting to teachers and education with the attitudes described in the book.

What did I learn? I learned that middle school IS different from high school and elementary school. I also learned that these students feel very great emotion, and that part of their education has to be guiding them in how to handle intense feelings.

I’m trying to get ready for my new assignment as a middle school teacher. I’m learning everything I can. On the way home to Maryland I am studying my Spanish in preparation for a week-long class coming up.

One more book in my bag -- Harry Potter I’d tell you that I’m reading it so I can be current with what some of my students may have read, but this one is really just for me. Because reading is always about pleasure!

The opinions expressed in In the Middle are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.