Book Review – They Call Me Mom: Making a Difference as an Elementary School Teacher by Pete Springer
My Book Review – They Call Me Mom: Making a Difference as an Elementary School Teacher by Pete Springer.
In his book, They Call Me Mom, Pete Springer recalled having many “odd jobs” before he chose to teach as his career. Those jobs didn’t turn out to be in his favor. As he looked back, there were many role models to shape his decision.
Springer reflected on his teaching years and included topics of introduction to teaching, setting classroom, working with students, parents, colleagues, and administrators, disciplines to memorable students, funny moments, and frustrations. He acknowledged the importance of getting to know the students’ academic portfolios before the first day of school. Throughout the year, he created a positive learning environment and promoted student success by helping them to gain self-confidence. He stressed the significance of communication with the parents often resulted in students’ improvement in academics and behaviors.
He discussed ways to work with colleagues by meeting at grade levels to do planning together and to team teaching. For some years he taught P.E. for his colleagues and she taught Social Studies for his class. Once a month, he and his colleague offered special activities to the students and allowed students to choose which one to attend. For getting to know more about the colleagues, he recommended having occasionally after school gathering, BBQ, or a movie.
He appreciated a couple of great principals he worked with for years. Administrators may not have the same philosophy as the teachers, mutual respect is important. He pointed out good communication with the principals is pertinent. When a parent is angry and goes to the principal, teachers are advised to inform the principal of the situation ahead of time.
Springer included some funny moments at school such as teaching sex education with unexpected questions from the students, the writing class with funny grammatical or spelling errors, and the five funny excuses students had when not turning their homework.
Pete took a little while to choose teaching as his career. The passion and enthusiasm showed in this book, I think he is natural to be a teacher. This book is full of advice for new teachers and has many good insights for experienced teachers. Highly recommended.
About the Author
“I’m a retired elementary teacher (31 years) who will always be a strong advocate for children, education, and teachers. My favorite thing to do as a teacher was to read to my students, and now I’m following my heart and writing children’s books for middle grades.”
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