“Jack Woodson is living and working in Dallas, Texas. He has forty children, and all of them have different mothers…”
Jack Woodson was a thermal design engineer for four years until he was laid off from his job. Now, as a teacher, he faces new challenges. Conference calls have been replaced with parent conferences. Product testing has given way to standardized testing. Instead of business cards, Jack now passes out report cards. The only thing that hasn’t changed noticeably is the maturity level of the people surrounding him all day.
Learn Me Good is Jack’s hilarious retelling of his harrowing rookie year, written as a series of emails to Fred Bommerson, his former engineering coworker. Inspired by real-life experiences of rambunctious and precocious children, lesson plans gone awry, and incredibly outrageous quotes, this laugh a minute page turner will give you a new appreciation for educators. Jack holds a March Mathness tournament, he faces a child’s urgent declaration of “My bowels be runnin’!”, and he mistakenly asks one girl’s mother if she is her brother. With subject lines such as “Irritable Vowel Syndrome,” “In math class, no one can hear you scream,” and “I love the smell of Lysol in the morning,” Jack fills each email with sarcastic (yet loving) humor, insightful observations, and plenty of irreverent wit.
If you’ve ever taught, you will undoubtedly recognize aspects of your own students in Jack’s classroom. If you’ve never set foot in a classroom, you will still appreciate the funny quirks, behaviors, and quotes from the kids and adults alike.
“I teach, therefore I am…poor!”
Targeted Age Group:: Adults
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I attended private school all my life. When I began teaching in a rural public school in a huge district, it was a true baptism by fire. That first group of kids I taught, and everything they said and did, inspired me to keep notes and use those stories to craft my first book. Then two more came after that!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Every kid I taught was a character! The names have been changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty, and the apathetic), and I combined some character traits so there wouldn't be a cast of hundreds. But for the most part, all of my characters are based on former students and colleagues.
Also, at lunch today, Marvin never showed up at the teacher’s lounge. Normally, this would be fine — preferable even — but since he is in trouble again (clearly his personal state of equilibrium), he is required to stay in from recess all of this week. Instead of going outside when he finishes his lunch, he is supposed to come down to the teacher’s lounge and sit out in the hallway where we can keep an eye on him. But today, he was a no-show.
When Mrs. Swanson and I went outside to pick up the kids, Marvin wasn’t outside either. I asked where he was, and Nathan answered, “He’s still in the cafeteria. He got in trouble for throwing food.”
Throwing food — that’s typically NOT a good thing to hear one of your kids has been doing. But then, people generally don’t come up to me and tell me that Marvin has just saved a litter of kittens from certain death or delivered hot meals to the elderly. And in his defense, throwing food IS better than choking someone — regardless of how hard.
I left Mrs. Swanson with both classes, and I went to the cafeteria to find Marvin. Sure enough, there he was, standing right by the door, wearing his patented “I know I shouldn’t have done it, but I’m mad that I got caught” pout. As we walked back outside to the rest of the class, I asked him why he had been throwing food. As you might guess, I got the standard shoulder shrug and “I dunno.” As he shrugged, something caught my eye, and I looked more closely at Marvin. I noticed a little bit of fish stick breading on one of his eyebrows. At that point, I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or offer him some tartar sauce.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Buy Learn Me Good Print Edition at Amazon
Buy Learn Me Good Print Edition at Barnes and Noble
Links to Purchase Audiobook
Listen to a sample of Audiobook at Amazon
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