Gerry Dee would have hated me. Back in my schooling days, I was one of those children that almost always got their schoolwork done on time, I was never late and my binders were colour coded by subject. The hilarious comic/teacher/author got into the world of teaching because he thought it would be an easy gig. Show up, hang out with some kids, hopefully teach them sports (his goal was always to be a phys ed teacher) and rejoice in a two month holiday.
What he never anticipated were students like me. Students that actually showed up to learn. What was that about? When getting hired on as a full time teacher and not just a substitute, a new found level of respect was going to take place. No longer would kids see him as a person that they could mouth off to, no longer would he be the person that was just a fill in. He was going to earn some respect once and for all… but first he needed to learn the material. He’d assign homework to students and then go home and study the material in order to be able to fudge his way through teaching.
When it comes to marking papers, that required a whole other kind of strategy. He’d take the exam/paper of the smartest child in the class and work of their grid. Of course he assumed they must know what they’re doing.
It’s this kind of humor that makes up Gerry Dee’s book, Teaching – It’s Harder Than It Looks. We’ve all been there, whether you were a student, a parent or a teacher yourself, you’re going to be able to relate to Gerry Dee’s memoir and you’ll be able to gauge how Gerry might have reacted to the kind of student you were. He addresses all types and he calls parents out of their silly excuses. He also advises parents that if you’re student is an A student, there’s no need to come to parent teacher night, you know your kid is great and you’re just wasting teacher’s time.
The book is a treat in itself. This is when the convenience of eBooks goes out the window and physical books will forever be a part of our future, because it reads very much like a textbook. With drawings, directions to navigate to a certain page for a secret message and even a built in chalkboard, this book is a one of a kind. Here is my official grading: