Teaching Life

Teaching Life

by Todd Shy

“ Teaching Life is inspirational in the spirit of Emerson and Thoreau: Shy abounds in wry observations about practical experiences; his quiet reflections verge on and flow into wisdom; he offers a philosophy of pedagogy that is the fruit of hard and good labor; he is a searcher continuously open to ever more understanding. […] Shy is that teacher-creature the world doesn’t want to think about: an earnest, idiosyncratic, idealistic and sympathetic human being. His book describes teachers at their everyday greatest.

Bob Blaisdell, author of Tolstoy as Teacher: Leo Tolstoy’s Writings on Education

“ Teaching Life is an eloquent love letter to teaching and to life, written by a veteran teacher at the height of his powers. It’s full of wisdom, open-mindedness, self-criticism, and joy, with important advice for anyone considering teaching as a career, and with valuable insights for anyone who has been in the classroom for years. I read it in one rapt sitting.

Sam Swope, Founder and President, The Academy for Teachers and author of I Am a Pencil: A Teacher, His Kids, and Their World of Stories

“There are so few books now that capture the feel and the texture of teaching and that also have empathy for the students themselves. This is one.

Martin Bickman, author of Minding American Education: Reclaiming the Tradition of Active Learning

Great teachers are indispensable champions and guides for students passing through crucial years. They are forks in the road. They are artists with living canvases and hidden audiences. The essence of what teachers do when the classroom door is closed is not written about, or celebrated, enough. It is unsung work. Teaching Life sings it here.

One part memoir and one part educator travel guide, Teaching Life is a charming and loving missive to the author’s aspiring-teacher daughters and a lyrical celebration of the unsung work of teaching. This book will surely shine as a North Star for teachers the world over.


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Webinar with Sarah Kupke
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About the Author

Todd Shy has taught for more than twenty-five years in North Carolina, California, and New York. Currently, he is Head of Upper Division at Avenues The World School in New York City.