Losing My Faculties: A Teacher's Story

Losing My Faculties A Teacher s Story I am just one of those rare and probably defective people who really enjoy the company of teenagers Brendan Halpin s It Takes a Worried Man a memoir of how he and his family dealt with his wife s batt

  • Title: Losing My Faculties: A Teacher's Story
  • Author: Brendan Halpin
  • ISBN: 9780812969511
  • Page: 169
  • Format: Paperback
  • I am just one of those rare and probably defective people who really enjoy the company of teenagers.Brendan Halpin s It Takes a Worried Man a memoir of how he and his family dealt with his wife s battle against breast cancer was praised for its can dor, raw humor, and riveting voice Halpin now turns his unique talent to an unforgettable account of the pursuit of his trueI am just one of those rare and probably defective people who really enjoy the company of teenagers.Brendan Halpin s It Takes a Worried Man a memoir of how he and his family dealt with his wife s battle against breast cancer was praised for its can dor, raw humor, and riveting voice Halpin now turns his unique talent to an unforgettable account of the pursuit of his true calling teaching.Losing My Faculties follows Halpin through teaching jobs in an economically depressed white ethnic town, a middle class suburb, a last chance truancy prevention program in the inner city, and an ambitious college prep urban charter school In the same cuttingly observant voice that marked It Takes a Worried Man, Halpin tells us what it really means to be a teacher the ups and downs in the classroom, the battles with administrators and colleagues, and the joy of doing a job that matters Not the tale of a hero who changes his troubled students lives in one year, Losing My Faculties is, rather, the story of an all too fallible teacher who persists in spite of the frustrations that have driven so many others from the profession After nine years of teaching, Halpin nds his idealism in shreds but his sense of humor and love for his work blessedly intact.From the Hardcover edition.

    • Losing My Faculties: A Teacher's Story >> Brendan Halpin
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      Published :2019-08-13T00:55:32+00:00

    About " Brendan Halpin "

  • Brendan Halpin

    I grew up in Cincinnati, went to college in Philadelphia, and also lived in Taipei and Edinburgh along the way I ve lived in Boston since 1991.I became a professional writer in 2000, writing about my late wife Kirsten s breast cancer diagnosis and treatment Kirsten died in 2003, leaving me and our daughter Rowen I married Suzanne in 2005 and got her kids Casey and Kylie in the deal too Bargain Suzanne and I live with our three kids and dog in the shadow of Franklin Park in Jamaica Plain, best neighborhood on earth.

  • 733 Comments

  • Funny and refreshing; makes me feel a LOT better about the school I'm at, the teachers I work with, and even the administration I'm stuck with, not to mention my own abilities (or lack thereof).


  • (I love everything this guy writes!)This is a hilariously irreverent memoir about Halpin's experiences as a high school teacher in the Boston area. I know nothing about what it's like to be a teacher, my only experiences being as an unappreciative, uncooperative student, and then being the parent of unappreciative, uncooperative students, but this is a really entertaining behind-the-scenes look at our educational system.It starts out with Halpin as a new teacher, full of enthusiasm and idealism, [...]


  • I thought this book was very good!!!!!!I have no idea where I heard about this book. I mean, I read a lot of teacher blogs and teacher-related internet things, so it was somewhere online, haha. I love reading teacher books, as lame as that sounds.This was the memoir of a teacher who has taught in and around Boston in a variety of school settings. Unlike Rafe Esquith, Brendan Halpin seems real to me. He gets frustrated with decisions that affect him, he becomes angry with disillusioned teachers w [...]


  • "Losing My Faculties" is one of those books that reminds you of those few great teachers you had and the many lousy ones you suffered under. It also made me think of all the teachers I wanted to recommend it to, each time open its pages.


  • I appreciate the author's candor and cynicism. I am exceptionally fearful that I will be penniless and employed as a griping teacher, some day.


  • this is probably the third or fourth time i've read this book, and i love it more and more. _losing my faculties_ is halpin's teaching memoir, and he describes the many schools where he's taught over the years, and the transitions he made among them. and his mood swings and uncertainty were especially therapeutic to me this time around. here are some fun snippetson becoming bitter:"so here i am, the bitter old f*ck that the new teachers in their twenties hate. and i want to explain, explain abou [...]


  • You know that saying, "if you have a problem with everyone, maybe you're the one with the problems"? I have to take this teaching-biography with a grain of salt, because, man, does Halpin go through a lot of schools, and each one is full of people that he can't stand: drunks, commuters who listen to classic rock, theory bigwigs, worksheet assigners, would-be world-changers, slackers, racists, anti-white racists, Republicans, celebrity-backed educators, people who take long lunches, etc. You get [...]


  • I appreciated that Halpin spent almost all of his time writing about his job (seriously, if I pick up an occupation memoir, I expect to read about what it’s like to be a _______, not about fights you’ve had with your spouse, complaints about in-laws, etc. A lot of writers still haven’t “gotten” this). Unfortunately, in the second half of the book, the author shifts almost entirely away from writing about his experiences teaching in urban Boston, and instead focuses squarely on the inco [...]


  • What an awesome book. Halpin tells it like it is without giving in to the teachery catch-phrases of the day. He writes about the lack of time teachers have, the traps schools fall into to make them have low standards and fake programs to make them look like the standards are high, as well as frustrations with differing teaching philosophies. It's a good read. Unfortunately it's too quick of a read.


  • This is a laugh-out-loud funny book about teaching that has REALISTIC insights about the profession (with specific regard to working in urban schools). So far it is never "too neat" a book, but it is also not at all bitter and negative.


  • As a former high school English teacher, I could relate well to this book! I definitely admired Halpin's style of dealing with administrative conflicts! The best part is knowing that these types of issues are universal in the field of education.


  • My favorite teacher memoir. Hilarious! It saved me from going insane as a first-year teacher in the Bronx. Based on Halpin's experience in several Boston-area schools.


  • Teachers: I implore you, stay away from this book. It was terribly disheartening. I think he meant to end on an upward note, but there was too much muck before the end for it to be effective.


  • I really enjoyed this. I've seen a lot of dysfunction in the three charters where I've taught and Mr. Halpin's experiences rang so true. An excellent memoir and an excellent view into what teaching is like.


  • This is a great book for anyone who has taught junior or senior high school students. I totally lost it at with some of the scenes and often drifted back to my high school teaching days. The characters were well developed, and the narrator is someone We should applauded for his educational ideals. We need more teachers like the author of this memoir, and I'd love to read more of his tales of teaching.


  • Damn you, Halpin. When are you going to quit writing books that make me cry? (Okay, I should probably explain that I cry easily, but stillyou are 2 for 2 right now, buddy. And I've got your memoir waiting next, and we know how that one goes)I'm gonna have to find some fiction from you first. GeezAnyway, enough blather. Halpin's take on what it's like to be a teacher -- a new, idealistic, ready-to-take-on-the-world-and-change-it, scared, doesn't-have-a-clue-what-he's-doing teacher -- just nails i [...]


  • Having been my third book -- though I'm still trying to get back into Freedom Writers, tough w school assignments -- I feel like what I got out of this book is exactly what I was hoping to get out of the others. Brendan's description of the school situations, the teens, reminds me of kids I know now in my pre-prac and ones I've encountered along the way, either at the library or in movies or other books, or even back when I was a high school student. I felt like I could relate to him, and I'm no [...]


  • This is a non-fiction book describing the first 9 years of Brendan Halpin's teaching career, and I guess it flows along with his attitude and feelings about teaching. It starts off enthusiastic and funny with lots of fun stories about his students and his idealistic way of looking at the job. But as he goes from job to job, experiencing different types of teaching styles, the story deteriorates into a whiny series of complaints about the administration--us vs. them. He sounds as though he was ou [...]


  • For the first half of this book I was ensconced. Brendan Halprin hits the nail on the head describing the early years of teaching. Unlike most teacher memoirs, Halprin does not claim to be on his A game from day one. Instead, he openly admits that much of what he tried simply did not work. He talks about his fears, frustrations, and desperation. At the halfway mark I was hooked. And then I grew irritated. Halprin spends a lot of time discussing all the ways in which he was wronged by administrat [...]


  • What a book to read over The first day of Christmas break in my 5th year at a suburban/ rural/ urban high school that has an identity problem. I really enjoyed reading this book as I could relate to many of the stories about interactions between students and administrators. I understand the emotional roller coaster that teaching takes on anyone who had great ideal when they come into teaching. I love Halpin's writing and details of the ever changing educational landscape. I was sorry to hear his [...]


  • I have read a lot of teacher memoirs and they go like this: Teacher enters a school, tries to be the good cop, and is torn to bits by the students until s/he has a moment and decides to lay down the law, after which s/he becomes the respected stickler and finds this is the way to student love. Halpin's memoir, while striking these notes, is a more honest than most about the iterative and unpredictable nature of teaching: the fact that you have to reach an m.o. with each new class and sometimes w [...]


  • Should be required reading for anyone who wants to go into education with their eyes open. The teaching aspect is downplayed in favor of understanding the politics behind teaching - school rules and procedures, unions, administrators, evaluations, etc. This also confirms my long-standing beliefs that charter schools sound so much better in practice than in theory. Many parts of it are a damning indictment of the hierarchy of public education. Having said that, I also have to say my experience ha [...]


  • A realistic and entertaining memoir that has a great appeal for anyone in the teaching profession, but can be enjoyed by others as well. Halpin accurately describes the jarring transition from grad-school idealism and educational philosophies to the gritty and decidedly un-idealistic reality of daily teaching within often unsupportive environments. He accurately points out that most teachers, new or not, are rarely observed and given little feedback. I've often said that I could be teaching Sata [...]


  • Okay, but not really my favorite. I would probably give it two stars but I liked it when he was talking about the parts he liked about teaching in urban schools and his passion for that, but there wasn't enough of that in the book. He ends up in schools that aren't what he was led to believe. He starts out grumbling about it, then whining, then non-stop complaining. The language he uses is a turn-off to me -- I know he is a high school teacher and he hears it from the students all day long, but [...]


  • I got about twenty pages into this book before realizing I had read it before about a decade ago. I liked it enough to reread most of it. Halpin's memoir describing his years as an English teacher was eerily similar to my own career, especially the early years and the baptism by fire of throwing a new teacher in a classroom with little to no guidance, observation, or help. I related to his story in many ways, and find his voice conversational and funny, if a bit arrogant. Great, easy read- highl [...]


  • This is a fascinating, entertaining memoir by a (now former!) hs teacher. It was a little discouraging to hear that bad administrators are as damaging to a school as I suspected. And that is easy to be a bad teacher and just phone it in.On the other hand, it makes me want to tell the good (and some really great!) teachers and one principal how much I really appreciate what they have done for my children, because they honestly have made a huge difference. Especially for my challenging kid, who re [...]


  • Brendan chronicles about 9 years of teaching in a variety of school settings. As a current teaching candidate I found this book funny and insightful. I'm not sure what type of school setting (urban, suburban, rural) setting I would like to work in but; after reading this book, I feel like that matters a lot less then finding out about the type of teachers in the school. It seems the adminstration will be similar at most schools so the best I can hope for is to be working with dedicated teachers. [...]


  • I've never read a book where the author whines during a majority of the book. The only parts I liked were the prologue and epilogue where he expresses his love of teaching and working with youth. I was also disappointed with his lack of vocabulary. I was annoyed by all the swearing. As an English teacher, shouldn't he have better descriptions than four letter words?I don't recommend this book for anyone who doesn't teach. It gives the profession a sour aftertaste. As an educator this book was a [...]


  • I often get slightly nervous when reading memoirs even if you change names, people are going to know that you're talking about them, right? These quotes rang true for me:"Though I will get better at the discipline stuff, I am fundamentally a marshmallow, and I will trade a little bit of chaos fora little bit of student involvement." (p. 43)"I can tell you all the reasons why this is the best way to do things, but the fact is that it doesn't always work. So when it works, am I skilled or just lu [...]


  • Fun book. This book answered a lot of questions I had about the aspects of teaching besides working with students. It discussed different types of teaching environments, such as charter schools, pseudo after-school programs, and suburb schools. I also enjoyed seeing his transition from idealistic teacher to realistic teacher. It was interesting to see how he dealt with his disillusionment and kept on teaching. Any recommendations for other similar books?


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