Just a Teacher (Paperback)
When rookie teacher Todd Hunter greets his first class of ninth graders, he sees in half their faces bedtime stories and good-night kisses, piano lessons and 4-H clubs. In the other half, he sees ducking and dodging, last picked and first kicked. At that moment, Todd decides to make the bruised and beaten half of his class as successful as the cheerful, confident half. Somehow, some way, he's going to help the pelicans soar with the eagles.
It's a rocky start, until one day he takes his bored and restive biology students outside for a hands-on science lesson. From that day on, nature is his classroom and life is his lesson plan, but there are hard knocks and heartbreaks along the way. As his outdoor classroom flourishes, his marriage unravels. A student mysteriously disappears, and Todd is the prime suspect. He contends with petty rivalries, corrupt administrators, condescending socialites, low pay, political backstabbing.
Walk in the shoes of this public-school teacher, not for a day or a week but over the course of a career. You'll discover that his story is not his alone-it's a window into the heart, mind, and soul of everyone who wears the mantle of our nation's most underappreciated but absolutely indispensable profession: teacher.
"Over the next thirty-five years, I will teach more than seven thousand students and remember the majority of them, but I will not forget a single name or face from that first class, the one that started the Pond Project. This is where I'll cut my teeth; this is where I'll learn the difference between teaching and blabbing. This is where I'll learn about inspiration, motivation, leadership, and vision. And this is where I'll learn that to teach is first and foremost to love."