I’m not even kidding … this is a book review! And I read it all by myself.
Schooled: A Love Letter to the Exhausting, Infuriating, Occasionally Excruciating Yet Somehow Completely Wonderful Profession of Teaching
By Stephanie Jankowski
Stephanie, the loveable voice of the blog When Crazy meets Exhaustion, has written a book! She’s a long-time blogging friend of mine and I’ve loved her work for years.
Schooled is a collection of stories from the field. Her essays are humorous, sincere, and beckon to every crush on a teacher I ever had. As a dad of three kids, it gave me insight into what life is like on the other side of the desk.
Schooled tells the tale of a teacher who cried on her way home every night when she started. It chronicles the journey from over-her-head to into-her-heart teaching. I love how she dealt with elements of the profession never covered in college. One of her quotes early in the book summed it up beautifully:
“Until there’s a college course that throws us into a sweltering classroom with 30 students, enough materials for half of them, and no time to pee, no one will ever truly be prepared to enter the profession of teaching.”
Stephanie holds no punches. She calls out colleagues and don’t-do-enough parents. She also praises those who do well by the kids they teach. She categorizes hilariously the types of people you’ll encounter at conferences and in teacher’s lounges.
I love her message about relating to students, showing them they’re capable – and most importantly, showing them you care. Thoughts on self-care resonated with me:
“Control the things you can. Whatever you do, I hope you find something that upgrades your day in a way that equals less stress and more happy; because we need you in our classrooms. You are important and valuable, dear educator, and we appreciate your services to our youth. Now, go! Sign up for a yoga class or throw axes (where legal and safe) and politely decline the invitation to proctor the SATs next Saturday because holy Common Core do you deserve a break!”
This book delivers in big ways. You’ll get a glimpse of the plight of the pregnant teacher. Of what happens when a teacher is CERTAIN there’s a dead dog outside the classroom window. On the transition from traditional classroom to online learning (“It’s noon; have I brushed my teeth? Your guess is as good as mine!” Both no-nonsense and vulnerable, Stephanie delivers the laughs in her “business on top, Nike runners on the bottom” style that gives her writing voice such amicable depth.
“The simplest task is made 10 times more difficult when little kids are involved. By this logic, getting a class of 25 kindergartners to line up for a bathroom break requires the same energy and time as running a half marathon. I raise my cup of thrice reheated coffee to you, elementary school teachers!”
Conclusion | 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I’m not the voracious reader many of you are. This book’s format was perfect for lunch breaks and breakfast reading. Also, on a day my car kept overheating, I read a chapter or two while the radiator came back down to earth. The humor and depth of Stephanie’s words made a horrible day way more bearable. But you don’t need to have a busted thermostat to enjoy it.
It’s a perfect gift for Mother’s Day coming up, and also your kids’ teachers. Also, the room mom or dad. (I used to be a lunch dad!) Here’s how to get Stephanie’s kick-ass book, and be on the lookout for a #GirlsRock interview with the author coming soon!
E is for End-of-your-career awards
F is for Frank, my uncle
H is for ✊🏻 haiku (my quarantine journal)
L is for learn
P is for purify your mindset
Q is for quarterback