“Pickering’s odd timelessnesshis ideas seem simultaneously old-fashioned and up-to-dateand his warm wisdom . . . will please educators and interested lay readers alike.” Publishers Weekly
Letters to a Teacher
978-0-8021-4227-6 • $12.00 • Paperback • Oct. 2005
Inspirational reflections and philosophy on teaching from the person who inspired Dead Poets Society
Sam Pickering has been teachingguiding, performing, inspiringfor more than forty years. As a young English teacher at Montgomery Bell Academy in Tennessee, his musings on literature and his maverick pedagogy touched a student named Tommy Schulman, who later wrote the screenplay for Dead Poets Society. Pickering went on to teach at Dartmouth and the University of Connecticut, where he has been for twenty-five years. His acclaimed essays have established him as a nimble thinker with a unique way of enlightening us through the quotidian.
Letters to a Teacher is a welcome reminder that teaching is a joy and an art. In ten graceful yet conversational letters addressed to teachers of all types, Pickering shares compelling, funny, always elucidating anecdotes from a lifetime in the classrooms of school and universities. His priceless, homespun observations touch on topics such as competition, curiosity, enthusiasm, and truth, and are leavened throughout with storieswhether from the family breakfast table, his revelatory nature walks, or his time teaching in Australia and Syria. More than a how-to guide, Letters to a Teacher is an invitation into the hearts and minds of an extraordinary educator and his students, and an irresistible call to reflection for the teacher who knows he or she must be compassionate, optimistic, respectful, firm, and above all dynamic. This is an indispensable guide for teachers and layman alike.