LibraryThing Giveaway

Best in Class: Essential Wisdom from Real Student Writing - Tim Clancy, Johnny Sampson

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via a Librarything giveaway.


                If you teach, it is that time of the year.  The time when questions such as, “I know I didn’t do any of the work, but can I still pass the class” get asked.  It is the time when you read essays that are done at the last minute so students write things like “I think that it is the title of the movie” or “two other sources that I didn’t write done”.


                It is why teachers always ask for booze.


                Clancy’s collection of strange writings from students is a balm to the soul.  You, dear teacher, are not alone.  You haven’t failed at teaching; the students just have not been paying attention.


                Clancy’s collection of student writings includes intelligent sayings like, “Music is the aspirin of the soul” (43) as well as head banging sentences such as “Contrary to popular belief, Canadian women are no more hairy than their American counterpoints” (41).


                The book is loosely divided into sections that include misspellings, made up words, historical musing and comments about literature.  The accompanying illustrations by Johnny Sampson are clever.


                While this is an ideal present for any teacher, it would also be a good aid in teaching, not only in terms of the importance of proofreading, but also because of the Sampson illustrations that showcase what the sentences means as opposed to what it intends.