Cover Image: The Art of Teaching Children

The Art of Teaching Children

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Member Reviews

THE ART OF TEACHING CHILDREN

Whenever a teacher puts pen to paper in order to impart the wisdom of their years, there’s a better than even chance that the resulting manuscript will tug at the heartstrings. Such is certainly the case with Phillip Done’s The Art of Teaching Children.

Having retired after a thirty-three year career as a teacher, The Art of Teaching Children is both a memoir of Done’s experiences inside and around the classroom as well as a compendium of advice to current and future teachers. It works well in either case, and the combination means that it can appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

Done’s lighthearted reminiscences certainly stand out in the book, because of course they would. Having spent most of his professional life teaching children in the lower primary years, it’s inevitable that Done will have many an amusing anecdote about the exploits of his charges. After all, kids say (and do) the darndest things. But apparently sometimes so do parents. And so do teachers.

To the extent that some might find the book dense and overlong, it’s only because when Done shares his advice on various education-related topics, he does so in detailed fashion. Indeed, he has a lot to share. No doubt, much of these would appeal to neophyte teachers looking to get their bearings in the vocation. Yet there’s much for seasoned veterans and even parents to appreciate and learn from as well.

Of the many reflections Done has to offer in The Art of Teaching Children, perhaps the best are those where he waxes philosophical about the teaching profession. A particularly powerful chapter entitled “Teaching Truths,” for instance, contains the following nugget: “To all children, what teachers are is more important than what they teach.” Anyone who’s ever had to act as a mentor or a role model can surely relate.

That, perhaps more than anything, is what makes The Art of Teaching Children such compelling material. Instead to taking the path of least resistance and writing something crowd-pleasingly saccharine Done instead offers insight and perspective alongside the amusing anecdotes. That’s how you know the book comes from a place of love, as befitting a a person who devoted thirty-three years of his life to the vocation.
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Wow. From beginning to end, Done captures the essence of every educator's hopes, dreams, angst, anxiety and joy. His personal style adds to the content delivery, and the a-ha moments he recounts truly create instant camaraderie between Done and his readers who are acquainted with the classroom experience.  

There is something for everyone in The Art of Teaching! Passages will be highlighted and annotated by educators of all kinds - from the newly-minted elementary school educators to the veteran high-school teacher. (And as any parent (who recently became teacher during the pandemic) can attest, the homeschool experience though unique has definite "Done" remarkability in cintext and content. 

Thank you, Mr. Done, for this engaging and tihoughtful read. I know that I and many others will visit and revisit your book often for information, affirmation, and the pure joy of reading it!
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I’ve read many books, given so many books as gifts, purged my bookcase a few times - and there are just some favorites that I cannot part with….The Art of Teaching Children is one of those books!!  Whether you’re a teacher or a parent - or if you remember being a kid with a favorite teacher - you’ll LOVE Philip Done’s writing style!  It’s like a back stage pass, a glimpse into the joys of teaching, touching, funny stories, tips and tricks from a beloved, favorite teacher that has shaped so many young minds & hearts over his 33 year career.  If there was one book that we could give to every teacher & every parent with a child entering school - this would be it!  It is my hope that this beloved teacher will train, inspire and encourage new and seasoned teachers alike.  Every child should have a “Mr. Done” at some point in their school years!  Here’s to The Art of Teaching Children!
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Phillip Done has done it again!  In his latest book, The Art of Teaching Children, Done looks back at his long career (30+ years) as an educator and regales his readers with the many stories, ideas, tips and tricks from his years in the classroom.  The witty and warm memories of his students had me smiling from the first page to the last.  It is completely obvious that Done loved his teaching years and conducted his classes considering the children's love and care first and foremost.  I am not a teacher but would recommend this book to any novice teacher as it is packed with the wisdom of Done's entire career.  As a parent, I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Art of Teaching Children.  I only wish that all students could have a Philip Done in their lives throughout their elementary school years.
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This book is a treat better than finding fresh donuts in the faculty room.  Phil Done makes everyday occurrences in a classroom teacher’s life extraordinary.  I laughed out loud and I also cried a bit at this very readable, relatable book.  Mr. Done elevates teaching to an art.  As an artist, he loves what he does and shares his passion with its ups and downs.
I recommend this book to all teachers: classroom teachers who need a inspiration to start a new year (as he says, what other job gives you a new start every year?), those who are just starting out, those who are retired and want to remember, parents who are teaching at home, parents who are nervous sending their children to school (the love for each child comes across strongly), and administrators and lawmakers who want to know what it’s really like to teach a class.
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One thing is very clear as you read this book: Philip Done loves teaching and he loves teaching children!  
The book is an encyclopedia of teaching methods and tricks interwoven with recounts of the many funny and profound children’s comments that is a testimony to a rich, 30 year career in teaching.  This book would been invaluable to any elementary and probably even middle school teacher, especially during their first couple of years in the profession.  It is not a book that needs to be read straight through from cover to cover (although you could) but rather one where you can look for the right chapter when needing some ideas or suggestions.  The book is well written and well organized.  It is humorous and entertaining, as well as it gives good advice and offers many creative ideas for teaching.  It does not let you forget the fun and funny in the serious business of teaching.   You will want to use the many hands on, tried and true techniques, methods, and ideas that Philip Done shares here.
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A great book for teachers and parents … and everyone who used to be a student! Done’s funny (and often moving) stories provide excellent tips and encouraging words for those on the front line in the classroom—and, for the rest of us, bring back happy memories of those favorite teachers we all had in school.
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The Art of Teaching Children is a not only a loving guide, it is a love letter to the teaching profession itself. Mr. Done's book engagingly guides the reader through his discovery and growth in his 33 years of teaching. He imparts his experiences and wisdom in such a humorous  and gentle manner, that you are immediately taken on a happy journey to wanting to use these ideas as soon as possible in your classes. Outstanding not only for up and coming teachers, but for teachers that are always in search of new ways to approach children. The wonder, the humor, the endless possibilities. It also makes me wish I could have had a teacher like Phil when I was growing up.
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THE ART OF TEACHING CHILDREN by Phillip Done is subtitled "All I Learned from a Lifetime in the Classroom" and Done deftly share thirty-three years of experience. He mainly taught third and fourth graders (roughly 8 to 10 year-olds) and therefore brought back many happy memories of my time with students in that age category. While many of his examples (learning to read, to develop social skills, etc.), apply best to that cohort, he also shares universal truths like "Real learning is messy, not linear." His love for his students (and theirs for him) is evident in the many anecdotes and that affection will buoy readers who "need a quick pick-me-up, a long heart-to-heart, or just a reminder that you're not alone." This is the kind of text which may appeal most to newer teachers -- it is full of general ideas like his emphasis on taking advantage of Teachable Moments, reinforced with colorful examples like the Sunflower lesson or Restaurant Day. Although it focuses primarily on pre-Covid times, THE ART OF TEACHING CHILDREN could easily be a "one book, one school" choice to prompt teacher discussion. For example, Done believes "the use of tech in schools is industry driven, not pedagogically driven. ... Connect your kids to the people in their classroom, not the pixels."
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You had me at “Introduction”!   So many hilarious and heartwarming stories interspersed with valuable classrooms lessons that only an educator with 30+ years of experience could tell.
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Although The Art of Teaching is composed by an American Teacher. incidents that have happened within Done's classroom are instantly comparable with those that have happened within my own.

I found myself quickly moving through the pages agreeing with nearly all of the author's points - like those children that have etched a place upon your heart. 
However, I found myself sometimes at odds with the differences between the American/British  curriculums but wholeheartedly agreed with the impact of spending cuts on education. 

Well written and thought provoking.
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This book should be required reading for anyone graduating with a teaching certificate.  It should also be read by all principals and teachers and would make a great staff book study.  Although I did not agree with a couple of suggestions in the book, there are several non-negotiables everyone dealing with children should employ. Mr. Done uses stories and examples to keep the reader engaged and to reinforce these non-negotiables.  These stories and examples are both humorous, heartwarming and probably relatable to veteran teachers. Even though they may identify with these anecdotes, there are ideas and suggestions even the veteran educator would benefit from.   Mr. Done has written another very entertaining must read!
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Part memoir, part how-to book, Philip Done brings the reader into the classroom to spend time in the teacher’s funny socks. The overarching theme of this book is joy…the joy of a student who learns to read, the shy child who starts to come out of his/her shell, the unexpected nudge of encouragement from one teacher to another. Should be required reading for new teachers especially of elementary grade students. Part of the book incorporates tips for new teachers in things the traditional education classes may not cover. The  book is also chock full of creative ideas for making lessons come alive and also ideas for coping with the joy-killing parts of teaching like those dreaded standardized tests.  Let me say, I am not a teacher nor a parent, but I enjoyed the book for its real-life stories of school life and teachers who make a profound difference in students’ lives. (I HAVE been a student and did have those special teachers who helped shape my life). I would love to see legislators and school board members read this book to better understand the need to support and encourage teachers so that the large burnout rate in the profession can be reduced.
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I first read one of Phillip Done's books when my oldest child was in third grade. I remember being very touched and passing it on to friends who were teachers to enjoy. Now Done is retiring and looking back at his days as an elementary school teacher and my own child is in college. I didn't expect to still be so moved by the stories that make up the world of an elementary school because the world is so jaded, teaching as a career is in peril, and education is a mess. This is a love letter to teaching and should be read by anyone who needs a reminder that it comes down to the love of teaching the youngest in our society how to go forth and BE
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I’m in my 7th year teaching but I am always looking for some extra wisdom. This definitely provided said wisdom and is a book that would be a great gift for new teachers and veteran teachers alike!
Thank you to Netgalley and th publisher for this arc ebook in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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There are a lot of teacher books out there that try to encapsulate the mind and spirit of teaching, some succeed, some fail.  This one excels.  Done's writing is personable, thoughtful, reflective, but overall I would describe this book as warm.  I definitely had a grin on my face as I read (as one review alludes to), and any teacher who reads this will undoubtedly feel like Done has connected to them in a way other people and teachers haven't.  He knows the personal struggle of short lunches, crazy questions, and unique situations.  He's someone who understands.  
I recommend this to teachers who need someone to talk to and connect with, but haven't found that person yet.  Done will help.  His book conveys a sense of empathy as if he's telling these stories to you.  It is also for the teacher who might need a shoulder to cry on. Done's writing shows you that he understands your frustrations and attitudes about your profession.  It also is for teachers who feel the need to reflect, but may not how.  Great teachers know that the best way to teach is to model, and Done's book does this.  
Furthermore, as a high school teacher, I found a lot that I could connect to Done with.  Don't shy away from this if you teach older students thinking, "oh, another elementary guy writing about singing and coloring"  No, far from it.  Education transcends the ages of the students we teach (after all, as I have been told before, my students are the same in many respects as elementary students, just in bigger bodies).  
The chapters are short.  Do yourself a favor and read one on a Wednesday as your mid-week treat to yourself, after the students have gone home, the meetings are done, and you have forced yourself into a few moments of quiet reflection before packing up for the night.  Or, if you feel the impending stresses of the week on a Sunday night, spending some time lingering over these pages.  The stories and advice by Phillip Done in these pages are what true teaching is all about
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