This is a book for teachers, for those who are thinking about becoming a teacher and for parents who are concerned about their children and their children’s teachers. Only one who has spent forty-three years in secondary education could so accurately and clearly write what is on these pages. More to the point, only one who loved his work as passionately as Holmes did could write with such intensity.
Holmes recounts his own struggles as a student from first grade through the middle years of undergraduate school. With these experiences in back of him, he vowed that he would enter the field of secondary education with one overriding goal. He would make it his life’s mission to help every one of his students, especially those who were not finding much success or much enjoyment in middle and high school. He would do all that he could to try to prevent them from making many of the same mistakes he made. To do that, he knew that he had to start with himself first by doing whatever it would take for him to become the best teacher he was capable of becoming. He believed then, as he still does today, that the single most powerful influence on student success is the teacher standing in front of the classroom. As to whether or not Holmes succeeded, that final performance evaluation will be made by the thousands of students and parents with whom he worked from 1963 to 2006.
Richard Michael Holmes, author of For Parents Only: Straight Talk from Inside the American High School (2008), is a freelance writer who lives in upstate New York and in southwest Florida. His many articles have appeared in numerous periodicals, journals and newspapers. Just Lucky, I Guess: Lessons I Learned through Forty-three Years in High School is his second book.