National Writing Project

Book Review: A Teacher's Stories: Reflections on High School Writers, by Joyce Lott

By: Art Peterson
Publication: The Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 4
Date: Fall 1994

Summary: Art Peterson reviews A teacher's Stories: Reflections on High School Writers by Joyce Lott, which, through case studies of fourteen students in Lott's high school classes, demonstrates the principle teaching people before subject matter. Lott's stories show how honest one-on-one dialogue can nudge students away from "What does the teacher want?" to "What do I want to say?" Modeling the honesty she espouses, Lott talks about her failures and her doubts. But "each time I slipped off my teacher's mask and became truly myself," she says, "my existence in the factory-like building we call `high school' became more bearable."

 

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