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Why Did I Get a B?

And Other Mysteries We're Discussing in the Faculty Lounge

This hilarious and candid collection of personal essays about teaching follows in the footsteps of such classics as Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire, The Courage to Teach, and Up the Down Staircase. “Send this book to your favorite teacher. They’ll know you’re sucking up. They’ll thank you anyway” (People).

Shannon Reed did not want to be a teacher, but now, after twenty years of working with children from preschool to college, there’s nothing she’d rather be. “With an irresistible combination of compassion, humor, and engaged storytelling” (Shelf Awareness), her essays illuminate the highs and lows of a job located at the intersection of youth and wisdom. Bringing you into the trenches of this most important and stressful career, she rolls her eyes at ineffectual administrators, weeps with her students when they experience personal tragedies, complains with her colleagues about their ridiculously short lunchbreaks, and presents the parent-teacher conference from the other side of the tiny table.

From dealing with bullies and working with special needs students to explaining the unwritten rules of the teacher’s lounge this “starkly honest, at times irreverent” (Library Journal) look at teaching is full of as much humor and heart as the job it celebrates.

Photograph by Heather Kresge

Shannon Reed has been a teacher and professor in Western Pennsylvania and New York City for the last twenty years. She’s taught preschool, middle, and high school, and now teaches Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and more. Why Did I Get a B? is her first book.

More books from this reader: Samantha Desz