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32 Third Graders & One Class Bunny

Don't know if you are the same sort of last minute shopper that I am - but assuming you are or maybe you need a gift for a grown-up January birthday - consider "32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny by Phillip Done.  For a teacher or a friend it's a great book written in short chapters about the life of a third grade teacher.  By Phillip Done, winner of the Schwab Distinguished Teachers Award, it gives quick, funny snapshots of a third grade classroom.  Clearly Mr. Done - I love his name!  I'm so done I'm MR. Done! - but I digress -  loves his students and truly enjoys teaching - what I love is that he's not all smoozy about it.  He doesn't wax poetic or try to convince us he is perfectly in charge of the world in his classroom.  Instead he points up his own humanity while appreciating the lovable foibles of piloting a classroom full of eight-year-olds.  His stories remind me very much of parenting - love or hate it - it has it's highlights.  One of my favorite lines was when Mr. Done compared his classroom to Mrs. Wilson's - the Martha Stewart of teachers - everything is perfect in her classroom while Mr. Done's is well - normal.  He runs through a litany of the perfection in her classroom - then a list of his own classroom's challenges - ending with "And my Venus flytrap is a vegetarian." The line made me laugh out loud - and also helped me feel a little better about those other "perfect" mothers and my own crazy cat-haired decorated home.