Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Teaching #Memoir- They Call Me Mom by Pete Springer

This week I have enjoyed reading the memoir by Pete Springer about his teaching career.. They Call Me Mom.

About the book

Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff.

Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model. This book is a must-read for all new teachers and those teachers that need a reminder they are human! Mr. Springer educates others in his easy-to-read, story-like, first-hand manuscript. You will laugh, cry, and get motivated to be the best educator you can. After reading this, I have a better outlook on relationships with my colleagues and am reminded to savor every moment. -Tami Beall (Principal, Pine Hill School)

My review for the book 13th February 2021

This memoir of a teacher with over thirty years experience, is an interesting snapshot of the American education system, particularly the elementary school years for 5 to 10 or 11 years old. This is a key period in a child’s life and so important that the skills for learning and development are absorbed during these years.

Pete Springer provides a step by step guide to creating the best environment within a classroom, for learning and as a place of safety and respect. Clearly a dedicated teacher, but also an observer of human nature, Springer provides a manual for new teachers, including how to achieve a rapport with both students and their parents. Importantly of course, creating lesson plans that stimulate and educate, and how to use effective and empathetic methods when dealing with behavioural and discipline issues.

The book it is not just about teaching a curriculum set out by a state education board, but also developing relationships in and out of the classroom with key people in a child’s and a teacher’s life. As the author points out, children come from a multitude of backgrounds with varying family circumstances and one size does not fit all when it comes to treating them as individuals or those in their lives.

With anecdotes of life in the classroom with young minds trying to be one step ahead of you, overeager parents, and absent ones, and differing teaching methods being supported by successive administrators, it is not a 9-5 job. Especially when you are a dedicated educator intent on sending well taught and well-adapted children on to secondary school.

There is much to enjoy by the casual reader looking for an informative and entertaining read, with memories of their own early years rising to the surface, not all as positive as in the classes of Pete Springer.

I do think it is an excellent guide to those who are considering teaching as a career or have just begun their training. Also new teachers trying to find their own style, and a way to connect with their students effectively and the others involved in their lives.

Parents, and to a degree grandparents, would certainly benefit from understanding the complexities of the work of a teacher. Whilst this is written from the perspective of the American education system, children of this age around the world require the same level of dedication and commitment to their well-being.

The author includes some wonderful stories of students (with their names changed) their parents and incidents that will entertain. It is heartwarming to learn about past students who keep in touch, even when they too have become parents with children passing through Springer’s classroom. All of which underline what a caring person and teacher these children were lucky to have in their lives.

Read the reviews and buy the book:Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

About Pete Springer

I’m a retired elementary teacher (31 years) who will always be a strong advocate for children, education, and teachers. My favorite thing to do as a teacher was to read to my students, and now I’m following my heart and writing children’s books for middle grades.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Read more reviews:Goodreads – Website: Pete Springer WordPressTwitter: @OfficerWoof


Thanks for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed my review for Pete’s book and will head over to buy.. thanks Sally

76 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Book Reviews – #Teaching #Memoir- They Call Me Mom by Pete Springer

  1. Thank you for the great review, on a really important book. This should be given to all teachers starting their career. Sometimes unbelievable how Pete had caught the hearts of the youngsters, and this way forced their audience in learning. Michael

    Liked by 3 people

    • It pains me to see some of the grief teachers seem to be getting these days, Dorothy. I’ve talked to many who say they’ve never worked harder. Yet, public perception seems to be shifting. I hear a lot more comments like, “Those teachers need to get back to work.” I fully understand how hard this is on children and parents, too. That’s what a pandemic is—a global crisis. It’s the reason we should have been more diligent and proactive from the start instead of denying the science.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Agreed! My daughter-in-law now has to make two lesson plans, one for her in-school classes and one for the on-line classes. She has constant one-on-one meetings with students, and usually does’t get to bed until midnight. They are all doing the best they can, and yet what they hear is how the “kids are slipping.”

        Liked by 3 people

      • I think you and I discussed this before, but educators’ focus should be on children’s emotional well-being right now. How can you fall behind when everyone else is treading water? When school returns, teachers will adjust and take the kids from wherever they are academically. That’s what teachers do. To borrow a card term—we play the hand that we’re dealt. God bless your daughter and all of the teachers who are doing their best for our children.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Barbara. Is your daughter a teacher? If I were a school administrator (I loved teaching too much to do that job, and my skin wasn’t thick enough), I would hire more males for the primary grades. A lot of children don’t have good male role models in their lives. The most important lessons teachers can deliver are often ones that are not part of the standard curriculum.

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  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round-Up – February 7th – 13th 2021 – Primroses, Hits 1960s, Short stories, poetry, recipes, books and funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  3. I appreciate the opportunity to engage with you and many of the people in the blogging world, Sally. You have created quite the landing spot for the writing community with The Smorgasbord. I often think that politicians could take a lesson from writers, educators, and other professionals about treating one another with respect and realizing there’s room for more than one point of view. Thanks for taking the time to read my book and for leaving such a comprehensive review.

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    • My pleasure Pete.. an inspiring book and I hope many more read it and appreciate the complexities of being a teacher in our modern society. The main function of my career in a number of industries was people management and the development of their potential into senior positions. The inclusive and respectful approach to others that you instilled in your students has an impact on the way they interact and communicate throughout their lives. I could usually tell who had that positive influence as a child and teenager, and they nearly all were successful. A teacher’s role, particularly within that age group is critical to their development and that came through very clearly in your approach. I wish more teachers shared that philosophy.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent review of Pete’s book, Sally. I agree with you on many points about this book. The stories are heartwarming. The narrative is insightful and helpful to experienced and new teachers. Thank you for sharing.
    Congratulations to Pete on this excellent review.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, John. It’s fun for me to learn more about some of my fellow writers and what they did in their prior lives. I’ve been told that I have a good voice for radio. I suppose part of that has to do with speaking in front of kids for many years. Have you ever blogged about your days as a DJ?

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      • I have not blogged about my days as a DJ. I’m not sure there are any stories that would interest folks. I remember long nights in a very lonely studio. I did enjoy the News on the hour which gave me an opportunity to come alive with other than promo breaks. My first stint I was 21. My second I was 51 so there was a span of technology. The first was on a 40 rock station. The last on a light rock station. I had the voice for both in each time period. The best part was listening to the music through the earphones. In the 90s the stations broadcast in full fidelity and in some cases records were mastered in surround sound. It was a treat to hear songs like The Boxer the way the engineers intended. I don’t have any great stories of personal appearances or fan antics. Those days were long gone on both gigs.

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  5. I enjoyed this book too, Sally, especially the anecdotal tales about Pete’s experiences with the students. You’re right that it has plenty of wisdom for a range of readers, but would be immensely valuable to those thinking about teaching or those new to the vocation. Wonderful review. Congrats to Pete!

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  6. Sally, this was a wonderful review! Pete is ‘the real deal’, and I dearly wish every kid had Pete as their teacher. He is an excellent writer- I’m glad he wrote his stories. He inspires my teaching!

    Liked by 1 person

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