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This graphic novel brings to life William Ayers’s bestselling memoir To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher, Third Edition. From Ayers’s early days teaching kindergarten, readers follow this renowned educational theorist on his “voyage of discovery and surprise.” We meet fellow travelers from schools across the country and watch students grow across a year and a lifetime.
To Teach is a vivid, honest portrayal of the everyday magic of teaching, and what it means to be a “good” teacher—debunking myths perpetuated on film and other starry-eyed hero/teacher fictions. Illuminated by the evocative and wry drawings of Ryan Alexander-Tanner, this graphic version of To Teach will engage while it instructs. It is a much-needed reminder of how curiosity, a sense of adventure, and a healthy dose of reflection can guide us all to learn the most from this world as we educate the next generation. Teacher educators and professional developers will want to use this dynamic graphic novel alongside the traditional text for a unique teaching and learning experience.
William Ayers is a school reform activist, Distinguished Professor, and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ryan Alexander-Tanner is an art teacher and a Xeric Award-winning comic artist.
“This fascinating and, yes, educational book will certainly be of interest to teachers, but it will also teach, inspire, and entertain anyone else who picks it up.”
"It’s profoundly charming . . . a must for educators and highly encouraged for all."
—The Huffington Post
“An utterly original and deliciously irreverent book that is likely to be passed from hand to hand by tens of thousands of our nation’s teachers out of the sheer joy that they will take in reading it.”
—From the Foreword by Jonathan Kozol
“To Teach is hilarious serious and fabulous! A broad manifesto that will change many people’s lives.”
—Laurie Anderson, artist and musician
“Bill Ayers’s theories about teaching reform rest on at least two foundations. One is that the hierarchical relationship between the student and teacher should be moved out of the way, followed by simultaneous learning by teacher and student. The second is to demonstrate how some subjects blend with others (math with science) and all should be taught with their relationship in mind. Sounds good to me. A serious book, but laced with humor. It will strike most readers as a novel approach. Required reading for all educators.”
—Harvey Pekar, author, American Splendor series
“This book is a treasure chest of insight. It represents what dedicated, imaginative teaching is all about and is a blueprint for everyone who wants to explore the intimate connection between teaching and learning. Bill Ayers’ thoughtful text is illuminated by Ryan Alexander-Tanner’s picture-perfect cartoons, creating an added dimension of wit and wisdom that brings comics another step forward in their evolution.”
—Peter Kuper, cartoonist and educator, books include Sticks and Stones, and Diario De Oaxaca
“To Teach is great reading not only to student teachers but to anyone who has a vested interest in our education system. . . . It also is a great example of how comic art is a very efficient way to communicate complex ideas.”
—Peter Bagge, comics journalist and author of the Buddy Bradley series
“Weaving in inspirational anecdotes and playful visual metaphors, To Teach takes us through one school year with a delightful group of young learners. In the process, Ayers and Alexander-Tanner’s collaboration cleverly illustrates the vital importance—and moral necessity—of teaching.”
—Josh Neufeld, writer/artist of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge
“ I wish I’d read this book before I started teaching and making comics a decade ago; it’s chock full of practical and philosophical advice.”
—Lauren Weinstein, cartoonist and teacher, writer/artist, Girl Stories