Joe Gilliland’s ‘A Teacher’s Memoir’ Reveals Passion for Teaching and Learning amidst the Historical Tumults of the 20th Century

June 03 22:30 2020

June 3, 2020 – In today’s mass markets of education, the passion for teaching and learning in the humanities has been dying away, making highly relevant the recent publication by a professor turned author Joe Gilliland, whose memoir, “A Teacher’s Tale: A Memoir,” has been recently published on Amazon that should inspire the next generation of teachers and students to continue going wherever their hearts take them. 

Joe Gilliland never intended to become a teacher, most certainly not an English teacher. Still, when he graduated from the University of Texas, he did not wish to leave the university, so following his heart, with a formal plan, without a syllabus, so to speak, he ventured forth for a life in academe and has never regretted it. His memoir makes for spellbinding reading and is a tale rich in the descriptive detail of living and learning in the tumultuous periods of the twentieth century.

‘A Teacher’s Tale’ begins in 1932 as Joe begins school the youngest and smallest in his class. Growing up during the Great Depression, he enters the University of Texas at the age of sixteen, but, financially unable to continue, and disappointed with his grades, he leaves after a year and enlists in the army during WWII. Returning to the university, he graduates in 1949 and applies for a  job teaching English in Korea, but the war in Korea forces him where he ends up at a Japanese university teaching English from 1950-53. In Japan, he marries a girl from Texas whom he met while learning Japanese to teach English as a second language. Back in the States in 1955, Joe begins to study for an MA in English at the University of Texas.

Through every page Joe’s memoir shines with a love for teaching and the love of learning, focusing on the importance of critical thinking and the humanities and fine arts, and contrasting with a system limited to high-tech. Joe also shares two secrets: ‘education by irritation’ rather than ‘education by regurgitation’ and a belief that the best teachers never cease being students.

An outstanding book. You will see the passion and perception of a teacher,” says a reader review.

‘A Teacher’s Tale’ will be of great interest to all teachers, especially in the humanities, and those planning to become teachers and possibly students, as well as those drawn towards learning literature and the arts in a school. It will also interest those exploring the life and times of the “Greatest Generation”. The tale has great relevance today when higher education, science, and the world of intellect is too often derided as being ‘elitist’ and outside the mainstream.

A Teacher’s Tale: A Memoir” by Joe Gilliland is available in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover editions from Amazon.

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