Losing My Faculties: A Teacher’s Story by Brendan Halpin

Book Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

This book is about Brendan Halpin’s experiences of being a high school teacher. It follows him through teaching jobs in an economically depressed white ethnic town, a middle-class suburb, a last-chance prevention program in the inner city and an ambitious college-prep urban charter school.

Halpin describes his first test as a student teacher where he states he failed miserably. He turned around to write something on the board and someone threw a piece of chalk. He turned around and said, “you know…that is not cool”. The class giggled. Halpin states that he knew he lost them right at that moment. From then on it was open season when Halpin turned his back – spitballs, chalk and basketballs were thrown. To make matters worse, the school had no kind of detention. You had to deal with this type of thing on your own.

As you read this book, you can see Halpin is very passionate about being a teacher. He points out how he became very frustrated with administrators at times. This is an excellent book for everyone to read – parents, students, new teachers and experienced teachers. There are several situations in the book that will make you laugh and you will read about other incidents that will make you understand why Halpin got frustrated. Halpin, at times, wanted to quit because he got disgusted with the bureaucracy of the teaching profession. However, he kept at it because he wanted to make a difference in a student’s life. Read this book. You will enjoy it!