Just a Teacher follows the life and career of fictional teacher Todd Hunter. Brand new to the classroom in 1969, Hunter decides to throw out the textbook and take his bored and restive junior-high biology students outside for a hands-on science lesson. In the years that follow, the “Pond Project” will spark a passion for learning among the thousands of children who take Hunter’s class.
“This story is a far cry from your typical ‘teacher inspires downtrodden students’ hero story,” says co-author Jim David, a former National Biology Teacher of the Year. The novel is loosely based on David’s career as a secondary math/science teacher and supervisor in Flagstaff. “Part mystery, part romance, Just a Teacher takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride through the life and career of a public school teacher. Sometimes it’s a rocky journey… but that’s just like real life for every teacher I know.”
David co-authored the book with good friend and fellow educator Michael Fillerup, the prizewinning author of numerous short stories, two previous novels and several children’s books. During his 34-year career in public education, Fillerup developed and supervised programs for Native American, Hispanic and other language-minority children. In addition, he designed and directed two Navajo language revitalization programs and is the founder and former director of Puente de Hozho Tri-lingual School in Flagstaff. Experiences with Navajo and Hopi students informed Fillerup’s writing of Just a Teacher.
Just a Teacher will be available to the public September 3…just in time for the start of a new school year. Preordered books will be shipped (or available for pickup in Flagstaff) that day. For faster service, you can also order the book directly from Amazon today.
“We wrote this book to inform, entertain, caution, and inspire,” Fillerup says. “We want so-so teachers to become good ones, good teachers to become great ones, and great teachers to stay in the business. And we want the bad ones to get out. For parents, politicians and the general public, we want to raise awareness of the myriad challenges threatening today’s teachers and, by extension, the very survival of public education in America. Finally, we hope to inspire the best and the brightest to answer the call, to pick up the mantle, to touch the future.”