BeeOasis Step 2
Frank McCourt stood in front of his classroom. Even after thirty years of teaching, it still was not an easy job.
In fact, nothing in his life had been easy. When he travelled from Ireland to America at the age of 19, he left behind his whole family. His mother was trying to feed and care for four children all on her own. As a child, Frank often had to steal food for his family because they were so poor. At age 13, he had only one shirt to wear to school. He was expelled from school, so he had little education. His mother often had to sell the few things they owned just to survive.
“Maybe it will be easier for her to have one less mouth to feed,” he thought. And when he found a job in America, he sent much of his earnings back to his mother to help.
After thirty years of teaching, it was difficult to believe. He had come so far. He experienced poverty as a child. During the Korean War, he had to go into the military and was sent to train dogs in Bavaria.
He worked hard to save enough money for his mother, sister, and brothers. He wanted them to immigrate to America. And after the war, he convinced New York University to accept him as a student. He just told them he was smart and read a lot. When he finally graduated from college, he started his career as a teacher with very little experience.
One day, a boy stood up in class and asked, “What do you know about writing? How can you teach us to write if you have never written a book before?”
This was a tough question. When Frank started teaching, he only had an English degree from New York University. He didn’t really have the skills and expertise to teach a high school class, so he often used different methods and techniques than other teachers. He sang songs from his childhood. He taught from cookbooks, and when students brought in notes for being sick or late, he used them in his English lessons.
He also recounted stories from his past . . .
Click here to read a Step 1 version of this story.