Student teaching can be the worst experience of your career. OR it can be the best. This delightful collection of stories—emotional, poignant, funny—comes at the experience from every direction. It provides what is lacking from textbooks or how-to guides for student teachers: literate, engaging, and most of all HONEST appraisals of what to expect.

Assembled by writer and newly minted teacher Molly Hoekstra, these 29 essays reflect the experience of seasoned veterans considering their own beginnings, teachers recently inducted into the profession, and even teachers-not-to-be. The stories represent the grade-level spectrum in schools across the country, from Tekla Dennison Miller's elementary teaching experience in post-riot Watts to Anne Holzman's enjoyment of a Wisconsin eighth-grade graduation that included her special-needs student to Dee Birch Cameron's decision, despite her success, that teaching high school in Pittsburgh was not meant to be.

Explore the humor, the heartbreak, the frustration, and the inspiration provided by teacher training. And be better prepared to undertake that most complex of arts—helping others to learn.