3 out of 4 stars
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Stop Whining; Start Winning: For Teachers and Coaches is an encouraging and inspiring book written by retired teacher and coach, Tom Anstett.
With foreword by Pat Sullivan, the book is divided into sections, with sections one to three divided into two parts, first part for teachers and second part for coaches, and sections four and five for both. The book also includes an epilogue, acknowledgement and five appendices. Practically, the book is part memoir and part handbook in that the author shares examples of things that really happened in schools throughout the United States and at the same time gives insights on how teachers might deal with unmotivated students. The book includes exercises that the readers can participate in.
The author discusses very important issues including entitlement, inherent qualities of a teacher and a coach, importance of work ethics, advantages of multi-sport participation, and limitations of Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) among others. Moreover, the author gives helpful tips and advice on how to create an environment for good discussion and how to develop relationship, rapport and rigor (3Rs) and shares his personal experiences as a teacher and a coach in dealing with students and parents. Furthermore, the book is filled with beautiful and apparently well-chosen poems like Which Parent Are You? and Drop a Pebble in the Water as well as very interesting stories like the traveler who lost his ticket. Apparently, the author is not just a brilliant teacher and a great coach but also a talented writer. His writing style shifts from formal and academic to casual and conversational. In addition, the author includes a list of his most respected mentors and colleagues and the reasons why he holds them in such high regard.
For me, the most important part of the book is the discernible passion of the author not just for teaching and coaching, but for writing as well. Needless to say, Mr. Tom Anstett does everything (teaching, coaching, writing, parenting) wholeheartedly, something for everyone to emulate.
The part I like most about the book is the author’s emphasis on his parents and his parents’ examples. In our present society where people usually opt for what is easy, parents who take time to teach their children the importance of work ethics, respect for people and property, and appreciation and satisfaction for a job well done through example is a rare and commendable thing.
However, since the book is intended to aid teachers and coaches and is written to serve that purpose, other readers may not appreciate the book as much as teachers and coaches might do. That may limit the overall readership of the book. Moreover, there are noticeable typo errors within the entire book (like how would be able to give, why should be get any homework, and players’ metal, physical and emotional development).
I, therefore, rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I am a teacher myself and I find the book inspiring, encouraging, well-researched and well-referenced. I recommend it to teachers, coaches and school administrators.
Stop Whining; Start Winning
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