MinnPost: A Q&A with Tom Rademacher: on writing a candid book about teaching in Minnesota

By Erin Hinrichs

It Won't Be Easy (Tom Rademacher)MinnPost: Tell us a little bit about the book.

Tom Rademacher: In general, it’s the book I wish I had when I started teaching. Unlike a lot of books about teaching, it’s not a prescription for how to do it right. It’s more about: Here are the struggles I’ve had and things I’ve figured out along the way, the important questions I’ve learned to ask myself, and then a ton of stories — about where I messed up, things that went well, things that were ridiculous, things that were funny and things that were kind of crushing and really challenging. It’s a lot more conversational than a lot of books that are out there.

MP: Who’s your target audience? And what do you hope they get out of reading your book?

TR: My hope is that it appeals definitely to people who are teachers, but also anyone who’s just kind of interested in what it’s like at school from an adult point of view. It started as I love talking to and training new teachers. I started to realize, while I had maybe my third or fourth [student] teacher in a row, that I often told the same stories over and over again to every one of them. So those are like the core stories and the core lessons in the book. In my mind, they’re targeted to new teachers or teachers who maybe need to feel refreshed about teaching. Though I tell a lot of stories about how difficult it is, I definitely don’t want to turn people away from teaching. I just think it would be helpful to walk in with maybe eyes a little wider open about there’s a reason why it’s hard, there’s a reason why everyone who does it thinks it’s hard. Sometimes it’s your fault and something you need to change. Sometimes it’s just a matter of it’s never going to be an easy job to be in front of 30 kids and trying to point them all in the same direction.

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