This graphic novel brings to life William Ayers’s bestselling memoir To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher. These illustrated stories begin with Ayers’s early days teaching kindergarten and follow this renowned educational theorist on his “voyage of discovery and surprise.” Readers meet fellow travelers from schools across the country and watch as students grow across a year and a lifetime.
On the surface, To Teach is primarily the story of William Ayers and his class as they navigate the kindergarten year from introductions to graduation. In the process, we see how Bill Ayers engages with the children as individuals, translates their questions and concerns into fun and educational projects and handles the “weird” people with clipboards who stop by to check his actions against the Regional and National Curriculum.
Fans of scholarly graphic works such as Studs Terkel’s Working: A Graphic Adaptation and A People’s History of American Empire: A Graphic Adaptation will appreciate this pioneering work from Ayers and Alexander-Tanner, while fans of graphic novel memoirs will find much to love in To Teach’s powerful and progressive message.
To Teach: The Journey, In Comics is also a landmark work of collaboration. Ryan Alexander-Tanner lived with William Ayers for over 6 months, at his home in Chicago. This includes the period of time during the 2008 presidential election. The result of a fruitful partnership, To Teach is not just Ayers’ story – the authors also show how other teachers have found ways to engage with, and learn from students. To Teach is a timeless work that challenges the student/teacher dichotomy and opens up a world in which the hard questions aren’t avoided, and it is acceptable for a teacher to say, “Let’s learn this together.
“This fascinating and, yes, educational book will certainly be of interest to teachers, but it will also teach, inspire, and entertain anyone else who picks it up.” —Publishers Weekly
“It’s profoundly charming…part autobiography, part education reform tract, and entirely enjoyable to read.” — The Huffington Post
“A serious book, but laced with humor… a novel approach. Required reading for all educators.” —Harvey Pekar, American Splendor series
“This book is a treasure chest of insight. It represents what dedicated, imaginative teaching is all about and is a blueprint for everyone who wants to explore the intimate connection between teaching and learning.” —Peter Kuper, Diario De Oaxaca
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