The English Teacher's Companion: A Complete Guide to Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession

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Heinemann, 2008 - Education - 540 pages
2 Reviews
  For a decade and over two editions, the specific, practical, and experience-honed advice of The English Teacher's Companionhas supported great teaching and cemented Jim Burke's reputation as a teacher's teacher. Now the third edition brings the book fully up to date, making it not only a useful resource, but an essential part of any English teacher's library. The third edition of The English Teacher's Companionagain delivers vital information on the teaching of English, including foundational advice for teaching literature; nurturing reading, writing, and thinking skills; and organizing for success. But it also responds to needs that Jim has heard in speaking engagements and professional development workshops across the country. Teachers and teacher educators asked for:
  • the latest research on literacy
  • more information about national standards
  • ways to consider gender in instruction
  • advice for teaching Advanced Placement classes
  • ideas for teaching media literacy and incorporating technology effectively into instruction
  • even more resources for mentoring new teachers
  • analysis of how trends in society, culture, and politics impact teachers and their classrooms.
 And Jim delivers.  He has revamped his introductory chapters on literacy learning to include up-to-the-minute thinking from the field, and he has incorporated lists of key standards and helpful suggestions for reaching them. His practical strategies turn recent findings on literacy and gender into well-designed, research-based instruction, and his ideas help you meet the very different needs of AP students by understanding their goals and providing them with appropriate challenges. Best of all, new teachers will find a wealth of the latest information for getting a teaching job, using the Internet to locate helpful resources, negotiating the impact of politics and culture in the workplace, and helpful thoughts on the reciprocal nature of mentoring and being mentored. There's even a companion website ( still more to support your success and your students'. The world of English teaching changes every day, and The English Teacher's Companion has changed with it. Read the third edition, and find out why it continues to make a powerful and lasting impact on English teachers everywhere.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wrmjr66 - LibraryThing

Jim Burke's companion for English teachers would seem to be an indispensable aid to secondary teachers of English literature and composition. It has certainly been an interesting and eye-opening read ... Read full review

Review: The English Teacher's Companion: A Complete Guide to Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession

User Review  - Kelly Rice - Goodreads

This really is a must for a new teacher. I wish I'd had it ten years ago! Read full review


A Modern Profile of Adult Literacy
The Place and Purpose of Vocabulary Instruction
Putting Grammar in Its Place
From Practice to Performance
The Verbal Curriculum
Teaching Thinking in the Cnglish Class
How to Plan a Unit of Studu
Which Gender Is nglish?
Thoughts About Culture Race and Language
thics and the Study of nglish
Teaching Advanced Placement
nglish Teachers and the Law
Getting a Job Teaching nglish
Organizing Vourself to Teach nglish and Have a Life

Measuring Student Progress
Reading the Visual and Virtual Worlds
Integrating nglish Projects and xhibitions into the Curriculum
Its Place and Purpose
The Classroom
Parents School Boards Politicians
Joining the Professional Conversation
F Fl Concise Glossary of Literary Terms

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About the author (2008)

Jim Burke is the author of numerous bestselling Heinemann titles, including the English Teacher's Companion, Fourth Edition and What's the Big Idea? The question he's always tried to answer is "How can we teach our students better?" He seeks these answers daily through his work in his own classroom at Burlingame High School in California where he still teaches after twenty years. Facing the same constraints and challenges as every other teacher, Jim shares his creative solutions in bestselling professional titles with Heinemann such as Reading Reminders and Writing Reminders as well as through Heinemann Professional Development Services. As part of his commitment to helping teachers and learning how to use the latest technologies, he founded the English Companion Ning, described by Education Week as "the world's largest English department" and winner of several Edublog Awards for Best Social Network for Education. In addition to the EC Ning, Jim offers a steady stream of recommended resources through his website ( and Twitter (@englishcomp) where he is ranked in the top 100 educators to follow at the top within the online English teacher community. Jim serves on several national commissions related to adolescent literacy and standards, including the Advanced Placement English Literature and Language Course and Exam Review Commission with the College Board and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) where he serves on the Content Technical Working Group, which advises PARCC on the national assessments being developed for the Common Core State Standards. In addition, he is a senior author on the Holt McDougal Harcourt Literature series. Jim has received numerous awards, including the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award, the NCTE Conference on English Leadership Award, and the California Reading Association Hall of Fame Award. He served on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Committee on Adolescence and Young Adulthood English Language Arts Standards. Through his work in the class and on such commissions, Jim Burke seeks not only to clarify but reimagine what English should be, honoring the past even as he works with others to create the future of the discipline he loves so much. Visit his website ( for more information.

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