Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Recess is My Best Subject

By Peggy Mastel

In this important memoir, Peggy Mastel takes us into the world of substitute teaching. We follow her for one year as she works as a substitute teacher in an urban school district.

After a successful career as a corporate trainer, she lost her job to the fallen economy. That situation, combined with approaching middle age, job possibilities were scarce. Having the qualifying education, Peggy took the position as a substitute teacher.

Peggy reveals many issues that she encountered in the impoverished city. The lack of orientation and assistance available to her was frustrating, and at times even frightening.

Her worries about the children, many who were immigrants to our country, were valid and obvious. Often, children would come to school hungry or dressed inappropriately for the harsh winter weather.

In addition to issues of the children’s safety, Peggy had to worry about her own safety.  Some of the classes that she was called to substitute teach were behavioral classes, or had students with issues. 

This book is a very honest look at a profession that is often not appreciated. I recommend this book to future teachers, as well as current educators. I also believe this is an important book for parents.


  1. That sounds very interesting - I wish people understood more how hard teachers work and often use their own monies to help the kids.

  2. Teaching is one of the most difficult jobs -- it sounds like this would only reaffirm my opinion on that,