A DASH OF
Russell J Fee
"This is a must have for every teacher library! A
funny yet poignant glimpse into the crazy, happy, sad, wonderful world
of teaching... I laughed out loud."
~ Lori Kleinhanzl, Grade School
Mr. Fee's book is a delightful collection of
hilarious "teacher" experiences. He captures the classroom atmosphere
with a wise and entertaining sense of humor.
~ Colleen Seal, Educator
Russ Fee knows what it’s like to face down a pack
of fifth graders. His observations from the wilds of the classroom give
us a clear-eyed look at the world of childhood - not the sentimental
and sanitized version our memories serve up, but the real world of hard
questions, keen observations, and exploding energy. No one is better
able to capture the smells, the sounds, the sights, and telling moments
that make up a teacher’s day.
A man who arrived in the classroom after a long
career in the courtroom, Russ Fee invites us along on his journey from
substitute to seasoned teacher, sharing his experiences in poems that
capture both the exuberance of childhood and the joyful privilege of
being attendant at their growth.
“Kids who don’t get into trouble aren’t normal,” a
wise third grader is overheard saying in one of his poems from the
classroom included in “A Dash of Expectation.” Whether you’re a parent,
teacher or a former child, these poems will make you laugh and cry over
honest moments like these.
~ Pamela Todd, Author
"If you’re dreaming of going back to school to get
your teacher’s certification, you’d be well advised to read Russ Fee’s
book for confirmation that you’re absolutely doing the right thing.
After all, read between the lines and the lines themselves and you’ll
see how going to the head of the class is the realization of the
In A Dash of Expectation, Fee
has packaged a keen set of observations into a great read. He gives
readers a practical, moving, and seriously funny glimpse into what it’s
like to go back into the classroom as a substitute teacher. Never mind
pastoral images of the sweet and obedient: the students in his poems
are real. That’s what makes them—and Fee’s poetry—so transcendent.
Instead of languishing above a clean desk, hands clasped and crayons
stored neatly in cigar boxes, they are appropriately unruly and
chaotic, competitive and needy, and self-absorbed as only
grade-schoolers are allowed to be. Somehow, someway, Fee has managed to
not only pinpoint, but play up the most powerful and universal details
of being a school kid—the kind that successfully transports us back to
our own experience. Don’t miss it!"
~ Jill Sherer Murray, author of
“Diary of a Writer in Mid-Life Crisis”
J. Fee’s A Dash of Expectation: Poems of the Classroom
is an entertaining collection of poems written about his experiences in
classroom. With topics ranging from suspension to free time to
students’ first interaction with a sub, the empathetic poems deal with
with which every teacher has become familiar. This book is great for
everyone as it wonderfully depicts snippets from a teacher’s life.
David Woolf, http://teacherscount.org/
obvious thing to say about Russell
J. Fee’s excellent collection of poems, A
Dash of Expectation, is that it is most entertaining for
those of us who
have spent some of our time functioning as teachers, because this
a teacher’s many observations of the joys
and frustrations of plying his trade.
On the other hand, while only some of us were teachers, all of us were
students, so there is a universal appeal. One really pleasant aspect of
collection is, even when he is writing about “bad” children, he does
portray them as monsters, but, rather, as children whose process of
may be lagging a bit behind the others. An excellent example of that
his very clever piece, “Third-Grade Sage.”
Others of his poems, most of them, in
fact, are not about the frustrations of misbehavior, but the joy of
knowledge, which is the thing that makes the whole enterprise
worthwhile. A few
of the poems are poignant, such as “Poem” and “Talk Out,” while others,
them, “Luis” and “The Librarian,” cannot help but bring a smile to your
fact, they may even render you one of those very few people who
not quietly, but out loud (as in LOL).
This may be a bit longer than a
chapbook, but it is not particularly long. Perhaps the best thing to
it is that you may end up wishing it were.
Cleveland Lane, Author & Poet