Verdict: MR. NOMAD provides an enlightening commentary for would-be teachers in addition to the general reader who will find a good story in the author’s epic travels.
Part memoir, part guidebook for teachers new and seasoned, MR. NOMAD offers a humorous and refreshing look at a misunderstood profession.
In his 30-year tenure as an elementary school teacher, Dave Webb has taught at 10 schools in 3 different states. Although he never really explains why he moved so much, the author is clearly dedicated to his profession and to his students. The book is mostly chronological as a memoir, from the author’s own school days through his present year teaching, with interjecting chapters dedicated to humorous anecdotes from the classroom and his suggestions for how to be a better teacher. The author has led an expansive life as a nomadic teacher and his experiences are written with humor and honesty. The instructional chapters—on setting up rewards systems, birthday boards, how to prevent downtime, etc—are obviously aimed at teachers, while the memoir chapters will appeal to anyone who has gone to school; parents, too, would gain valuable insight into how teachers view their position and the systems that sponsor them. Still, the book as a whole is aimed at a tricky audience.
The author’s impressively creative teaching methods and project suggestions indicate that he is the kind of teacher students remember for years afterward. The author’s positivity wavers only in his biases against public schools and parents who meddle, and these occasionally bitter rants can be jarring in tone. The book also wavers from chronology more in the second half, ending chapters with leading sentences (“And that one, as you’ll find out a little later, would be the worst of all”) that aren’t resolved in the next chapter.
NOMAD provides an enlightening commentary for would-be teachers in addition to the general reader who will find a good story in the author’s epic travels.