Why I Teach: 5 Books and Movies with Inspiring Educators

I’d like to introduce you all to Caitlyn! She’s a middle school teacher in North Texas (an amazing one at that) and a wonderful friend of mine. Check out her picks of books and movies that help her along her teaching journey.  Enjoy!  -Sam

I’m one of those brave individuals that has chosen [been called to] a career as a teacher. I didn’t sign on because I wanted to have my summers free (although it is a beautiful perk) and I certainly didn’t embark on this journey because I thought it’d be easy (because in fact, nothing could be further from the truth). But it is my joy and my privilege to impart some small bit of knowledge on a set of middle school students every year.

I find inspiration in almost everything, even this Starbucks I’m sitting in. I really like the seating arrangements in this space and I’m making notes – ha! The greatest source of inspiration for me comes from books and movies. They are my love language. After a difficult day, I know I can read a chapter or watch a few minutes of a favorite story and it’ll fill my sails for the next day.

These are five movies and books that have been a source of motivation and encouragement at some point in my career.

Dead Poets Society (starring Robin Williams)
O Captain! My Captain! If you’ve ever seen this gem, then you’re probably nodding your head in a very, Ahh…of course kind of way. Mr. Keating is one of the reasons I love poetry and why I find it essential to teach in a free kind of way – no right or wrong, but interpretation and feeling. This movie reminds me that each person has the right to explore their own identity – what brings them joy, inspires them and fulfills them. I teach Walt Whitman’s poem O Captain! My Captain to my 8th graders and I love showing them the clip from this movie with that iconic line. Mr. Keating encourages me to be a source of inspiration to my kiddos, showing them that they can make their lives extraordinary.

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” Continue reading

Top 5 Educator “Thank You” Gifts

Hey gang! We here at HPB appreciate our teachers and librarians. I mean, where would we be without them? I wouldn’t know all of the prepositions if it wasn’t for my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Nance. (About, above, across, after, against, along…  You get the idea.)

Anyhow, this Thursday, October 6 through Monday, October 10, we’re celebrating Educator Appreciation Weekend here at Half Price Books! Teachers and librarians get an extra 20% off and while they shop and can renew their Educator Discount Card, which saves teachers 10% year round (we’re also extending the renewal deadline for any educators who have retired or been laid off the last year, because we like to help out where we can.) Check out www.hpb.com/edu for all the details.

In the meantime, we found these fun teacher items on Etsy. Check them out!



                                                  “Classroom Rules” by Barnowlprimitives


                                                        “Teachers Rock!” by Vintagelucys 


                                                       Teacher’s Pet Apron by VintageJewels


                                                             Librarian Tote by gnorasaurus


Crayon Wreath by LolaGrayStore

Who was/is your favorite teacher, and why? If you could thank them for one thing, what would it be?

— Emily B.