Joe Gilliland stumbled upon the education profession more by accident than intention. In his new book, “A Teacher’s Tale,” he tells of the unique journey that ultimately led him to become an instructor of literature and arts at the college level.
More importantly, in his 50-plus years in education, Gilliland has discovered some downfalls to choosing a 4-year university over a 2-year institution. “A Teacher’s Tale” outlines his argument that most universities are more worried about publishing research and forget to teach. He also shares his passion for the arts and humanities as essential skills for success in any career path.
“It was never in author Joe Gilliland’s plan to become a teacher, certainly not a college teacher and most certainly not an English teacher. But that’s what happened, and he’s never looked back. In A Teacher’s Tale, he explains, how by neither planning for nor seeking a life of learning and teaching, lacking a syllabus or lesson plan, he discovered that a life in academe lay in his path—a path he’s followed for more than fifty years.
A Teacher’s Tale begins in 1932 with Gilliland’s first experiences in schooling and concludes in the summer of 1955 just as he completes his apprenticeship and stands on the brink of becoming a qualified instructor in a small college in east Texas. This memoir presents a collection of stories about his experiences as a teacher and a college student.
A story of schooling deeply immersed in the arts and humanities, A Teacher’s Tale shares Gilliland’s love of the university and how it compelled him to seek a life devoted to teaching, primarily in the community college arena. Through this narrative, he brings together a philosophy of higher education based on the importance of arts and humanities in today’s high- tech world.”
Joe Gilliland earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in English from the University of Texas, Austin, then later earned a doctorate in English from Arizona State University. Gilliland has been an educator for more than 50 years, the majority of that time spent at the community college and university level where he believes the “real teaching happens.” Gilliland is now retired and currently resides in Bisbee, Arizona, with his wife, Bettie.
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