The Final One Eighty is a day-by-day account of author’s last year as a sixth-grade teacher. The memoir reveals what it’s like to teach in a public school these days, highlighting conflicts, frustrations, and successes with humor and introspection, all from the point of view of someone who’d been at it for 37 years.
Each of the 180 days is a standalone chapter, like an essay, with a particular anecdote examined to reveal a deeper significance.
The book was written after a full career of over three and a half decades. The perspective differs vastly from typical teacher memoirs which tend to document the first year (or else are authored by journalists who teach for the purpose of producing a memoir about the experience). Certainly, new, and veteran teachers would see themselves reflected in this work. And, since most people have attended public schools and send their kids to them, they would also find it appealing, as it provides an intimate look at daily maneuverings of not only the teacher but everyone around him – students, colleagues, administrators and parents.
Dennis Donoghue retired as an elementary school teacher in 2014. His work had appeared in various journals, magazines, and anthologies, including Blue Lake Review, Brandeis Review, Broad River Review, Full Circle Review, and Georgetown Review. He lives in Massachusetts. ◊