Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind book by Phillip DoneEvery year I tell my children’s teachers thank you, and every year it feels inadequate. Often when I write notes to go with various teacher gifts, I write, You totally deserve a pony, but I thought this would make less of a mess.

Thank goodness I now have a second offering from veteran teacher Phillip Done in Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind. (We suggested his first book, 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny back in the spring). In Close Encounters, Done continues sharing the best, the worst, the ridiculous, and the touching from his perspective as a teacher who really does adore his students. It’s a great read for anyone — what better way to get a warm fuzzy about public school and the kids who are our future? But it’s also a nice way to tell teachers that you really do understand and appreciate the hard work they’re doing.

And it’s a lot smaller than a farm animal. -Mir

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