NEW BOOK on Teaching and Education Co-Authored by Garifuna Educator Frank Palacio (UPDATE–Interview with co-author)

Middle Schoolin' BOOK COVER

Copyright 2010 by Teofilo “Tio Teo” Colon Jr.  All rights reserved.

There is a  new book co-authored by Garifuna educator Frank Palacio.   The book is called “Middle Schoolin’ : 50 Stories About The Challenges, Humor and Rewards Of Teaching“.  As the title suggests, the book is a collection of 50 stories gathered from the authors collective years working with teenage students.  I haven’t read the book as of yet since I do not own the book.  However, hearing about the book intrigued me enough to write  a post on it in the BEING GARIFUNA blog.   I hope to purchase a copy of the book “Middle Schoolin‘ ” when I get the money.  The book is 204 pages long and is in English.

-Tio Teo

UPDATE  (WEDNESDAY, March 31, 2010)

Here is an interview with co-author of the book, “Middle Schoolin’ ” Frank Palacio.

BEING GARIFUNA–Where are you from?

FRANK PALACIO–I was born in Punta Gorda Town, Belize.

BEING GARIFUNA–What compelled you to become a teacher?

FRANK PALACIO–I wanted a career that involved helping others.
BEING GARIFUNA–How long have you been teaching?
FRANK PALACIO–Let me see, two years in Belize, plus thirteen years in California makes for 15 years total.
BEING GARIFUNA–How has coming from a family of teachers impacted or informed your thinking about (and practice of) teaching?
FRANK PALACIO–I still remember the days when the teacher was the most important man in town next to the mayor, priest and the policeman.  Sometimes the teacher served all those functions and was often the most intelligent person in the community as well.  I was influenced by my dad, my grandfather and their teacher friends.

BEING GARIFUNA–Are you a “Middle School” teacher (Grades 7-8, Junior High School Grades)?  If so, are those the only grades you have taught?  As opposed to teaching elementary school, high school or even in college?

FRANK PALACIO–For now I am a  Middle School teacher, and so the book “Middle Schoolin’ ” is aptly named, even though, the book contains many scenarios that are teachable  K-12.  I have taught High School in the past and even Adult Ed.

BEING GARIFUNA–I’ve read that seventh and eighth graders were the worst behaved students as a group and that overall the junior-high school experience is considered a universal time of torment.  In fact, apparently, many substitute teachers refuse to teach seventh and eighth graders.  Do you find this to be the case as a Middle School teacher?  In that, ARE seventh and eighth graders difficult to handle?  Why?

FRANK PALACIO–This is an excellent question, Tio Teo.  It is commonly held that 7th and 8th graders are the toughest classes to teach and to discipline probably because these students are going through puberty and their hormones are racing around like a pingpong ball inside their body causing them to be overly dramatic, or emotional.  There are psychological, hormonal,  as well as emotional changes that occur in this age group.  To be a good teacher of this age group, you need a calm, caring adult who is able to step back and put himself in the shoes of these kids and think back to ones own adolescent years and to make the conscious decision to be there for the kids unconditionally.
BEING GARIFUNA–How different IS the dynamic for teaching middle school students as opposed to other students like those in elementary school or high school?  What makes Junior High School special?
FRANK PALACIO–What makes Junior High School special to me is the fact that students are very impressionable and honest. They want to emulate the way the teacher walks, uses words,  gestures etc.   They all wear the same type clothes, sneakers, hairstyles, and they talk the same etc. The kids are searching for their identity.  They are also starting to discovering their own powers — gifts and talents. Therefore if the right teacher impresses them with a love for knowledge, community, and respect for self nothing is more satisfying. (Read Middle Schoolin’ for some humorous situations that kids get involved in, pranks etc )

BEING GARIFUNA–What should or shouldn’t potential teachers consider when thinking about teaching Middle School?

FRANK PALACIO–The potential teacher should not expect that all kids are the same and that every kid learns the same or thinks the same way.  Be prepared to be challenged and be ready to explain firmly but  gently why the kid should listen and act as you instructed.  The WHY is often important in education.  If the student knows why you want them to do a certain thing, then they are more prepared to “buy in” and cooperate.

BEING GARIFUNA–What was the impetus of this book?  What made you want to co-write a book on your experiences as a teacher?

FRANK PALACIO–Our book, “Middle Schoolin’ ” is about real life situations.  Often I would go home and tell my wife, “Guess what happened today at school!”  I kept telling my wife that the stories about things that kids say and do in school needed to be chronicled and shared.  Jacques  Rallion  who is an excellent storyteller and I would swap stories  about our individual classroom experinces and so we agreed to put pen to paper and tell our stories — our students’ stories!

BEING GARIFUNA–Who is this book for?

FRANK PALACIO–“Middle Schoolin’ ”  is for every parent, teacher, counsellor, coach and even student.  This book is  about treating students with respect and dignity as individuals.  Education is not “a one size fits all proposition.”  This book is not only to  entertain, but to teach others about what school life is like today.

BEING GARIFUNA–Are you Garifuna?  If so, how has being a Garifuna-American shaped your sensibilities as a teacher?  I imagine that you have a somewhat increased sensitivity to students who are immigrants or aren’t native Americans.

FRANK PALACIO–Another excellent question, Tio Teo.  Being Garifuna means, I love and respect education as the key to success, I am for the oppressed and downtrodden, I value multiculturalism, and my mantra is “it takes a village to raise a child.”   This is the way I grew up.  Your teachers could discipline you, your neighbors, even a stranger!  Community is super important.
BEING GARIFUNA–I understand that many Garifuna people from Belize are educators/teachers.  Are there any distinct cultural aspects that account for this?  Are there any towns or families in Belize where one can find many Belizean/Garifuna teachers?
FRANK PALACIO–Yes, the Garifuna teachers that were pioneers in education around my dad’s time and before would travel to remote villages that were not accessible by road.  They had three things going for them.  They were tough, not afraid of hard work, and they had a facility with languages.  If you can learn Garifuna you can probably learn any other language spoken in Belize or anywhere else!  Our Garifuna teachers would go to different parts of the country of Belize, other districts to teach.  We helped to educate  the following communities: Creoles, Mestizos, Mayas and Kechis and of course our own Garifunas.
When I was growing up in Belize 30 years ago or more, Teachers moved from the small rural areas to go to Belize City to receive their training.  As a result every Garifuna Community produced teachers.  At that time I would say that Teaching, was probably the number one occupation of the high school educated Garifuna person.

BEING GARIFUNA–How can you tell when you have a Garifuna student in your class?  Have you found that special consideration needs to be given when presenting material to Garifuna students–in particular those who are recent immigrants (as opposed to those born in the USA)?

FRANK PALACIO–I can usually know if a Garifuna kid is in my class because of either the name or the accent.  Sometimes, a kid will tell me on the down low that they are from Belize.  I usually respect their privacy if they don’t want to make an issue out of it, then that is fine.  For a recent immigrant kid, I can usually help that kid by telling him of my immigrant experiences and offer suggestions to help them cope.  Sometimes the best help I can be is just by telling them that I understand what they are going through and that I am available to help in anyway I can.  Knowing the home culture, I sometimes just pick up the phone for a one-on-one conversation with the parents.
BEING GARIFUNA–How has your book been received?  I have heard from Parents and Teachers who have written about how much they got from your book.  Have their responses been instructive?  How so?
FRANK PALACIO–This book has been well received by many communities.  The Garifuna community has been very proud, I get lots of “Good job!” or “I can’t wait for part II.” or “Keep up the  Garifuna tradition of excellence.” from colleagues, the reaction has been, “Wow, someone who actually published!  Good job!”  I have gotten feedback from University professors who tell me that there is a need for a book like ours to help new teachers, because many books seem to fail to give new teachers strategies that they can use from day one, or the books don’t break it down so new teachers can relate to exactly  what the author is saying.

BEING GARIFUNA–Finally, what does BEING GARIFUNA mean to you?

FRANK PALACIO–Being Garifuna to me means that my roots extend from Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, St. Vincent and The Grenadines.  Now the United States accounts for probably the largest Garifuna Population in the world collectively?  Furthermore, with the advent of the internet age, The Garifuna Community is global.  Being Garifuna means that I have a responsibility  to the following to do my best in my field: to God our creator, our ancestors, and my own role models from different  fields: Vincent Ramos in Politics, Roy Cayetano, Jerris Valentine, and  Dr. Joseph Palacio in Garifuna writings and research, Theodore Palacio former principal of Belize Teachers College, Andy Palacio in music, Bishop Martin and Father Lazarus in Religion, Milton Palacio in Basektball, and Angela Palacio for her work at to name a few.
Finally in closing, I would like to thank  you, the community and  Tio Teo Colon for being farsighted and wise for your work in helping the world to discover the talents and gifts of the Garifuna people.  I wish you much success in all your endeavors.  God Bless.  I would also like to personally thank anyone who has bought a copy of our book, “Middle Schoolin’ ” or who has prayed for the success of this project, especially my parents, Theodore and Bridget Palacio and my wife, Glendarice Palacio.  Again Middle Schoolin is available at, (Barnes and Noble), and Angelus Press in Belize.

Nuevo libro sobre la Enseñanza y Educación coautor por garífuna Educador Frank Palacio (UPDATE-Entrevista con el co-autor)

Copyright 2010 por Teófilo “Tío Teo” Colon Jr. Todos los derechos reservados.

Hay un  nuevo libro co-escrito por garífuna educador Palacio Frank . El libro se llama ” Medio Schoolin: 50 historias sobre los desafíos, Humor y recompensas de la enseñanza “.

Como el título sugiere, el libro es una colección de 50 historias de los autores se reunieron años de trabajo colectivo con los estudiantes adolescentes. No he leído el libro hasta el momento ya que no es el propietario del libro. Sin embargo, el oído sobre el libro me intrigó lo suficiente como para escribir un post sobre él en la SER GARIFUNA blog. Espero que para comprar una copia del libro ” Medio Schoolin “cuando llegue el dinero.   El libro tiene 204 paginas y es en ingles.

-Tío Teo

UPDATE (Miércoles, 31 de marzo 2010)

Aquí está una entrevista con el co-autor del libro ” Medio Schoolin ‘ “Frank Palacio.

SIENDO GARIFUNA– ¿De dónde eres?

FRANK PALACIO–Nací en Punta Gorda Town, Belice.

SIENDO GARIFUNA–¿Qué le ha hecho convertirse en un maestro?

FRANK PALACIO–Yo quería una carrera que ayudar a los demás implicados.
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SIENDO GARIFUNA–Cuánto tiempo llevas enseñando?
FRANK PALACIO–Vamos a ver, dos años en Belice, además de trece años en California hace 15 años total.
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SIENDO GARIFUNA–¿Cómo ha proveniente de una familia de profesores afectados o informado acerca de su forma de pensar (y la práctica de) la enseñanza?
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FRANK PALACIO–Todavía recuerdo los días en que el profesor era el hombre más importante de la ciudad junto al alcalde, el cura y el policía. A veces el maestro sirve todas aquellas funciones y era a menudo la persona más inteligente en la comunidad. Fui influenciado por mi papá, mi abuelo y sus amigos maestros.
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SIENDO GARIFUNA–¿Es usted un “Middle School” maestro (grados 7-8, Junior High School Grados)? Si es así, son las que las calificaciones sólo le han enseñado? A diferencia de la enseñanza primaria, secundaria o incluso en la universidad?

FRANK PALACIO–Por ahora soy profesor de la Escuela Media, por lo que el libro “Medio Schoolin” El nombre es apropiado, aunque, el libro contiene tantos escenarios que se enseñable K-12. He enseñado High School en el pasado e incluso de adultos Ed.
– –

SIENDO GARIFUNA–He leído que alumnos de séptimo y octavo fueron los peores estudiantes se comportaron como un grupo y que en general la experiencia de la escuela secundaria-junior se considera un tiempo universal de tormento. De hecho, al parecer, el sustituto de muchos profesores se niegan a enseñar séptimo y octavo grado. ¿Le parece que se trata el caso como un maestro de la Escuela Media? En eso, ARE y octavo grado séptimo difícil de manejar? ¿Por qué?

FRANK PALACIO–Esta es una excelente pregunta, tío Teo. Suele afirmarse que el 7 º y 8 º grado son las más duras clases para enseñar y disciplinar, probablemente debido a que estos estudiantes están pasando por la pubertad y sus hormonas están compitiendo con alrededor de una pelota de ping-pong como dentro de su cuerpo haciendo que ser demasiado dramático, o emocional. Hay psicológico, hormonal, así como los cambios emocionales que ocurren en este grupo de edad. Para ser un buen profesor de este grupo de edad, necesita un adulto tranquilo, cuidado que es capaz de dar un paso atrás y se puso en los zapatos de estos niños y piense de nuevo a los propios años de adolescencia y de tomar la decisión consciente de estar allí para los niños de manera incondicional.
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BEING GARIFUNA–¡Cuán diferente es la dinámica para la enseñanza de la escuela media los estudiantes en comparación con otros estudiantes como los de la escuela primaria o secundaria? ¿Qué hace la Escuela Secundaria especial?
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FRANK PALACIO–Lo que hace la Escuela Secundaria especial para mí es el hecho de que los estudiantes son muy impresionables y honesto. Quieren emular la forma en que el maestro camina, usa palabras, gestos, etc Todos ellos llevan el mismo tipo de ropa, zapatillas, peinados, y hablan de la misma, etc  Los niños están en busca de su identidad. También están empezando a descubrir sus propios poderes – dones y talentos.  Por lo tanto si el profesor les impresiona la derecha con un amor por el conocimiento, la comunidad y el respeto de sí mismo es nada más satisfactorio.  (Leer Medio Schoolin “para algunas situaciones humorísticas que los niños se involucren en, bromas, etc)
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SIENDO GARIFUNA–Lo que debe o debería potencial de los maestros no tener en cuenta al pensar en la enseñanza de la escuela media?

FRANK PALACIO–El maestro potencial no deben esperar que todos los niños son iguales y que cada niño aprende lo mismo o piensa lo mismo. Esté preparado para ser desafiado y estar dispuestos a explicar con firmeza pero con suavidad por qué el niño debe escuchar y actuar como se indica. El ¿POR QUÉ es a menudo importante en la educación. Si el estudiante sabe por qué quiere que hagan una determinada cosa, entonces están más dispuestos a “comprar” y cooperar.
SIENDO GARIFUNA–¿Cuál fue el impulso de este libro? ¿Qué te hizo querer a co-escribir un libro sobre sus experiencias como maestro?

FRANK PALACIO–Nuestro libro, “Medio Schoolin” se trata de situaciones de la vida real. A menudo me iba a casa y decirle a mi esposa, “Adivina lo que sucedió hoy en la escuela!” Me decía a mi esposa que las historias sobre las cosas que los niños dicen y hacen en la escuela necesario crónica y compartido. Jacques Rallion que es un narrador excelente y me gustaría intercambiar historias sobre nuestros experinces clase individual y nos pusimos de acuerdo para poner la pluma al papel y contar nuestras historias – historias de nuestros estudiantes!
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SIENDO GARIFUNA–¿Para quién es este libro?

FRANK PALACIO–“Medio Schoolin” es que cada padre, maestro, consejero, entrenador y el estudiante aún. Este libro es acerca de tratar a los estudiantes con respeto y dignidad como personas. La educación no es “una talla única proposición.” Este libro no sólo es entretener, sino para enseñar a otros acerca de lo que es la vida escolar como el de hoy.
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SIENDO GARIFUNA–¿Es usted garífuna? Si es así, ¿cómo ha de ser un Garifuna-Americana en forma de su sensibilidad como docente? Me imagino que usted tiene un aumento de la sensibilidad un tanto a los estudiantes que son inmigrantes o no son los nativos americanos.

FRANK PALACIO–Garífuna significa Ser, me encanta el respeto y la educación como la clave del éxito, estoy a favor de los oprimidos y los oprimidos, yo multiculturalismo valor, y mi lema es “se necesita una aldea para criar a un niño.” Este es la forma en que crecí. Tus maestros podría disciplina, sus vecinos, incluso un extraño! Comunidad es súper importante.
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SIENDO GARIFUNA–Yo entiendo que mucha gente garifuna de Belice son educadores y enseñantes. ¿Hay distintos aspectos culturales que dan cuenta de esto? ¿Hay pueblos o familias en Belice, donde uno puede encontrar muchas de Belice / maestros garífunas?
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FRANK PALACIO–Sí, los maestros garífunas que fueron pioneros en la educación en todo el tiempo mi padre y antes de que viajara a las aldeas remotas que no eran accesibles por carretera. Tuvieron tres cosas a su favor. Ellos fueron duras, no tiene miedo de trabajar duro, y tenían un facilidad para las lenguas. Si usted puede aprender garífuna probablemente pueda aprender cualquier otra lengua que se habla en Belice o en cualquier otro lugar! Nuestros maestros garífunas que ir a diferentes partes del país de Belice, otros distritos para enseñar. Hemos ayudado a educar a las comunidades siguientes: criollos, mestizos, mayas y Kechis y por supuesto nuestros propios garífunas.
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Cuando yo estaba creciendo en Belice hace 30 años o más, los profesores se trasladó de las áreas rurales de pequeña para ir a la ciudad de Belice para recibir su formación. Como resultado, toda la Comunidad Garífuna a profesores. En ese momento yo diría que de Enseñanza, fue probablemente el número uno de la ocupación de la escuela secundaria educados persona garífuna.
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SIENDO GARIFUNA–¿Cómo se puede saber cuando usted tiene un estudiante garífuna en su clase? ¿Has encontrado que una consideración especial debe ser dada en la presentación de material a los estudiantes garífunas-en particular aquellos que son inmigrantes recientes (a diferencia de los nacidos en los EE.UU.) ?

FRANK PALACIO–Usualmente puedo saber si un niño garífuna está en mi clase porque de la denominación o el acento. A veces, un chico me lo dirá en el down low que son de Belice. Suelo respetar su privacidad, si no quieren hacer un problema de él, entonces eso está bien. Para un niño inmigrante recién llegado, por lo general pueden ayudar a ese niño diciéndole de mi experiencias de inmigrantes y ofrecen sugerencias para ayudar a afrontar la situación. A veces la mejor ayuda que puede ser es apenas diciendo los que entiendo lo que está pasando y que estoy disponible para ayudar en cualquier manera que pueda. Conocer la cultura de origen, a veces sólo levantar el teléfono para un uno-a-una conversación con los padres.
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SIENDO GARIFUNA–¿Cómo ha sido recibido el libro? He oído a padres y maestros que han escrito sobre lo mucho que recibió de su libro. Ha sido sus respuestas instructivo? ¿Cómo es eso?
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FRANK PALACIO–Este libro ha sido bien recibido por muchas comunidades. La comunidad Garífuna ha sido muy orgullosa, me sale un montón de “¡Buen trabajo!” O “No puedo esperar para la parte II.” O “mantener la tradición garífuna de excelencia”. de los compañeros, la reacción ha sido: “Vaya, alguien que realmente publicados! Buen trabajo!” He llegado comentarios de los profesores de la Universidad que me dicen que hay una necesidad de un libro como el nuestro para ayudar a los nuevos profesores, porque muchos libros parecen no adopten las estrategias de los maestros nuevos que pueden utilizar desde el primer día, o los libros no se descomponen tan nuevos maestros pueden relacionarse con exactamente lo que dice el autor.
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SIENDO GARIFUNA–Por último, ¿Qué significa SIENDO GARIFUNA significa para usted?

FRANK PALACIO–Seindo garífuna significa para mí que mis raíces se extienden desde Belice, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, San Vicente y Los Grenadines. Ahora los Estados Unidos representa probablemente la mayor población garífuna en el mundo colectivamente? Por otra parte, con el advenimiento de la era de Internet, La Comunidad Garífuna es global. Ser garífuna significa que tengo una responsabilidad con el siguiente para hacer lo mejor en mi campo: a Dios nuestro creador, nuestros antepasados, y mi ejemplo a seguir propias de distintas disciplinas: Vicente Ramos en la política, Roy Cayetano, Jerrís San Valentín, y el Dr. José Palacio en los escritos garífuna y la investigación, el ex director Teodoro Palacio de Belice Teachers College, Andy Palacio en la música, el obispo Martín y Lázaro Padre en Religión, Milton Palacio Basektball, Angela y Palacio por su trabajo en www. por nombrar algunos.
– Finalmente para concluir, me gustaría darle las gracias, la comunidad y el Tío Teo Colon por ser previsor y sabio por su trabajo en ayudar al mundo a descubrir los talentos y dones del pueblo garífuna. Le deseo mucho éxito en todos sus esfuerzos. Dios los bendiga. También me gustaría agradecer personalmente a cualquiera que haya comprado una copia de nuestro libro, “Medio Schoolin ‘” o que haya orado por el éxito de este proyecto, especialmente a mis padres, Theodore y el Palacio de Bridget y mi esposa, Glendarice Palacio . Nuevamente Medio Schoolin está disponible en , (Barnes and Nobles) , y Angelus Press en Belice.

25 thoughts on “NEW BOOK on Teaching and Education Co-Authored by Garifuna Educator Frank Palacio (UPDATE–Interview with co-author)

    • No problem Angela Palacio. Upon reading about the book, i Frank Palacio’s ‘Middle Schoolin’ book, I thought it would be helpful to post onto this blog, so a few weeks ago…i posted the information.

      Hope that it is helpful.

      -Tio Teo

  1. This book touches on the sensitive nature of relationships between teenagers and teachers in the educational relationship.
    Moments of blatant honesty regarding teachers’
    frustrations and imperfections expresses the human condition. Enjoy a little slice of life.

    • Thanks for commenting on the new book, “Middle Schoolin’ ” Sue Cella. I hope to have an update regarding the book on this blog post soon. I am in touch with co-author Frank Palacio and should be able to provide a bit more substance regarding this book.

      Your insight regarding “Middle Schoolin’ ” is welcome, Sue Cella.

      -Tio Teo

  2. Middle Schoolin is a must read for every teacher k-12.
    I stumbled across the book after first visiting the website, I am a parent of a middle school student, and so the information about the book and its title appealed to me instantly. I ordered the book and read it. I enjoyed it, very, very much. I have a new found appreciation for teachers! I will certainly recommend this book to all my parent and teacher friends. Good job, Mr. Palacio and Mr. Rallion.


    Mr. McBurns

    • Thank you so much for writing about the book, ‘Middle Schoolin’ ” John McBurns! Glad to read that you found the book informative and insightful. Hopefully notes like yours will encourage more people to seek out the book ‘Middle Schoolin’.

      Tio Teo

  3. Middle Schoolin has come at the perfect time. It is funny and sometimes sad, but very real. It is an excellent resource for any one who deals with young people. Most of all it makes you appreciate teachers, coaches, counselors, therapists even parents because our students go through so much and sometimes when they act out it, it is a cry for help. Thank God for teachers like Mr. Palacio and Mr. Rallion who are really thoughtful and caring and professional. They make good role models and now good story tellers. I give it a perfect socre!

    • Thanks so much for writing about the book, “Middle Schoolin” Henrice! It’s my hope that notes like yours will encourage people interested in the subject matter to buy and read the book.

      Tio Teo

  4. As one of the people who knew Mr. Palacio when the only person in his home who answered to Mister was his Dad, I am so proud to see what he has done with his talents & his dedication to his students & his profession. I have watched him promote this book & have been impressed but if any of you have seen his Mom showing off his work, he has nothing on her. She is good. Thanks brother for being a role model for the young men who are coming up & for taking the time to share your experiences with the rest of us.
    Please buy his book; Belize, Yarborough “Yabra” needs a reminder that some great people came out of our community & if you have any change left over, please buy a second copy & donate it to our schools in Belize.

  5. Although, “Middle Schoolin'” includes 50 stories, they are 50 very amazing short stories, which will not require alot of your time. Interesting reading and incredible discoveries of how some middle school students behave and how teachers, such as, Palacio and Rallion, have to function day by day. Some humor and some sadness are included. Have your tissue box on hand when reading the “Tragedies and Sadness” part. Some of those stories will probably make you shed a few tears. Excellent book for aspiring and new middle school teachers;possibly for high school teachers as well. Great insight of knowing what to expect, how to handle certain situations and what to do and not to do. Highly recommend college/university professors to add as your assign/supplementary reading to your secondary teaching method classes. Some great discussions and alternatives of handling certain situations can come out of reading “Middle Schoolin'”. Great for teachers’ reading groups. Don’t miss out! Get your book today, if you haven’t already.
    Carolyn Henley-Johnson

  6. I just recently completed my copy of this extremely relevant and entertaining book. I enjoyed it so much that I immediately went to my local library and asked them to get it so that others may get a chance to enjoy it as much as I did. I plan to do the same with the three other libraries that I am a member of as well as recommend it to all my colleagues.

    This book deals with everyday themes that teachers wrestle with all the time like how to deal with students that steal something which does not belong to them or how to interact with parents, and administrators. I especially enjoyed the last story written by Frank -Vincent the Invincible. Frank was able to portray with sensitivity the impact a student (who through no fault of his own was different from other students) had on the others in his class and how he did not let his circumstance keep him from aspiring to attain his full potential as a human being.

    As a substitute teacher in California it gave me a tremendous amount of tools to use with students particularly in Middle School. It also helped me to better understand what my son went through in attending middle school in California. I found the moral of each story to be extremely helpful in attaining further insight into the reflection of the authors. The teaching strategies section was also invaluable in providing practical tips that can be used by any teacher as he/she enters the classroom. In addition the glossary was also extremely useful in understanding terminology used by the teaching profession in California.

    This book is inspirational and I encourage all students of human behavior to read it because it has something in it for everyone. They will gain something that they can use in whatever profession they are a part of.

    • Thanks so much for writing on the book, “Middle Schoolin’ ” Tim Palacio. I am actually waiting to hear from co-author Frank Palacio regarding his book, so I can update this blog post with a bit more substance.

      -Tio Teo

  7. Here is a comment on the book from ELIA ROSE that was mistakenly placed on the ABOUT section of this blog.

    It was written/submitted on Monday, March 29, 2010 at 9:26pm.


    Hi Tio, Teo,

    I like your name and it rhymes perfectly. Anyhow, I wanted to comment on the book you featured on your website. “Middle Schooling”, the book co authored by Garifuna Frank Palacio.

    I read the book and I would recommend this book because it is easy to read, the stories are short, precise and to the point and there is no long drawn out story lines.

    You can relate to a lot of the stories and they bring back memories of when I was in middle school.

    When I started reading the book, I could not let it down because the stories were very interesting,funny and you just wanted to read to the very end.

    Thanks for featuring the book on your website and hope that many people find it entertaining as well as inspiring as I did.

    I am a garifuna from Belize and proud to be one living in the United States.

  8. I was hesitant as to whether to teach at the middle school level. A friend of mine recommended this book to me, and I ordered it. After reading it I made up my mind to apply for a middle school teaching position. This book made me feel as if I was in the classroom, teaching. I finished my teaching credential courses, but I feel this books goes beyond book theory and what-ifs. This is the real deal. Kudos to the authors!

    • Thanks so much for writing about the book,”Middle Schoolin’ ” Michael Fontaine. It’s so wonderful to read of how helpful the book has been to potential teachers.

      -Tio Teo

  9. This a great interview! I read the book and the short stories are very funny, but real. It deals with the everyday teaching strategies teachers have to deal with. I really love the relationship between Frank and his students and the lessons learned.

    An easy and entertaining read, you will like it too!!

    • Thanks so much for commenting on the book, “Middle Schoolin’ ” Linda Crawford! Testimony like yours should help spread awareness of the book to people interested in the book, “Middle Schoolin’ ” ‘s subject matter.

      -Tio Teo

  10. Sounds interesting. I will read it as soon as I finish reading “Moral Intelligence of Children.”

    • Thanks for writing of your interest in the book, “Middle Schoolin’ ” Leslie Bernardez-Benedith! The book you are currently reading sure sounds intriguing. Hope it’s good.

      -Tio Teo

  11. Middle Schoolin’ is an excellent human interest book that will appeal to any reader. As a former middle school choral teacher, I found I can relate to the trials, tribulations, and hillarious truths lurking within the pages. Congratulations Mr. Palacio and Mr. Rallion for writing a book about your teaching experiences that will make the reader alternatively laugh hysterically, cry because of life’s occasional unfairness. You can palpably feel the authors’ pain when being challenged by certain boorish behavior on the part of some unruly students, but still sense the care and love they have for the job, and of course the students. All in all, this book is about real life and is written with simplicity, caring and humor. Thank you Mr. Teo Colon for featuring this wonderful book on your website!

    • Thanks for commenting on the book, “Middle Schoolin’ ” Sara! It sure is refreshing to read the perspective of someone who has read the book who IS a teacher and who can vouch for the authenticity of the book and its vantage point.

      -Tio Teo

  12. As a new teacher at the middle school level, I can relate to many of these stories. This book is a great read for every teacher (new or seasoned) and parent. This book is like Chicken Soup for the Soul: Middle School Life. Best Wishes Mr. Palacio

    • Thank you so much for writing about the “Middle Schoolin’ ” book, Ms. P! It’s great hearing from middle school teachers who add their perspective and and properly evaluate Mr. Frank Palacio’s book.

      -Tio Teo

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