Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor – I love this guy!

“So many people who do great things in life follow many different paths before ending up in the role that defines them, and none of that time is squandered if they’re learning” – Tim Gunn

As you may remember, I love reading memoirs and biographies and have shared some in this blog. One of my favorites is Tabatha Coffey’s Own It. Often, I’m attracted to stories that mirror mine or simply have something to teach me. I believe that every life has value and something important to impart. Tim Gunn‘s The Natty Professor book did that. And more!

Do you know of him? If not, I bet you’re wrong. He’s been everywhere! I actually saw him on (of all places!) Bill Maher, though I’ve never thought of Gunn as political. Of course, everyone has an opinion… so he just added his voice to the mix.

I don’t normally do this, but I’m sharing an interview with the author about this book. I love hearing Gunn talk. He exudes kindness, wisdom and hope… which reminds me of his TEACH philosophy.

  • T – Truth-Telling
  • E – Empathy
  • A – Asking
  • C – Cheerleading, and
  • H – Hoping for the Best!

He calls this book, “A Master Class on Mentoring, Motivating, and Making it Work!” and it is that!

As a NYT Bestselling author, teacher, coach, mentor and all-around smart guy, he knows his stuff!

Gunn has written a few books. I haven’t read the others. Oddly (or not, for those who know me) the color attracted me to this book first. I am very visual and love golds, rusts and creams. Throw in some teal and I’m in heaven. Then I saw the title and author… so perfect, I thought… and then I read about the actual subject matter. Perfect storm! No, wait… perfect calm. There ya go!

Throughout the book, Gunn has included quotes of gratitude from students to their teachers. Though he was an administrator and teacher for years, he makes no bones about the fact that he sees himself as a coach and mentor first. I love that!

(Makes me want to share about a teacher… and I didn’t have to search my brain long to come up with one. As an ADHD kid who bit her nails until they bled, I wasn’t universally understood or loved, especially by teachers but also by principals, who I got to know way better than any of us would have liked. The teacher I’m thinking of was a substitute in sixth grade. The regular teacher hated my guts. She was evil to the core, had a mean face and needed to wax her upper lip. But I digress. She was out for a few weeks and a substitute came in with no pre-conceived notions, obviously. She treated me like I mattered and had something of value to offer. She was kind. She smiled at me. She spoke softly and was pretty. I have no idea if I learned anything better but here’s what I do know… for the first time, I didn’t feel like an outsider. I didn’t worry about being sent outside or to the principal. These things matter when you’re eleven. Or sixty. Ahem… anyway… )

I love everything about this book! It’s optimistic and upbeat… at times funny… and others, poignant. It presses you ever-forward. It doesn’t meekly ask you to do better. It assumes it’s what you want. (Doesn’t everyone?)

Gunn is like a beloved friend, inviting you into his library and life… and you really get the sense he cares. He wants to see you succeed… and he wants to be a part of that. Let him.

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