They Call Me Mom – Review and Q&A With Pete Springer

Thanks so much to a talented writer and fellow blogger, Chel Owens, for her kind and supportive write-up of my book. If you are a fan of poetry and short stories, then please check out her blog. https://chelowens.com/ Even though I’m not a poet, I enjoy reading her regular A Mused Poetry contest selections. I see big things on the horizon for Chel, and I’m glad to be following her blog. I recommend you do the same.

Chel Owens

If you haven’t met Pete Springer yet, you are in for a treat. Genuinely kind and encouraging, driven to recognize and appreciate others, and humble to a fault; he is the sort of human we need representing our species should aliens ask to speak with our leader.

What does that have to do with people calling him “Mom?” Pete worked as an elementary school teacher for 31 years. After retirement, he wrote a book. And, I read it.

© Chel Owens

In true Pete fashion, he wrote in order to help others. His non-fiction They Call Me Mom is chock-full of advice and instruction for teachers of all levels. He’s included plenty of his own experiences, admonitions, and the occasional touching or humorous anecdote.

One story, about a girl from a family being raised by a single mother, brought me to happy-tears. That same story is also on his blog:…

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73 thoughts on “They Call Me Mom – Review and Q&A With Pete Springer

  1. Great interview, Pete. I enjoyed your answers, in particular your advice about taking care of oneself. Good luck with your new book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 25, 2021 — 6:28 pm

      Thanks, Steve. I’m having a great time trying something new. I have gained enormous respect for fiction writers as it’s a whole different skill set, one I’m trying to get better at. Finding a dedicated writer’s group was one of the best things I’ve done in the last two years. We meet weekly to help each other with our current projects.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re really putting hard work into developing your new interest. Writing is addictive, isn’t it. It teaches you to ‘pay attention to detail’, an old Army maxim. I just wing it in my stories , but even ‘winging it’ requires a desire to be a better ‘winger’. Keep up the good work, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed this book. It’s a great how-to for new teachers and reminder for seasoned ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 25, 2021 — 6:30 pm

      It’s easy to get jaded in the educational business, but veteran teachers can positively impact their younger colleagues. We all have a responsibility to carry the torch.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never had a mentor teacher. My school just threw me into the classroom. And I didn’t have my credential yet either! I guess they thought tech teachers didn’t need any of that stuff!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor April 26, 2021 — 8:17 am

        Brutal! Sink or swim? That’s crazy just to make you figure out everything on your own without any support.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. And the whole tech thing–they immediately thought I was smart enough to do it alone! Sigh. I did swim…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. petespringerauthor April 26, 2021 — 11:28 am

        It’s nice to be thought of as intelligent, but not when it’s assumed you’ve got everything figured out when you’re just trying to keep your head above water.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Kudos all around, Pete! Shared from Chel’s blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 25, 2021 — 6:31 pm

      Thanks for all of your support, Bette. Are you writing any more fiction? I loved Dog Bone Soup!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Currently working on poetry, but may start a sequel to Dog Bone Soup one of these days. I’ve been thinking about for a long time–a back to the landers tale. Can’t write about Vietnam, so may just use that as an opening… We’ll see. Thanks so much for asking! 🙂 Have a beautiful day.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor April 26, 2021 — 11:38 am

        It’s nice to have options. Good luck in whatever direction writing takes you.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Super interview. Congratulations, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 25, 2021 — 6:38 pm

      Thank you, John. I’m so glad to have discovered your blog. You know I have to keep up with Lucy and Twiggy.😊 I like to know that others like you (my route, too) began primarily writing after they retired.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It has been eight years now. Man time does fly.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great write up! My mom was a teacher, mostly 6th grade. I never thought about teachers going to the bathroom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 25, 2021 — 6:41 pm

      We have iron-cast bladders.🤣 I spent many early years teaching sixth-grade. I almost always preferred the girls through fourth grade, but by sixth grade, the boys were finally settling down, and the girls became more challenging.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You would never take out your classrooms frustrations on your own kids, would you? 😄

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor April 25, 2021 — 9:56 pm

        No, 95% of their actions were unintentional. You can’t really get upset with second-grade boys that are falling out of their chairs on accident.

        My son did pass through my school from K-6th grade, but we didn’t put him through the agony of having him have his dad for a teacher.

        Like

  6. Loved the interview. Didn’t know about your shady past…and frankly, I never ever thought about teachers going to the bathroom 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 25, 2021 — 6:45 pm

      Haha! Quite shady! 😎 Mostly, it took me a while to find my calling. Living on my own for a year with a bunch of crummy jobs was a huge incentive to go back to school. Sometimes we learn more from our failures and life experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I hear you! took me some time too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor April 25, 2021 — 6:53 pm

        You know I’m going to keep hassling you until you succumb to retirement. Your rig is calling you. We’re heading to Montana in May and Minnesota in June. I get my second poke in five days.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wellll…don’t continue reading if you don’t want to read any spoilers, but we did as of last week!!! Too bad we are in another lockdown and can’t go anywhere..

        Liked by 1 person

      4. petespringerauthor April 25, 2021 — 7:34 pm

        Woo hoo!—not to the lockdown part, but the retirement thing. Wow, this is like pure torture for a husband and wife who like to travel. Never mind what I said—get back to work!🤣🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Haha, I know! We;;, maybe by some miracle they will open the borders and we can see you in Minnesota in June 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful interview. I also really like your book cover. Nice clean design. Loads of luck with your kids’ book. Hope it finds a home with a publisher.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 25, 2021 — 9:08 pm

      Thanks so much. I’m much more left-brained and analytical but trying fiction appeals to the creative portion of my brain. I should practice more with that, but I seem to like to write most about people.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. She had me at that opening paragraph;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 25, 2021 — 9:10 pm

      Chel is another in another of a long line of nice and supportive bloggers I’ve met. Those were kind sentiments.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So happy for you! An awesome review! It must feel great knowing you’re touching other people’s lives, the way I’m sure you had hoped when you set out to write your book! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 25, 2021 — 9:14 pm

      Any positive compliments feel great, but I get the most satisfaction when one of my principals has recommended my book to the newer teachers in his/her district. Teaching is an honorable profession, and we need to make it an attractive professional choice for others. I feel like it’s an investment in our future.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely true! The greatest and worst teachers unfortunately make huge impacts.. Of course, it benefits us all when it’s the former!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful review and a great interview Pete! I have a feeling your words will impact more people than you could possibly imagine. Continued success, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 26, 2021 — 8:20 am

      Thanks, Brad. I’m sure glad to have found your blog. I’m guessing we met through Jim, “the iron man of bloggers.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I believe you are correct. I have tried to give it me own good run, but after a year and a half on posting daily I am starting to feel drained. I do not know how he does it.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Chel has given you some excellent support there, Pete, and your advice is great: down to earth, based on experience, and practical. Good luck with your new book – I hope it happens for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 26, 2021 — 8:24 am

      Chel is great! I’ve been following her blog for quite some time. Another connection that I share with her is that she is a mother of five boys, and I come from a family of four boys.

      My advice is pretty straightforward. Show your students that you care, and they will try hard for you in return.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I recall from my own schooldays, and from watching my daughters go through school, the teachers who did that. Sadly, not all were like you!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Great stuff, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 26, 2021 — 8:27 am

      Thanks, Norah. I wouldn’t have met other terrific educators like you if it weren’t for blogging.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Terrific review, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 26, 2021 — 8:30 am

      Thanks, Jennie. You’re the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Pete. I love being one of your biggest fans, and of course a friend.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Great interview. Good luck with your book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 26, 2021 — 8:30 am

      I appreciate your support, Peggy.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Nice to see you over at Chelsea’s blog, Pete. She writes great poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 26, 2021 — 8:33 am

      I wish I had more aptitude for poetry. It falls into the category of one of those things I appreciate, but others do far better than me.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Great interview and Congrats on the release of your ‘latest’ (more in the future, I’m sure) book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 26, 2021 — 8:34 am

      My “latest” probably won’t happen anytime soon, but I’m having a good time trying something new.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Congratulations, Pete! I’m heading over to read the rest of the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 26, 2021 — 11:42 am

      Thank you, Jan. I found your latest blog post incredibly moving. Twelve years ago, and yet the memories are still fresh. You captured the feeling of that night so well. What a hopeless feeling when you wish you could provide a loved one with comfort, but you’re not sure what to do.

      Like

  18. A great review Pete. I loved the answers to the questions as well. Yes, teachers do need to look after themselves, and use the bathroom when needed!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 26, 2021 — 11:45 am

      Thanks, Darlene. I sure enjoyed your latest piece about your teaching experiences. We get so much back from the students we work with, whatever their age.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Great interview, Pete!I love Chel’s introduction of you! 🙂

    Like

  20. that was fun to read – wonderful review and an informative interview. congratulations!

    Like

  21. Terrific interview Pete…bravo on your book!

    Like

  22. Congrats on the review. Still having trouble getting my head around thinking of you as a mom, though. LOL

    Like

  23. I enjoyed reading this interview at Chelsea’s blog, Pete. Great questions and great answers. I remember asking the next door teacher to loan me her TA to watch my class so I could use the bathroom! You did well with your book. Waiting for your next book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 3:21 pm

      I should have included that tip in my book, Miriam. Make friends with the neighboring teachers as you never know when you’ll need to help each other out in a pinch.

      Like

  24. Thoroughly enjoyable read, review and mini interview Pete. I had to laugh at the ‘bathroom bit’. So funny, as kids we all think teachers are like our super heroes, and never ever wondered if they ever have to go to the bathroom. Lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 27, 2021 — 9:01 pm

      I was telling somebody else about the humor of students (often other kids in some other class who I didn’t know) treating teachers like some kind of god when they see us. The classic was walking down some random aisle in the grocery store, and some kid who was with a parent would scream excitedly, “Mr. Springer!”

      Then, because I don’t even know the kid, I’d grin and say, “Hey, how’s it going, buddy?”

      The parent, who may also not know who I was, looked at me curiously as in “Who the hell is this guy? He doesn’t look famous to me?”

      I almost wanted to say, “I’ll be signing autographs later in the parking lot.” 🤣🤣🤣

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s sweet Pete. You are famous in your own right, stop selling yourself short. Don’t you remember when you were a kid any teachers that made you feel special? I surely do. For kids, they are our superheroes. Take it in my friend. 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. petespringerauthor April 28, 2021 — 8:47 am

        I’m not selling myself short. Teachers play a vital role in children’s lives. At the same time, I found it amusing to attain celebrity status in the mind of an eight-year-old.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We never know who we are modeling for Pete. But someone is always watching. Your star shines through your big heart. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Well deserved Pete and will share in the weekly news on the 7th May… delighted for you..x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 28, 2021 — 8:53 am

      I appreciate that, Sally. I’m a sloth compared to others who seem to continuously have new books coming out. I’m comfortable moving at a slower pace. I’ve also learned a ton about writing in the past two years, and I’ve learned to respect the process. As one of the older members in my critique group says, “Writing takes a lifetime to master. You’re never quite done learning.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wise words Pete… and your new book will be welcomed when it is ready..x

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Glad I found this post! So good! Always have loved Maya Angelou’s quotes.
    “Going to the bathroom few times a year.” LOL!
    Love how you ended it with saying about having fun and going to your students activities. Yes! That is what they will remember and is why they will give you great haircuts. Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor April 29, 2021 — 5:25 am

      I tried to attend at least one extracurricular event for each of my students at some point in the year (at least if I was invited, haha). When I taught the younger grades (2nd/3rd grade), they would get so excited to see me there. It made me feel so good, and I always felt like they tried harder for me in the classroom when they thought, “My teacher likes me.” That was one of those things I discovered organically, rather than something I was taught. I do have a lot of hair cut choices—too bad I don’t have much hair.

      Like

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