From teacher to publisher: sharing a dream

April 08, 2019

Robert Buck met all kinds of students in his 36 years in education. Because he wanted to share those experiences with current and future teachers, he decided to write and self-publish his first book.  

Robert Buck has met many students and encountered all kinds of behaviour. During his 36-year career, this Quebec-born teacher taught ESL and French Immersion, worked as a school counselor and school principal, and coordinated student services for the Franco-Manitoban School Division, or DSFM.

He worked with children of all ages as well as adults in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. He plans to retire this summer, but not before sharing his classroom experiences and observations with current and future teachers in his French-language book titled: De la relation à l’intervention : Propos et confidences d’un enseignant passionné, which roughly translates to "From relationship to intervention: comments and confidences of a passionate teacher."

"As teachers, we have tremendous power of influence over our students, and it is up to us to ensure that the relationship remains positive, and to set an example," says Robert Buck. "We share our knowledge as well as our technical and social skills and attitudes."

"It is critical to separate students from their behaviour. When we make a mistake on the classroom blackboard, we rub it out and start again. Similarly, when a student has a behavioural crisis, it's important to erase it from our memory and start again, giving that student a chance. There is no such thing as "difficult" students. They actually tend to be the most resilient ones."

In his book, Robert Buck describes this deep conviction that shaped his career through a variety of situations that he has experienced or witnessed. But if writing a book can be a daunting task, so can publishing it…

"In May 2018, I checked out the website of the Chenelière Éducation publishing house, which specializes in education texts, and I sent them my book proposal," says the author. "I still hadn't heard back from them by September. I didn't even know if they had received my submission. When I called, I was told that the person in charge was too busy to answer me. To this day, I still haven't heard anything from them!"

Robert Buck did not wait long before changing his plans. "I did some research and discovered that out of 100 manuscript ideas received by publishers, only one is actually published. That's a very small number. That's when I considered becoming my own publisher."

Last September, the teacher therefore looked for and found BouquinBec / CanAmBooks, a Montreal-based organization that provides self-publishing support services. "I contacted them and immediately liked their openness and generosity."

Robert Buck was connected with a person tasked with revising and editing his manuscript, another to help with his book's graphic design, and a third for the printing process. 

"It was just the support I needed," he says.  "I had someone to guide me each step of the way, and I could ask them lots of questions. I was never made to feel that my questions were a waste of time and I always got answers."

Robert Buck could have chosen other services such as sales support but decided not to use them. However, Buck says he has no regrets about his decision, because "self-publishing allowed me to make the product I really wanted. I always had the last word, which was important to me."

Contact author to buy

De la relation à l’intervention : Propos et confidences d’un enseignant passionné.