Wellesley High School English teacher David McCullough famously converted his “You’re Not Special” commencement address last June into a book deal and a sabbatical after the transcript of the speech and a video of it went viral on the Web, and media outlets trampled each other to interview McCullough.
The teacher says the working title for his book is “The Chief Element,” a phrase included in his 2012 commencement speech (“You’ve learned, too, I hope, as Sophocles assured us, that wisdom is the chief element of happiness.“). A Google search on the phrase actually turns up many more refernces to Greek historian Thucydides (“Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.”).
McCullough recently told the Boston Globe that his book will be a “sermonizing memoir” about the purposes of education, and his experiences as a father and teacher.
McCullough’s book has been sent off to his publisher in New York City. Editing is under way and publication is set for 2014.
Wellesley will get some mention in the book, which McCullough has said will expand on themes from his commencement speech and delve into the high school experience.
McCullough says he has missed teaching, though adds that his leave has been “productive and enjoyable.” It sounds unlikely that McCullough will attend this year’s WHS graduation.