Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Teaching in Tough Schools: A List of Great Stories

It was forty years ago, in August of 1977, that I was first given the reins of a class. I was twenty years old, and, even though I'd studied education in college, even though I'd babysat with children a thousand times, even though I'd worked with students while I was in high school...despite all those things, I knew nothing. Teaching is a hard job. Teaching is a craft. Teaching is something you learn on-the-job. Forty years later, and there are still days I make mistakes...I am a bit too strict for a sensitive group...a lesson goes a little long...I talk a little too much...or a story doesn't get the reaction I'd anticipated. Like I say, teaching is a hard job.

It's also the most satisfying job. All it takes is a smile from a student who spent the first week of school crying for his mom, an "I love books!" from a child, a moment of silence from a class while they think about a powerful story, and I put off retirement another year.

I've been blessed to have amazing fellow teachers to learn from, kind and helpful administrators, a budget that pays for most of the things I need, a clean and inviting environment, and parents who deeply care about their children.

Not all teachers are this fortunate. Here are some of their stories.


All Day: A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids at Rikers Island



Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship



Raising the Curve: A Year Inside One of America's 45,000 Failing Public Schools



Educating Esme: A Diary of a Teacher's First Year



Saving the School: The True Story of a Principal, a Teacher, a Coach, a Bunch of Kids, and a Year in the Crosshairs of Education Reform



Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America



Rain School by James Romford



Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade



Relentless Pursuit: A Year in the Trenches with Teach for America



Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America



Work Hard. Be Nice. How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America



The  Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York High School



Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an American Teacher



Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder



Have you read any of these? What did you think? Do you have any recommendations for me of teaching stories that I have forgotten?










Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

22 comments:

  1. What an inspiring list of books Deb. I also did a teaching post for my TTT, but my favourite readaloud picture books instead. I miss the relationships and those special moments you described above, but I don't miss the paperwork and the stress.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great list with books! As a teacher I'm always inspired by stories about other teachers. I'll definitely add some of these to my TBR!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Whelp. I'm adding a bunch of these to my TBR list.

    ReplyDelete
  4. All new to me. I think a teacher's job is a very hard one. Maybe personally satisfying for some, but hard all the same.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I do believe teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there. I grew up surrounded by teachers, although it wasn't the path I took. I haven't heard of any of these, sad to say. All of them sound amazing though. I will have to check some of these out. I can see my sister-in-law being interested in this list, maybe she's even read a few! Thanks for sharing, Deb.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Teaching seems like such a tough but satisfying job indeed! Love your take on the topic!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anything by Jonathan Kozol is worth the time it takes to rad it. Now that I am retired i may actually have time to read some of these books. Ha! Books with memorable school scenes

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a great list! Thanks for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, I haven't read any of these books! I do like reading the inspiration books about teaching. It reminds me of why we get into this profession and, unfortunately, why so many leave to do something else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, several of these books are written by teachers who left the profession.

      Delete
  10. It's such a tough job, my hat is off to all who do it, even if only for a short time.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Among Schoolchildren" was a really good read. One of my all time favorites is James Herndon's "The Way It Spozed to Be." I also really liked "Teacher" by Sylvia Ashton Warner. I read them both in grad school, twenty years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will add these to my TBR. Thank you, Wendy!

      Delete
  12. This is a wonderful list! I have so much admiration for teachers. Thank you for sharing these stories on your top ten list!

    Thank you for stopping by our TTT at Owl Always Be Reading! : )

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm not familiar with any of these books, but I'll be looking them up. Here is my TTT.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there and I'm always so grateful to teachers. They work their magic and make such a huge impact on our children, often with insufficient resources. The only teaching book I can recall reading is Dangerous Minds (the one the movie was based on).

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love this idea. My mom was a teacher, and I grew up with a great respect for the work and effort good teachers put into their work. She would spend a lot of her own time on lesson prep and marking. I think it's wonderful that someone with your experience is sharing a list of books for those of us who would like to know more. I'll be referring back to it!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I can't believe I haven't read ANY of these! I NEED to. Where do I begin? Help, please...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to hear what you think about The Battle for Room 314. It is a recent read. I think I have a copy of it somewhere around here, if I didn't give it away.

      Delete

Tell me what you think. But please be kind.