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Here, Garon reveals the sometimes humorous, oftentimes frustrating, and occasionally horrifying truths that accompany the experience of teaching at a public high school in the Bronx. The overcrowded classrooms, lack of textbooks, and abundance of mice, cockroaches, and drugs weren’t the only challenges Garon faced during her first four years as a teacher. Every day, she’d interact with students dealing with addiction, miscarriages, stints in "juvie", abusive relationships, and gang violence. These students brought with them big dreams and uncommon insight - and challenged everything Garon thought she knew about education.
In response, Garon - a naive, suburban girl with a curly ponytail, freckles, and Harry Potter glasses - opened her eyes, rolled up her sleeves, and learned to distinguish between mitigated failure and qualified success. In this book, Garon explains how she realized that being a new teacher was about trial by fire, making mistakes, learning from the very students she was teaching, and occasionally admitting that she may not have answers to their thought-provoking (and amusing) questions.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Yossi on 09-15-13
Compelling characters and superb writing...
Any additional comments?
...what more could you ask for from a book? Okay, perhaps insightful analyses as well as commentary on the human condition -- but these are present as well, in superb form.
By turns hilarious, horrific, and suspenseful, this book sucks you in such that you forget that you're reading and are wholly transported into the author's world. For me, immersion is the single most important criteria for measuring the success of any artistic work in any medium -- and this book is absolutely immersive, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Highly recommended.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful