©2007 Rafe Esquith; (P)2007 Recorded Books
This is a very inspiring account of putting the creation of a classroom community and the building of character first in a way that brings amazing dividends in student growth. The author does not tell you that he is teaching a gifted class of Mexican and Asian immigrants but let's you think that he is dealing with all o the problem that a teacher of inner city youth deals with. Still, I came away with dozens of ideas for my 4th, 5th and 6th classroom by listening to this book.
This book is inspiring and hopeful. While not all teachers will reach Rafe's level of commitment, they do exist and they are reaching many youth.
I liked hearing about what these students went on to do with their adult lives. Rafe doesn't claim to reach all of his students, but he has been instrumental in many of their lives and they, in turn, are spreading his values, giving to their communities, and generally being positive, productive people.
I particularly liked his advice to young teachers. His program was built over years and was not without issues. It is a very inspiring read, with lots of good ideas, but he never says
Rafe sounds like a wonderful teacher. I gleaned a lot but I entirely disagreed with some of the movie titles available to the kids, I am with the Mom that had scheduled an exorcism, although I wouldn't go that far.
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