I CHOOSE TO STAY: A Black Teacher Refuses to Desert the Inner City

Salome Thomas-EL, Author, Cecil Murphey, With with Cecil Murphey. Kensington/Dafina $23 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7582-0186-7

Teaching is a calling, and Thomas-EL has enthusiastically answered the call. In his memoir, the educator, currently the principal of a Philadelphia elementary school, recounts the events that led him to a career in education. The author writes of experiences that would daunt many. Thomas-EL, the seventh of eight children, displayed intellectual promise early and was transferred to one of Philly's prominent magnet schools. He recounts how insecurity plagued him as he went from being at the top of his class in his old school to joining students who showed just as much intellectual prowess as he did. On top of dealing with a lack of self-confidence at this new school, Thomas-EL also felt the sting of racism for the first time. In energetic prose, he remembers the inspiration he found in teachers who connected him with internship opportunities and consistently encouraged him. Now in that very role today, Thomas-EL has instituted some innovative programming at his school, garnering such attention from administrators that he's received numerous offers for leadership positions in his own and other districts. Although the accompanying salaries have been attractive, Thomas-EL declares, "I choose to stay." Agent, Deidre Knight. (Mar.)

Forecast:Educators who enjoyed Judge Greg Mathis's Inner City Miracle (Ballantine, 2002) and Samson Davis, George Jenkins and Rameck Hunt's The Pact (Riverhead, 2002) will be drawn to this warm account of helping economically disadvantaged kids.

Reviewed on: 02/03/2003
Release date: 03/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-7582-0187-4
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