The Emergency Teacher: The Inspirational Story of a New Teacher in an Inner City School

Christina Asquith, Author, Mark Bowden, Foreword by, Harry K. Wong, Introduction by foreword by Mark Bowden. Skyhorse $24.95 (210p) ISBN 978-1-60239-193-2

Answering the challenge to “change a life,” freelance reporter Asquith—armed with youth, enthusiasm and idealism—enters the halls of Philadelphia's Julia de Burgos Middle School to do just that. By the end of the year, while she outlasts 25% of the other “emergency teachers” hired to meet the shortfall of teachers in Philadelphia, the fights, arsons and battles with the administration have taken their toll. Although the events of the book took place eight years ago and most of the source references are similarly dated, Asquith gives a valuable account of the challenges teachers face in the nation's inner-city schools—and the kids are the least of her worries. With little support and no curriculum, she learns to teach from her failures, recognizing the injustice to the students who need and deserve a qualified instructor. But her sense of frustration and powerlessness are most tangible when she describes the ineffectiveness of available disciplinary actions, the herd mentality of students roaming the halls and the gaping administrative holes (not cracks) through which students with special needs slip. Despite it all, the kids make Asquith's endeavor bearable if challenging. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 11/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4116-4918-7
Ebook - 146 pages - 978-1-62873-312-9
Paperback - 210 pages - 978-1-62914-650-8
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