Acquired via BookCrossing 26 Mar 2010 – box of books given to me by Sorcha for OBCZs

This was pretty well the only book I took to read from Sorcha’s boxes for OBCZs.  I do like a book on education and this was the fascinating story of a new, white, teacher’s first year (and a bit more) teaching a class of black children in the heart of Harlem.  He determines to treat the children as individuals; he refuses to look at the reports on them from their previous classes; he works against the curriculum, instead encouraging them to explore , read, write and research. Honestly written, including his mistakes, the book is a fascinating and humane read, only made a little slower by the inclusion of the children’s actual work into the text – which is necessary and interesting but does distract from the story.  He also talks about what happened next, as he retains contact with some of his class.  I’m not sure much has changed in education since this, which could be very depressing, but it’s a heart-warming story in the main, if you concentrate on the fact that there must be other teachers out there of the same viewpoint and calibre.