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

By Christina Asquith, Mark Bowden (Foreward By) & Harry K. Wong (Introduction by)
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Item Number 359669  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   210
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Skyhorse Publishing
ISBN  1602391939  
EAN  9781602391932  


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Item Description...
Christina Asquith presents a moving first-hand account of her year teaching in one of Philadelphia's worst schools. Told with striking humor and honesty, her story begins when the School District of Philadelphia, in desperate need of 1,500 new teachers, instituted a policy of hiring "emergency certified" instructors. Asquith, then a 25-year-old reporter for the "Philadelphia Inquirer," joined their untrained ranks. More challenging than her classroom in the crime-infested neighborhood known as "the Badlands" are the trials she faced outside, including a corrupt principal, the politics that prevented a million-dollar grant from reaching her students, and the administration's shocking insistence that teachers maintain the appearance of success in the face of utter defeat--even if it means falsifying test scores. Her story will inspire, educate, and entertain.

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More About Christina Asquith, Mark Bowden & Harry K. Wong

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Christina Asquith is a former reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and has written for The New York Times, The Economist, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She has a master's degree in Educational Philosophy from The London School of Economics and Politics. She lives in Washington, D.C. Her web site is christinareporting.com

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General   [58345  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Educators   [417  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Reality Beats Down Idealism  Feb 23, 2008
It is fair to note that had Christina Asquith taught in a more affluent part of Philadelphia or a middle class suburban community, she probably couldn't write a book about her one-year experience as a teacher. Before being trained as such (even trained teachers have to struggle in the beginning by learning on the job) she should not have accepted a teaching job from a district which would simply throw her to the wolves, as such. As she pointed out, a few teachers in this abysmal school were dynamic and great managers of their classes. And it seems true (was for me, at least) that it takes about three years to build ones teaching techniques--and maybe five years to really feel confident. But Asquith had an unfortunate placement in a tragically-run school.

Nevertheless, Asquith's portrayal of the (reputed) worst school in Philadelphia (and too many others come close) is heart-rending and shocking, and the revelation an embarrassment to the district--let's hope.

The author had it many times harder than I. How she held on for a full school year is a testament to her character in the face of the school district's incompetence. The book is more revelatory than inspirational, and though a fast and sometimes engrossing read it is rather depressing. I think a prospective teacher--who isn't desperate--would tend to not teach in a big-city public school after reading this account.

I retired a few months before Asquith started her experiment in teaching, and my school (after at least 30 years of relative calm) was just starting to become infected by students creating bedlam in their classrooms and hallways. I had good control, was creative and motivational, but even my tolerence with the system forced me and other veterans in the school to take the early retirement incentive being offered by the state (so the district could hire two new teachers for the price of one veteran with higher degrees). We could see what was coming.

Now, the reader will understand why 50 percent of new hires leave teaching within 3-5 years--the shorter time representing big-city public schools. Teaching can be very rewarding, but also one of the toughest jobs there is, and the emotional stress is equal to that of a police person "on the beat"--I've read.

The following partial paragraph from page 98, gives a sense of the entire book:

"I'd set out wholly single-mindedly to learn to teach, and suddenly my failure became a real possibility. I'd personally staked everything on suceeding, I'd given up my career, my Inguirer [Newspaper] friends... If I was failing and wasn't making a shred of difference, what was the point? How could I answer the question: How was your day?"

A Non-Workbook, Non-Textbook Approach to Teaching Language Arts: Grades 4 Through 8 and Up
 
A must have  Dec 19, 2007
Every teacher young and old should have this book. This book tells the tale of a new teachers struggle to get through to an inner-city school. Sure there have been plenty of movies with the same plot, but this account is great. Chirstina Asqquith writes with heart and soul, and you will really route for her in this inspirational story.
 
No Experience Necessary  Dec 1, 2007
How many employment opportunities require minimal or absolutely no experience required? I certainly didn't expect that teaching would be one of them when I first looked into substitute teaching.

There are some areas in the U.S. where substitute teaching requires an actual teaching degree. These jobs are filled by newly graduated or retired teachers. There are other areas in this country where "some" college or simply a H.S. diploma is the requirement.

The difference comes down to supply and demand economics. If you have an excess of talent in a small market, you will almost certainly need a master's degree to step into a teacher's role for the day.

I just finished reading "The Emergency Teacher" that relates the first hand account of Christina Asquith's first year as a full time teacher at one of the worst schools in Philadelphia, despite being untrained and uncertified.

Synopsis:

"School District of Philadelphia, in desperate need of 1,500 new teachers, instituted a policy of hiring "emergency certified" instructors. Asquith, then a 25-year-old reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, joined their untrained ranks. More challenging than her classroom in the crime-infested neighborhood known as "the Badlands" are the trials she faced outside, including a corrupt principal, the politics that prevented a million-dollar grant from reaching her students, and the administration's shocking insistence that teachers maintain the appearance of success in the face of utter defeat..."

She lasted a full 180 day school year and didn't result in the typical Hollywood ending.

That's 179 more days than I would have attempted had I been crazy enough to try. I guess that's the difference between being young, idealistic and full of energy .vs. mature (re: much older), realistic and pooped.
 

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