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Comment: Shrink wrapped Hardback book with dust jacket. Inside is clean with no writing or highlighting, pages clean, spine tight. There is water stains at upped edge of Dust Jacket and edge of back cover sheet. However, all inner pages are free from any water stains and super clean. Amazon seller barcode sticker over book ISBN. Ships to Domestic and International and Ships direct from Amazon!
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The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Blackboard Jungle Hardcover – August 20, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A poignant portrait painted with skill . . . Read it and weep--and wonder no more about the human dimensions of the achievement gap." -- Gene I. Maeroff, Teachers College, Columbia University, author of Buillding Blocks: Making Children Successful in the Early Years of School

"By turns humorous and haunting, Dan Brown . . . takes the reader on both a compelling and illuminating journey through the American public education system. Unlike many other books on the topic, however, Brown's is not a dry litany of all that is wrong with that system, but rather highlights the personal success-stories" -- Scott Anderson, author of Moonlight Hotel and Triage

"Dan Brown's heartfelt account of the thrills and frustrations of a first-year teacher grips like a novel. A must-read for anyone who has dreamed of a job that makes a difference." -- Anya Kamenetz, author of Generation Debt

"[A] powerful, heart-breaking story that challenges our image of inner city schools and the children who populate them. Important and moving, The Great Expectations School grabs your attention from the first page and refuses to let go." -- Gilbert M. Gaul, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

"[A] riveting human drama full of heroes and villains, humor and tragedy. Brown is an exciting new talent and his writing is so clear and suspenseful that the pages turn themselves. I couldn't put this book down." -- Clara Bingham, co-author of Class Action, basis for the Academy Award-nominated film North Country, and author of Women on the Hill: Challenging the Culture of Congress

Full of funny, painful, and illuminating stories covering the children at risk . . . It is a must read for anyone interested in reforming our schools -- Maggie Dixon, Collegiate School librarian

About the Author

Dan Brown was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He is a student at Teachers College, Columbia University. He lives in New York City. This is his first book.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing (August 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559708352
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559708357
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,112,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Elizabeth Camaraza on August 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm Elizabeth Camaraza, one of the rookies who joined the NYC Teaching Fellows and taught with Dan Brown at PS 85 in the Bronx. His beautifully tragic story expertly captures every nuance of a first year teacher's experience in an inner city school. He tells his story with such a profound sense of love, honesty and humor that you will be emotionally wiped-out after reading it. I recommend this book to anyone who cares about kids. Dan Brown is a genius! (PS. I'm in the book!)
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Format: Hardcover
After reading Dan Brown's articles and blog entries on The Huffington Post, I had to pick this book up. I wasn't disappointed. While The Huffington Post blog showed me he has a deep understanding and love of teaching and all that it requires, I didn't know that he was funny-- this book changed that. I found myself laughing out loud pretty frequently, which is weird since this is first and foremost a non fiction piece on the trials of being a first year teacher in a NYC public school. But, his voice is so unique that you end up finding humor in the way he views even the simplest of situations.

So the real question is, is this Dan Brown a better writer than Dan Brown of The Da Vinci Code fame? Only time will tell, but the new Dan Brown is off to a fine start.
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Format: Hardcover
At times heart-wrenching and then laugh out loud funny, The Great Expectations School is a sobering look at the current state of public education in America. Brown offers a unique and personalized glimpse into the daily struggle of elementary school with undauntedly heroic teachers, tragic students, and conniving administrators. I recommend this book to anyone who values education and wants to change the system. I also recommend it to those who don't; you will care by the end of the book.
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Format: Hardcover
As a second year New York City Teaching Fellow, I can attest that the stories Dan tells in this book are still stories that we as teachers face every day. From the students living in shelters and floating from address to address to the micro-management of such things as bulletin boards, it's all very much the world in which I live. The book is heartbreaking in its realism ~ but it gives me hope to know that I am not alone.

I definitely second the motion that this become required reading for anyone entering aternative certification programs. It's less Pollyanna-ish than "Ms. Moffett's First Year" which, while somewhat realistic, doesn't really get to the heart of the matter, and more realistic than "Educating Esme", which, unless you ARE Esme, really isn't realistic at all. While I wouldn't change my path into teaching, I wish I'd had someone really tell it like it is before I started as Dan has done here.
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Format: Hardcover
You gotta sing as you kick them, that's the message of the 20th century. The low expectations of the "Great Expectations School" stand out, but the author persuades us that all is not lost. This author goes a long way toward adding some realism back into the great fantasy known as "all children can learn." When you stop laughing at that, let the author's humor take you even further into the nightmare of public education. Wit is one of the first things to go when you enter this profession. Brown's possession of it is the first sign that this guy wasn't born to be a teacher but rather an observer and commentator. So be it, his astute observations bring out the best and the worst of finest prison system known to man, the New York Public Schools.
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Format: Hardcover
Dan Brown surpasses the similarly named charlatan by the second page of this tender recollection, so enough conversation about how one is not the other, eh? Anyone comparing the two (myself included) is drawing a tenuous, superficial connection. Simply put, it would be a discredit to this Mr. Brown to be associated with that one.

The Great Expectations School is a story from the intersection of reality and idealism. Mr. Brown acts as interlocutor between an impoverished section of society and those too caught up in disbelief or willful refusal to recognize it. Harsh conditions are much easier to stomach when they are limited to 30 seconds on the news.

Mr. Brown is brave to harrow the experience that he reports, but the more courageous act by far is to then report on it, in all of its bleak grandeur. This reader is very thankful that he did.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I could not put this book down. Both educators and parents (and probably students too) will appreciate this book. Thank you Dan Brown for an honest retelling and insight into the challenges of teaching today. Unless one knows a teacher personally, most will never know how difficult a job it is and how undervalued. The arc taken from neophyte to successful experienced teacher was inspirational and had good ideas on classroom management and how to engage students. Loved it and will be ordering a copy for my sister who is a teacher. Thanks for spreading the word and being a supportive voice for teachers and educational change.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Fantastic! I have been a classroom teacher for 38 years, and the author's descriptions of the ridiculous administrative bureaucracies that plagued him--and indeed, plague all teachers--is beautifully, accurately, and sensitively written. Anyone planning to become a teacher--or who has been or is currently a teacher should read this. It is quite often not the students who cause many to leave the teaching profession; it is the game playing within the educational bureaucracy and absurd and meaningless "current best practices"--so called--that cause many fine educators to leave.
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