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My Posse Don't Do Homework Hardcover – August, 1992

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

While her Marine Corps training helped, Johnson found the caring parts of her personality more effective in dealing with the recalcitrant students she met as a teacher of English at "Parkmont High," an inner-city school in California. There, she has struggled to reach and teach a group of teenagers, many from immigrant families, who often revel in nonachievment and accept their roles as failures. Colorful anecdotes detail the successes and setbacks of an inspirational teacher with a crusty sense of humor who has resorted to "a little blatant bribery" and devised unorthodox approaches (one elaborate scheme involving kissing a kid who slept in class) to accommodate minority students' learning styles and improve their self-images. Humor tempers Johnson's gritty portrayal of her battle to keep her students from slipping through bureaucratic cracks. Her book radiates unsentimental affection for these kids, who "keep me coming back every year to my lopsided wooden desk, my crumbling bulletin boards, my outdated textbooks, and my own handful of dreams."
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- In a style reminiscent of Bel Kaufman's Up the Down Staircase (Prentice-Hall, 1988), this book explores the adventures and misadventures of the author, a high school teacher at an inner-city school in California. The book gives insight into the lives of the students and the emotional baggage that they bring to school each day. Johnson shares her successes and failures in trying to connect with her students. YAs will be able to identify with many of characters in this fast-paced, easy-to-read offering.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 226 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st edition (August 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031207638X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312076382
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #719,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Biography LouAnne Johnson

LouAnne Johnson is a former U.S. Navy journalist, Marine Corps officer, high school teacher, and the author of The New York Times bestseller Dangerous Minds. A native of rural northwestern Pennsylvania, LouAnne served nine years on active military duty first as an enlisted journalist in the Navy and later as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps where she earned awards for her work as a journalist and radio-tv broadcaster. 

While on active duty, LouAnne earned a B.S. in Psychology. Following her honorable discharge, she attended graduate school to earn a Master of Arts in teaching English. In 1989, LouAnne began teaching reading and writing to non-English speakers as an intern at a high school in California. Two years later, she was appointed department chair of a special program for at-risk teens. During the government evaluation of 10 similar pilot programs, LouAnne's group was rated first in academic achievement, increased self-esteem, and student retention.

In 1992, she wrote a memoir My Posse Don't Do Homework, about her experiences working with at-risk teens. The book was published in eight languages and was adapted for the 1995 box office hit "Dangerous Minds" starring Michelle Pfeiffer.

Since then LouAnne has continued to teach. She has taught high school English, adult ESL and Developmental Reading and is presently a full-time professor of teacher education at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico.

LouAnne also continues to write. She is the author of seven nonfiction books, most recently Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students by Their Brains.

Muchacho, LouAnne's first novel, was published by Knopf in September 2009. The narrator of Muchacho, Eddie Corazon, is a 16-year-old juvenile delinquent and "secret reader" who attends an alternative high school in New Mexico.

LouAnne has presented keynote addresses to the National School Boards Association, the American School Counselors Association, the National Staff Development Council, and the European Council of International Schools, among others. She has appeared on several TV shows, including Oprah, CBS Eye to Eye, and NBC Weekend Today.

LouAnne maintains a website that has direct links to many of the topics she discusses during her presentations.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book by Louanne Johnson is the best book I have ever read. I first read it when I was a new teacher, fresh out of college. I was truly inspired by the love that Johnson displays for her students, and I would like to think that I have the same qualities as a teacher. I have since read the book six or seven times, and I am constantly refreshed and amazed as I read about the students that Johnson took under her wing, and encouraged when no one else believed in them. She makes every page a must-read for anyone who has ever even thought of becoming a teacher. Be prepared to laugh, cry and feel good through every chapter!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Zia Islam on January 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to all the English teachers. This book is about an ex-Marine named LouAnne Johnson who decides to become an English teacher. So she is placed in a really corrupted school called Parkmount High School. The students were so dreadful that they put their old English teacher in the hospital. So when she began teaching, the students ran their usual tricks on her but she took them as piece of cake. As soon as the kids realized that how much she cared for them and how much she wanted them to graduate they actually responded to her and actually started doing their work that they are suppose to. One of the things she did was she went to her students houses to make sure they did their work and to see what kind of environment they are coming from. Before, the students laughed at Shakespeare, but now she made it so intense for them that they want to read every single book he wrote. She has become so popular in the school that year after year every student wants to be in her class. Now and then she sees her old students coming back to her, to see what they have become of themselves and they thank her for teaching them and leading them to the right path and she becomes proud of them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sftbllgal42 on August 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a great book and made me think completely differently about the educational system.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jane brewer on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good read. Our schools are still in pretty bad shape and this is an older book. Teachers could benefit from the lesson of this teacher. Children only trust you when you go beyond the call of your job to show them you don't see them just as students but as people whose company you enjoy.
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