Sentilles joined Teach for America following graduation from Yale in 1995 and was placed in a first-grade class in an elementary school in Compton, California. A white woman raised in suburbia, Sentilles concedes that she knew about poverty, racism, and injustice before the experience, but--like so many Americans--simply ignored them. Her experience in Compton forced her to confront these issues every single day, eventually changing the direction of her life. She had expected to complete a doctorate in literature; instead, she became an ordained Episcopal minister. Through recollections of the students, parents, and teachers in Compton, Sentilles describes the heartbreaking conditions of schools with few resources and of children wanting the same opportunities as others though their lives are filled with violence and neglect. From the day she entered a room with 30 desks and a roster of 36 children, Sentilles found a school with no supplies, falling ceilings, dirt playgrounds, and inexperienced teachers. Even with her admitted "savior complex," Sentilles left the school but shares with readers the poignant lessons she learned there. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is a poignant, touching memoir from a natural-born teacher. The education of Sarah Sentilles is something we can all learn from.--Geoffrey Canada, author of Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun
and president of Harlem Children's Zone, Inc.
"Sentilles gives a stirring description of working in one of our poorest school systems . . . [A] profoundly moving book."-Library Journal
"Hauntingly eloquent, this memoir raises chilling questions about race, social privilege, failing schools, and the loss of innocence. Sentilles's reflections on her students, their families, and the education they (don't) receive stays with you long after her story ends. This is a wakeup call that we as a nation cannot afford to ignore."--Janie Victoria Ward, author of The Skin We're In
"A stirring account of tragedy and transformation in American public education. Taught by America
captures the way one relentless woman confronts her own privilege, suggests the impact Teach for America has on schools struggling with the effects of poverty, and finally, most poignantly, illustrates how Sentilles's students reveal her own search for justice as a kind of faith."--Michael Johnston, author of In the Deep Heart's Core