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There Are No Shortcuts Paperback – May 11, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
What's a Los Angeles middle-school teacher to do when charged with a bunch of fifth and sixth graders, none of whom speak English at home and most of whom are eligible for free lunches? If you're Esquith, you have them read Twain, perform Shakespeare, play classical guitar and study algebra. You take them camping and to concerts and the theater. How do you manage to do that? If you're Esquith, your school day doesn't run from the usual 8 to 3, but from 6:30 to 5, and you're available on Saturdays and during recess, lunch and vacation time as well. You take on extra jobs and go into debt to pay for the supplements. "I have never claimed to be rational," says Esquith in this intimate, lively account of his 17-year career at an L.A. public school. Part memoir, part manual, but primarily a call for action, Esquith's book is explicitly directed to parents and "concerned citizens" as well as teachers. Esquith has known "anguish and disheartening failure," but hasn't given up. For him, education's "bad guys" often occupy the district, union or school offices and frequently the classrooms. Despite his struggles, Esquith's account is upbeat, witty and usually good-humored. There's rewarding professional success-college for his former students and honors bestowed on him-and refreshing personal achievement: his own development and transformation as he moves from saving the world to setting limits on himself, even though, of course, "there are no shortcuts."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
The 1992 National Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Esquith explains how his inner-city students manage to score in the top ten percent on standardized tests.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
If educators applied even a fraction of the author's teaching methods and ideology, our education system would be phenomenal!
This book is a source of great inspiration to us all, all the more so because Rafe tells us about his problems as well as his successes. These are problems with his teaching as well as with administrators, so the reader gets to see him as more human and approachable. This is important, since his effort and achievements seem superhuman at times and the reader can easily feel overwhelmed.
The book is very readable and enjoyable. It is an eye-opener and a must-read. Teaching really is a calling.
I completely agree that the reading programs we find in public schools today are grossly inadequate, and that they take much of the joy out of reading. Unfortunately, for most teachers, if they want to keep their jobs they must follow the scripted lessons. I am not certain what the best answer would be for their situation, but I am happy to work at home to provide the books and instruction necessary to instill a love of reading and literature in my children.