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There Are No Shortcuts Paperback – May 11, 2004
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Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
One of Esquith's mottos is "work hard, be nice." He certainly works hard, but he is not always nice in his criticism of the educational establishment. He skewers incompetent and indifferent teachers and administrators, ridicules irrational and obstructive rules and regulations, and even has a few harsh words for his own union, which he has supported over the years. Anything or anyone who prevents an educator from doing whatever he can to bring out the best in every student gets thumbs down from Esquith.Read more ›
Honestly, though, the guy is a nut. At one point he takes the older kids on a 31-day tour of 25 college campuses?!?! Is that really necessary? Useful? Wouldn't three or four have sufficed? At another point he is working crappy second, third and fourth jobs to buy presents for the kids and take them on trips. When a father is shot in the neck, he practically moves in with the wife and daughter -- and then is suprised when he doesn't get a thank you note ... maybe he inspired some jealousy?! He stares down murderers, takes on LA Unified any chance he gets -- by the end I was waiting for him to drive up the stairs on a motorcycle like Jim Belushi in "The Principal." After all, he's teaching at what he describes as "The Jungle" (which seems a bit extreme a name for even the roughest K-5!)
The guy's martyr/megalomania level is off the charts. He so desperately needs to be these kids' uber-father figure, it's genuinely scary. And despite the occasional bone he throws other teachers, he is very clear that NOBODY is even in his league as a teacher. Plus, he has set up his class where his kids are constantly performing to public acclaim, which then reflects back on the director.
Furthermore, he glosses over so many issues to make his story sexier.Read more ›
Rafe transitioned from an elite district to an underprivileged elementary school and struggled to reconcile doing all for his students with overcoming district resistance. He does not mince words on his dislike for administrators. He's pretty transparent with his personal flaws. Many teachers spend out of their own pockets to help their students. Rafe admits taking this to extreme and self-destructive levels with his desires to take kids on class trips. Eventually he stresses himself out to the point where he endangers his students and he takes a much needed break to recharge.
Like most teacher books, Rafe's deep attachments to his students comes through. Most of the time, his relationships lead to challenging his students to positively go beyond their expectations and exceed their potential. Rafe also shares a couple of episodes where students took advantage of him and how he's learned to set more appropriate boundaries for necessary self-preservation.
Ultimately, Rafe's classroom takes off and he gains support of famous Shakespearean actors and the trust of his students. He puts in gargantuan hours but his students rise to the challenge and succeed academically and eventually go on to professional success. He develops some very creative systems such as classroom currency to motivate students. I also applaud him for establishing a real classroom community where past students actively participate in after school and before school hours.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If every teacher would aspire to be like the author of this book, Rafe Esquith, AND every parent read this book, we'd have no education problem in this country. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I came across a signed copy in the clearance section of my local used bookstore, and thought I had hit the jackpot. Read morePublished 6 months ago by CMHmom
I'm a teacher and I'm all for high expectations for yourself and your students. This guy devotes all his time, energy, and income to his class and acts like teachers are not doing... Read morePublished 9 months ago by A. McCracken
I am rookie teacher and first year was the hardest one. Thanks to this book I saw the perspective in my work and I gained optimism to work and become a good teacher. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Zimina Larisa
Incredibly inspiring- this man broke the "bank at Monte Carlo" in education. a real hero.Published 14 months ago by james L. Walker
Great ideas for teachers from a person who does what he says he does!Published 15 months ago by Sandy