“This remarkable book is a testament to teachers who not only respect and advocate for children on a daily basis but who are the necessary guardians of the spirit. Every citizen who cares about the future of our children ought to read this.”—Eric Carle, author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other classic works for children
“Kozol’s love for his students is as joyful and genuine as his critiques of the system are severe. He doesn’t pull punches.”—The Washington Post
In these affectionate letters to Francesca, a first grade teacher at an inner-city school in Boston, Jonathan Kozol vividly describes his repeated visits to her classroom while, under Francesca’s likably irreverent questioning, he also reveals his own most personal stories of the years that he has spent in public schools.
Letters to a Young Teacher reignites a number of the controversial issues Jonathan has powerfully addressed in his bestselling The Shame of the Nation and On Being a Teacher: the mania of high-stakes testing that turns many classrooms into test-prep factories where spontaneity and critical intelligence are no longer valued, the invasion of our public schools by predatory private corporations, and the inequalities of urban schools that are once again almost as segregated as they were a century ago.
But most of all, these letters are rich with the happiness of teaching children, the curiosity and jubilant excitement children bring into the classroom at an early age, and their ability to overcome their insecurities when they are in the hands of an adoring and hard-working teacher.
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