If you have friends who are teachers, you’d often be
hearing them complain about how terrible their students are,
and how this has in turn made them stressed and uptight about
we are not experts in the field of education, we’d recommend
all teachers to get this book to get inspired and uplifted
by a true story about a teacher and her students.
in diary form by Erin Gruwell and her students who call themselves
“The Freedom Writers” (a tribute to civil rights
activists The Freedom Riders), this book tells the story of
how Gruwell idealistically began teaching at Wilson High School
in Long Beach, not knowing the perils of how “unteachable”
the students are.
are talking about students who face violence, murder and death
in their everyday lives here. Be thankful we don’t have
a classroom of students like that here on our sunny island.
one of those true-life accounts you have read somewhere before,
the class is rebuilt by Gruwell, thanks to her interactive
methods of teaching and her use of Anne Frank: The Diary of
a Young Girl and Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life
in Sarajevo as their main texts.
there is no way we can forget our planned syllabus here, there
is something for both educators and teenagers to take away
with this sincere book.
and fiercely written, the entries may be ridden with angst
in the beginning, but you can feel the gradual change in tone
as the book progresses. Several topics like survival, racism
and equality are dealt with here, and it won’t shun
you off with big complicated ideas. What you get a simple-to-understand
diary entries which make you reflect on a deeper level on
the messages behind those words.
proceeds from the sale of this book will support the Freedom
Writers Foundation, which is founded to share the Freedom
Writers Method with schools around the world.
out there from our local education system reading this should
Actually, normalcy didn’t seem so bad after my first
snafu. I took my students to see Schindler’s List in
Newport Beach, at a predominantly white, upper-class theater.
I was shocked to see women grab their pearls and clutch their
purses in fear. A local paper ran a front-page article about
the incident, describing how poorly my students were treated,
after which I received death threats. One of my disgruntled
neighbors had the audacity to say, “If you love black
people so much, why don’t you just marry a monkey?”
motivating and stirring account of Gruwell and her students
who courageously fought the system in the name of education.
Sure, it reads like a feel-good, sappy and conventional story
of how a teacher transformed her naughty kids – but
in times like this, a book like this one may change your worldview
on certain issues.
Go to www.freedomwritersfoundation.org
to find out more about this noble cause.
by John Li