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Letter To A Young Teacher Essay

793 words - 4 pages

Letters to a Young Teacher

Letters to a Young Teacher is a very inspirational novel written by Jonathon Kozol. It’s a collection of letters written to a teacher under the pseudonym of Fancasca, who teaches at an inner-city school. Kozol gives advice that any new teachers need to hear. He also goes into some of the politics and policies that affect teachers everywhere. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. He spoke of his own experiences teaching in elementary; it made the whole book appear very real and relatable. His concerns with the policies that affect teachers gave the book some added depth and is something all teachers can share.

As inspirational as this book was, it was also ...view middle of the document...

The students are trapped on what Kozol refers to as “an absolutely straight line to the destination of the next high-stakes exam” (Kozol 50).

Kozol even goes into the current state of racial segregation on our school systems. He provides a story in which he visits a school with around a 4% white population even though it was located in a heavily Caucasian area. He asked the students if any of them has felt like the school was segregated. Kozol observes that the students are shocked and acted as if none of their teachers had prompted them to even consider that as a possibility. (Kozol, 86) I felt as if this passage was really powerful. None of those students where urged to think critically about their environment. Thinking critically should be something our student’s are taught. Seeing and questioning our surrounding and why things are the way they are is key in making changes. Curiosity is not something that is taught in these scripted curriculums, but is something that is just as important. We need to teach in a way that “empower[s] our students to see clearly and speak openly about the schools that they attend and neighborhoods in which they live” (Kozol, 77)

Letters to a Young Teacher wasn’t just about all the bad things that are...

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