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Monday, March 19, 2018

THE KIDS DON'T STAND a CHANCE: GROWING UP in TEACH for AMERICA by Harris Sockel



Published in 2016 by Audible Studios
Read by Jacob York
Duration: 1 hour, 18 minutes
Unabridged

Harris Sockel graduated from college and was convinced that he should join Teach for America (TFA) by a dedicated recruiter. He wasn't particularly interested in being a teacher before TFA, but he liked the idea of making a difference.

So, he enrolled in their crash course designed to teach a recent college graduate how to be a teacher and, in just a few weeks, he is certified by TFA and heads off to New York City to be a middle school teacher in a charter school. I teach in an urban public school in the Midwest, so I completely understood much of his commentary - the struggle to get papers graded, the struggle to copy papers (apparently an epic struggle in his school) and trying to keep everything moving forward. I particularly enjoyed his discussion of the ubiquitous SWBAT - a fairly new thing in my school.

In the end, Sockel's audiobook left this listener a little confused. Is TFA a good thing or a bad thing? Was it all worth it? Is it good for a school to have a constant turnover in its teachers as the price for working with TFA?

No real answers, but he does offer a interesting description of life in a classroom. Because of that description, I rate this book 4 stars out of 5.


This book can be found on Amazon.com here: THE KIDS DON'T STAND a CHANCE: GROWING UP in TEACH for AMERICA by Harris Sockel.

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