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Teach with Your Heart: Lessons I Learned…
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Teach with Your Heart: Lessons I Learned from the Freedom Writers

by Erin Gruwell

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I found this book to be very inspirational in showing how one individual can affect so many other lives, fortunately for the better. I felt that Erin Gruwell was very self-effacing and not seeking glory nor praise. Her story was told in a very matter-of-fact manner and could have been plumped out with a lot more interesting information. The antagonism shown to her by her teaching colleagues was to be expected and I am amazed that she survived the atmosphere created through jealousy. I gave this book to my daughter, who is a Primary School Teacher, and she was extremely touched and motivated by it. Compelling real-life reading!! ( )
  dannN | Jun 10, 2010 |
I enjoyed The Freedom Writers Diary, so I picked this book up in order to add context to the students' stories. I wanted to know who and what was behind these young peoples' voices. Turns out Erin Gruwell is not nearly as interesting or as talented a writer as some of her students. I am oddly compelled by this story, probably because I am a teacher and the thought of a teacher bringing about what Erin helped bring about helps feed my passion for education.

On the other hand, I'm not sure I think Erin is the best role model for other teachers. What she accomplished with her students was wonderful, yes, but what she sacrificed for her job was not. She essentially sacrificed her marriage in favor of her job and the amount of time she spent in school during that time left no other time for a personal life. She worked 3 different jobs, and while admirable, it doesn't leave room for much else in life other than work.

I also wonder about her motivations for such dedication to her job, to the detriment of her personal life AND her relationships with fellow teachers, really were. In her book, she lists all the things that happened to her but fails to give any insight. Her chapters were all about the same length, even ones that covered big events in her and her students' lives. Also, she left public school as soon as the Freedom Writers graduated. I wonder what she would have done if she stuck around, or if she quit because she wanted to go out on top. ( )
  saracuse9 | Sep 12, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0767915836, Hardcover)

In this memoir and call to arms, Erin Gruwell, the dynamic young teacher who nurtured a remarkable group of high school students from Long Beach, California, who called themselves the Freedom Writers, picks up where The Freedom Writers Diary (and the movie The Freedom Writers) end and catches the reader up to where they are today. Teach with Your Heart will include the Freedom Writers’ unforgettable trip to Auschwitz, where they met with Holocaust survivors; toured the attic of their beloved Anne Frank (Gruwell had the kids read Anne’s Diary in The Freedom Writers Diary); visited Bosnia with their friend Zlata Filipovich, and more. The book also includes what happened with the Freedom Writers as they made their way through college and graduation. Along the way, Gruwell includes lessons for parents and teachers about what she learned from her remarkable band of students.

In this passionate, poignant, and deeply personal memoir, Gruwell tells the tale of her journey through the emotional peaks and valleys on the front lines of our nation’s educational system and her commitment to awaken personal power in students and people everyone else discounts. Teach with Your Heart is a mesmerizing story of one young woman’s personal odyssey and of her remarkable ability to encourage others to follow in her footsteps.

Teach with Your Heart is marked by the enviable radiance and irrepressible force of nature that is Erin Gruwell and her unbelievable determination to ensure that education in the United States truly meets the needs of every student.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:50 -0400)

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The author describes the challenges and rewards of her work as a teacher and advocate for at-risk youngsters, introducing the principles and practices of her innovative educational program designed to teach tolerance through literature and writing.

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