by Jonathan Kozol
One of the most important tasks for experienced educators is to nurture and mentor beginning teachers. All of us remember how challenging our first years were and how we sometimes felt like giving up entirely. This beautiful book lets us “peak in on” the letter exchanges between Jonathan Kozol, accomplished educational author, and Francesca, a first grade teacher at an inner-city school in Boston.
Jonathan Kozol regularly visits Francesca’s classroom and then writes to her about his observations. Mr. Kozol has spent forty years working with children in inner-city schools and his letters are often reflective of his experiences during this long career. The author of more than ten books, his passion lies in the preservation and support of public education- especially in our country’s large urban areas. Francesca, on the other hand, is just beginning her educational career. But in the area of passion for her students’ education, she is an equal to her mentor!
Jonathan Kozol is not shy about taking on today’s tough current issues. His letters to Francesca discuss establishing the first days of the classroom, the importance of expanding parent involvement, the complicated issue of diversity, the burden of today’s high stakes tests, and even his disdain for educational vouchers. Mr. Kozol bridges the gap of forty years and how they have impacted each of these areas. The letter format is such a pleasurable way to reflect upon a multitude of difficult educational issues. This is a book for anyone who cares about public education in our country.
Buy it on Amazon.com – Letters to a Young Teacher