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Beyond the Blackboard: Lessons on Love from the School with No Name
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Beyond the Blackboard: Lessons on Love from the School with No Name

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  431 ratings  ·  118 reviews
The book that may influence the direction of thought, action, and education necessary to meet the needs of today's complex society.
Paperback, 226 pages
Published April 11th 2011 by Ndln (first published September 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 913)
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Karebear
Wow! This book just tore at my heartstrings. i knew it would have an impact, simply because I'm a teacher, but it went beyond that for me.

I think, sometimes, that we get so protective of ourselves and our family because we focus on the bad in the world, or even the bad in people. We want to shelter our kids so bad that we forget to teach them what everybody needs --love. We for get that we need to love everyone --pure, unconditional, straightforward, love.

I know for me that i have a lot of stere
...more
Julie
I am a total sucker for author book signings and when I ran into Stacey Bess at Costco a month or so after we had watched the Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie "Beyond the Blackboard" I simply had to buy the book. Then I proceeded to walk out and leave the book at the check stand. In the time it took me to get to the car and realize I had left the book behind, it had disappeared and I had to return to the author and get another autographed copy. But I was still reading the book on Lewis and Clark and ...more
Rachel
Some quick insights from the book:

1- At Christmas, there is always a toy drive for the homeless/needy. The calls goes out for new, unwrapped toys. I've always wondered why they were so picky: isn't used better than nothing? The book explains that second hand toys are another way for homeless kids to feel like second class citizens. Also, don't give barbie outfits to a kid who may not have the barbie.

2- Most parents want their children to have a better life than they had. Not everyone starts at t
...more
Kiara
Dec 28, 2011 Kiara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kiara by: My Dad
This was a really fantastic book. Reading about Stacey's experience teaching homeless kids totally made me want to be better at serving others and becoming more Christ-like, even though it's not a religious book at all. Darwin & I read it together, and it's a great book for anyone who works in teaching, social work, etc. But I really think it's a great read for anyone. The whole book is touching and I definitely recommend it!
Kendylus Roboticus
Dec 01, 2007 Kendylus Roboticus rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
It's a true story about how one woman changed a school for homeless children in SLC, Utah. It's a testament that book size doesn't matter; it's the material within. Inspiring and angering this book is sure to motivate you to be proactive in your community.
Brooke
I finished reading this several days ago and am still consumed by Bess' stories.
Bess has a great talent, skill and compassion (like a sense of humor) to work with the families and children in such a difficult situations.
I understand that a growing percentage of homeless families are the "working poor."
There are also those whose lifestyle and choices land them on the streets. But, to me, it is not just a question of not making the right choice, it is also a question of how their brain works in
...more
Karen & Gerard
Stacy Bess, a teacher who taught homeless children at a family shelter, a school with no name, shares about her experience and her love for the students. Not only did she teach them, but they taught her as well about love and what it is like being homeless. This book gives insight into the effects homelessness has on children and challenges the reader to get involved and take action to show love to others and make the world a better place. Stacey Bess was put in a unique teaching situation and r ...more
Tammy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Sheffield
This book. OH man....this book is killer. It is by far one of the best books I've ever read. This book definitely changed my perspective on many things. It changed my perspective on life, on people, and on love. There were many times I found myself crying while reading it. (which I rarely do.....) There were so many hidden messages, so many stories that were close to home. (considering it takes place not even 30 minutes away from my house.) It was good for me to read this book because it made me ...more
Angelica Molina
Ms.Bess a loving teacher who made a difference on the school with no name her stories made me have the rare opportunity to see life through the young eyes of a child living in a family homeless shelter.
"I have taught math, reading, and self-worth. Though the lives of these children I have learned the difference one person can make and what happens when nobody steps up to make a difference."(page 180) Ms. Bess is the kind of person that inspires me to study and me a difference on the world. i wan
...more
Heather
This was a FABULOUS book about a woman who teaches school to homeless children in downtown Salt Lake City. Reading this book is an eye-opening experience and helps you realize how important it is to reach out in LOVE to EVERYONE! You never know how what you say or do could help someone and make a difference in their life. Stacey Bess emphasizes that most people who are homeless had to grow up to fast and no one took the time to tell them they were great and could accomplish there dreams. Without ...more
April Suter
The author does an excellent job describing how children deal and cope with poverty, homelessness, abuse, substance dependency and mental illness. As a teacher for a homeless shelter she experienced many trials to help students learn in this temporary atmosphere.

This reminded of me of my experiences teaching at an at-risk program in Davenport, how exhausting and rewarding it is to teach students who are living in a world completely different than your own. How sad it was to have a student just g
...more
Sandra
I had no intention of starting this one right now, but I needed a book to read at the dentist office and just grabbed this one off the top of the pile. I couldn't put it down. I remember when the School With No Name was in the news back when I was about 11 or 12 and I was intrigued by it. A school for the homeless? But why? Wouldn't they just leave before anything got accomplished?

This was such an eye opening book that serves as a reminder that the people getting hurt the most by homelessness ar
...more
Terri
This is the story of Stacey Bess, a young mother and recent graduate from college with a major in elementary education. Her first teaching job is in a Salt Lake City homeless shelter, teaching around 30 kids, ranging from k-6th grade.

When I first began reading this memoir, I thought it would be a nice change of pace and that the author, Stacey Bess, had some interesting stories to tell me. But, as I continued reading and then began to process the information she provided, I found myself thinkin
...more
Shirley Freeman
I loved this. My daughter gave me the book after she heard the author speak. The book is a series of anecdotes from the years that Stacey Bess taught in the public school, called School With No Name, associated with a homeless shelter in Utah. The stories are well told and very moving but also very realistic. The damage done to kids by adults with addictions, bad luck and poor choices is heart-breaking. But the difference that a caring adult can make in the lives of damaged children is inspiring ...more
Lora
This is one of the most thought-provoking books I have read in a long time. I was full of questions before I read the book, and while I found some answers, I also found some more questions. :) Questions like: What is our responsibility in regards to the poor among us (on an everyday sort of basis and generally)? How do we best help those caught in the cycle of poverty? How do people really change? What leads to that change? I loved this book because while it didn't necessarily give me all the an ...more
Michelle
Wow, for a first book from someone who didn't study writing or literature or anything (although I guess teachers or sort of renaissance people), this book was fabulous. The writing was natural, and the perspective was priceless. I see that she's trying to support the cause, but I also fear that I have nothing to give. People like Stacey Bess can help so much more. Maybe some day I will step out of my comfort zone, and despite my poor skills, I can do some volunteering with reading and such. In o ...more
Sandie
Mar 21, 2010 Sandie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers
I really enjoyed this book although it got a bit redundant towards the end. I did feel a bit like I was re-living my life through her words, but it tells the story adequately. It was not as emotionally impactful for me...as was Blind Side, but still brought me back to places I never want to be again.

"If you wanted to be loved in life, all you had to do was come here and give a little bit, and you would be smothered in it. If you wanted to change the world, here was a world that certainly needed
...more
Janessa
This is a great read. It opened up my perspective on the homeless community and helped me to see some of the stereotypes that I carry around with me.
Ash 6th
This book was REALLY good, we all should be SO grateful for what we have. This book helps you realize that people in the world aren't as lucky as us. So many people are homeless, it breaks my heart when I see people on the street at night with no home. I loved this book. ! :P We take school for granted we beg our parents not to make us go, but yet some people don't get to go to school. Some days I just want school to be over, I feel SO bad for people that don't get to go to school. This book can ...more
Theresa
This is a beautiful story about a teacher is Salt Lake City who changes the lives of her students. The difference between this story and most is that it is a school with no name and the children are all homeless. They only attend for 3 months before they have to move on. She has the dubious task of helping students become empowered, and teaching them to love and respect. Of course she learns a ton about herself as well. This is the type of book that makes you remember why you wanted to teach, an ...more
Jen Nielsen
I was moved by Stacey Bess and her experiences. The realities of homelessness - especially as it relates to children - are never an easy read, but I would recommend this book to anyone. I was grateful for the glimpse into some hard lives and how she was able to make a difference in her way. Stacey Bess encourages everyone to make a difference through volunteering and even offers suggestions at the end of her book. I don't recommend this book because of the great writing, but because of the conte ...more
Pjamms
This was a very gratifying book to read - one of those "Oh hey! The system works!" kind of stories. The most interesting part of it was the author's voice and how it changed from stress and confusion at the beginning, to strength and acceptance. You literally live the story with her.

Plus it's a true story and took place in Salt Lake! Go Salt Lake!

If you are questioning the good in other people, this is a great book to read. It reminded me how much love is still out there.
Callie
I thought this would be an ongoing story. It's more of a compilation of short stories and experiences. Reading of what Stacey did was very inspiring. She's a Christlike person. She learned to put labels and first impressions behind her and to love the person for who they were. It was sad learning of how some families really live and cope, but at the same time very important to read because it's eye opening of how I can be more aware of others and how to help.
Christin
I really liked this book. Sometimes I struggle with this type of book. I often feel like there is to much elaboration mixed in with the truth in order to make it a "better read". I did not feel like that with this book. I was amazed with the things this woman did and the way she was making a difference in the lives of so many. It was full of hope and lots of really great stories that made me question how I treat and judge others. It was really inspiring to me.
Jamie
This was a really inspiring teacher book. I loved hearing about Stacey's experiences in the homeless shelter, and what she did each day to try and make a difference. As a teacher, some of the things she did would be impossible for me to do (like take home a child while their parents got back on their feet). Being a teacher is hard, but this is a good reminder that everyone does need someone to love them, and many times, the teacher is that someone.

Hannah
This was a hard read, but a necessary one. It is too easy to dehumanize the homeless, to ignore the real problems they are faced with and dismiss them all as drunkards that just need to get a job. These are the stories of a number of homeless children and their families, and reading them should make you realize how little it takes to make a truly positive difference in the lives of these kids. What are we waiting for? Let's go make a difference. Today.
Amy Carr
This book is written by an educator named Stacey Bess who became passionately involved with homeless children living on the streets and the lack of any education they were receiving. Beginning in a trailer under an overpass in Salt Lake City, Stacey Bess started teaching these children and changing them one by one. The book is an inspiring story of how one ordinary individual, with heart and passion, can do absolutely extraordinary things!
Debbie
I'm not good at reviewing books, but I'll try to do this justice. This is a true story of a teacher in SLC who was very much in need of a job and she got one--teaching homeless children at a homeless school. Her story is inspiring and a good reminder of why a good education is so important, and how one person can make a difference in the lives of children. It's a good reminder to all of us that we can make a difference if we're willing to try.
Cyndi
Gives you a better insight into the world of the homeless. Makes you want to help just like Stacey Bess. However, I would have a hard time having it not affect me. I already carry the worries of the world around with me. It is really hard not being able to fix it all. This is why I don't watch the news:)
I love reading about people that live what they love and that can do things to make this world a better place.
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“But we can't impose our own goals, wishes, or help on anyone. We can only teach, support, and love. We give them more opportunities, more choices. Then we love them regardless of the choices they make, hoping that they will learn to make better ones in the future.” 12 likes
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