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Teaching Hope: Stories from the Freedom Writer Teachers and Erin Gruwell
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Teaching Hope: Stories from the Freedom Writer Teachers and Erin Gruwell

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  205 ratings  ·  25 reviews
“There are lives lost in this book, and there are lives saved, too, if salvation means a young man or woman begins to feel deserving of a place on the planet. . . . What could be more soul-satisfying?These are the most influential professionals most of us will ever meet. The effects of their work will last forever.” –from the foreword by Anna Quindlen

Now depicted in a best
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ebook, 304 pages
Published August 18th 2009 by Broadway Books (first published August 15th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 487)
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Kristi Vitale
So much effort and dedication has gone into the making of this book. Each short two-page-or-so story is inspiring, thought provoking, and sometimes shockingly sad and astounding. Knowledge and wisdom are gifted to the reader as each Freedom Writer teacher in this book openly shares their own experiences in the classroom.

We all know teachers are trained to teach the basics, the required lessons and material, and the goods needed to raise the API scores. That is a momentous job alone.

But it is he
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Sarahmcwax
A former colleague of mine wrote pieces of this book. We graduated from Michigan State's College of Education together, and were great friends for a while. We're not anymore; we lost touch, and I'm not that broken up about it. She was always quite the drama queen - even in college and through grad school and student teaching experiences. Tears abounded, scenes were made, she stormed out of the classroom at least twice. I read this book because she had made news headlines with her choice to teach ...more
Joni
Now depicted in a bestselling book and a feature film, the Freedom Writers phenomenon came about in 1994 when Erin Gruwell stepped into Room 203 and began her first teaching job out of college. Long Beach, California, was still reeling from the deadly violence that erupted during the Rodney King riots, and the kids in Erin’s classroom reflected the anger, resentment, and hopelessness of their community.

Undaunted, Erin fostered an educational philosophy that valued and promoted diversity, tolera
...more
Megan
I really enjoyed this book. The whole time it captured my attention. The stories felt so real I shared laughs and cries as I read through the pages. Some pages are stained with tears, but it has helped me learn so much and allowed me the opportunity to connect with other educators. Great book for the teacher in all of us. If you want to know what it is like to be a caring, compassionate, and competent teacher read this. If you are doubting what teachers do this is your wake up call to see how ha ...more
Erin McDonnell-Jones
This was a compilation of short essays from teachers that participated in the Freedom Writers Teacher academy. They're divided thematically, and tell the true stories of being a teacher, in a very quick, superficial overview. It's a quick, easy read.
Kaarina
Tremendous evidence how a truly great teacher can literally change the lives of her students. Reading the candid, unfiltered thoughts of students in this program from start to finish was inspirational. Catching a glimpse of their personal war-torn lives in a non-war-zone was eye-opening. That such relatively little things (belief in the students' worth from a person who didn't abandon them and the generosity of people who started off in similar situations) was also inspiring. The little things d ...more
Diana
depressing. I would NEVER share my history with ALL of my students like some of these teachers. Its just bad practice!!
Erica
Sep 30, 2009 Erica is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I gave Homeboyz to Nikki so I'm not reading that anymore. This book is the third that a teacher named Erin Gruwell wrote about her journey teaching inner city students. Most of the books that I put on this page are books that you would enjoy reading. This book only I or another teacher would enjoy reading. This teacher is an inspiration to me even more than Oprah because of her love and dedication for teaching. Maybe later this year we'll read a story that you can appreciate by her past students ...more
Kara
on the one hand I appreciate reading about the commitment that the contributors to this volume make to their students; on the other hand, i'm uncomfortable with the philosophy of teaching that it is solely up to near-impossible individual perserverance of students to improve their lives. education shouldn't just be a ladder out of historically impoverished and marginalized neighborhoods--it should encourage students to analyze and challenge the circumstances that make them places they'd want to ...more
Sara  Liebman
So there was a story in Teaching Hope... toward the end which described a trip a teacher took with some students to the mayor's office and how the students wanted their voices heard. BUT the teacher had also called reporters to come witness the event. I believe that this, in a nutshell, is my problem with the book. Teacher go above and beyond, and some are very sincere. But some also do it in a self-serving way like the above mentioned teacher.
Sarah
Those familiar with Erin Gruwell's The Freedom Writer's Diary will recognize the format and themes presented in this book. However, rather than entries from students these stories come from teachers who have used Freedom Writer's methods with success in their classrooms. Although many of the educators are inspiring it does seem to focus on the extreme hard cases, perhaps leaning a bit too much towards the shock factor.
Pauline
I used to teach Freedom Writers in my Adolescent Literacy course and I've since replaced it with this volume. My students and I read the stories contained here and analyze the themes presented. Some of the stories are heart-breaking, while others bring a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart. I am so thrilled to share this with my students and they really seem to like it as well.
Jaime
Very inspirational. As an early-career teacher, I really appreciated the stories of struggle and disapointment as much as I appreciated the stories of over-coming the odds. The teachers in these stories are amazing and I hope I can take just a bit of of the passion they have for their students and keep it with me
Urban Teacher
I'm so biased since my friends and I wrote this, but even if that were not the case, I really think every future and current teacher should read this. This is what the classroom looks like. We are not numbers, graphs, or charts; we are people--people who are fractured--who need hope, not mandates.
Karen
I was really disappointed by this book. I've read two previous books about Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers and I was really hoping that this would be a book full of practical information. I really didn't find anything new that I felt I could use in my classroom.
April
As an educator, I identified with many of the experiences teachers shared in Teaching Hope. Perhaps, the "teacher bashers" will recognize how educating a child requires a partnership among teachers, parents, students, and the community at large.
Elisa
Certain parts just seemed to say that when a teacher shares a personal horror story the entire class would open up and write about/talk about their problems, but the later half of the book was amazing - truly inspiring!
Erin
Not nearly as good as the other "Freedom Writers" books I've read, but still interesting. I wish there were fewer stories and each story had more details.
Becky
More stories taken from around the nation who practice the Freedom Writers. Shows a lot about the types of lives students come from.
Liz Mundo
Heart-tugging, tear-jerking, insightful, amusing and moving. A great read for anyone in education.
Lea
Most of the stories were awesome, but some parts dragged on. It's keeping me motivated.
Michelle Hillstrom
Another fantastic book that all future teachers must read!
K Rae
K Rae marked it as to-read
Nov 18, 2014
Stephanie Tuell
Stephanie Tuell marked it as to-read
Nov 08, 2014
Rebecca Miller
Rebecca Miller is currently reading it
Nov 02, 2014
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