This is a fantastic book for anyone who is going into teaching or who is already a teacher. Very insightful. I'll admit that I was scared in parts, es...moreThis is a fantastic book for anyone who is going into teaching or who is already a teacher. Very insightful. I'll admit that I was scared in parts, especially when he talked about having no guidance or curriculum and having to wing it. That's my biggest fear as I approach the end of my graduate work and head into a classroom of my own. But the biggest lesson I learned from this book was that I need to remember to see my students as individuals rather than as a collective. I need to remember that I can't expect them to check their lives and their world at the door. I should embrace it, let them enjoy it, talk about it, etc. Learning about who they are, what they love, and where they come from is an important part of not just my own learning process as a teacher, but also theirs as a students. Michie does a great job of this in his book. He somehow found the balance (after trial and error, of course) and he brings hope to aspiring teachers that we can do the same thing. (less)
I tried to keep an open mind while reading this book, going in knowing the author is of a different political persuasion than myself. It's probably no...moreI tried to keep an open mind while reading this book, going in knowing the author is of a different political persuasion than myself. It's probably not a book I would have read myself if not for being assigned to read it for my Issues in American Politics class.
Ehrenreich goes into her experiment attempting to see how the low-wage worker lives. Her goal is to find what she calls a low-wage job and be able to make enough for food, rent, etc. What she finds at her 3 low-wage jobs (she, apparently, held 6, but only wrote about 3 of them) was that it is nearly impossible to get by on your own. In at least one of the cities she lived in, she held 2 jobs to be able to make ends meet, and even that was difficult.
What struck me the most about her experiment was how hard it was to find affordable housing. Often she was living in a pay-by-the-week motel. I hadn't realized that the rate of poverty is (or at least was, at the time she wrote this) calculated based on food, and not both food AND housing. I wondered how this might change the poverty rates in this country.
I don't know how much things have changed in the 8 years since this book was published, either for the good or for the worse, but it really was a sort of eye opener for me, if only for the last point I made above about housing. Very interesting book.
**After reading Adam Shephard's book "Scratch Beginnings," my rating changed on this book from 4 stars to 3. Shepard's book is based on Ehrenreich's, where he disagrees with her position and sets out to prove that you can get yourself out of poverty. It was a very good comparison. I highly recommend that you read them both!(less)