Kelly's Reviews > Among Schoolchildren

Among Schoolchildren by Tracy Kidder
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's review
Jul 12, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction, education
Read in July, 2010

Although I was about the age of the students in this book when it was written and I am now about the age of the teacher, I found Among Schoolchildren extremely relevant and consistent with today's public schools. I am not usually a fan of non-fiction, but Tracy Kidder has me hooked. His books all feel much more like novels but are eye-opening looks into real people's lives. The teacher featured in Among Schoolchildren, Chris Zajac is at once personable, professional, inspiring, and exasperating. As an educator, I felt that Kidder captured Mrs. Zajac's interactions with her fifth grade students in a way that is both intimate yet objective.

I highly recommend this book to anyone in education or considering a career in education. I also think parents of elementary aged children could gain insight into what many classroom teachers' lives are like both in and out of school, and that school is never far from most teachers' minds. Finally, this book should be required reading of educational policy makers. I have never read a book about education that so intimately captures how most good public school teachers think and feel about their students and their vocation. Kidder also discusses some of the educational policy of the time and the history of that policy. The poor, ethnically diverse school that is the setting of Among Schoolchildren provides the reader with a very accurate picture of what many of our nation's public school classrooms look and feel like even today.

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