October 1, 2013

Are you a Freedom Writer?

For some reason, I was in need of inspiration today. Even though I'd seen it before, I watched the movie Freedom Writers.

I taught for 20 years, and I like to believe that along the way I made a difference in many kids' lives. Erin Gruwell, though, makes me wonder just how true this is.

As a young, new teacher, Gruwell chose to go where no one wanted to be -- a tough inner-city school, newly integrated, where she was given classes full of the most troubled students. Constantly told she should lie low, that she couldn't help them, Gruwell did everything humanly possible to make her students feel valued.

I found myself wondering how often I was like her, in two decades in the classroom.

If you haven't seen the movie, watch it. Then, ask yourself if you are a Freedom Writer.

Don't miss ROLE Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom, now available in the ASCD store, Barnes & Noble and at Amazon.com and Mark's new book, The 5-Minute Teacher: How do I maximize time for learning in my classroom