Tonight was the official launch party for the new book, The Emergency Teacher by Christina Asquith. Christina is a friend and former colleague of mine. Since I could not make it to D.C. in time for her book party, I wanted to let everyone know a little bit about the book here. The Emergency Teacher is Christina’s take on her year teaching at Julia de Burgos Bilingual Middle School in the School District of Philadelphia. She talks candidly about her struggles (and eventual successes) as a brand new, emergency-certified teacher in one of the toughest middle schools in the city. She explores the variables that make an inner-city school fail or succeed. Teachers. Environment. Parents. Leadership. The students.
I personally like the chapter titled "The Friday Night Pedagogical Society." It was really interesting to read Christina’s take on all the characters (including myself) who frequented a local bar on Fridays to unwind from the week and discuss all the ins and outs of our crazy, yet strangely beloved school. The research behind the book is also very strong. It is amazing to read about the history (and controversy) of the building that I know as de Burgos, but was once the best high school in Philadelphia.
So, check out The Emergency Teacher. It is a book that all teachers should read. For teachers who go above and beyond because that is just what they do, it is a tribute. For new teachers or students preparing to become teachers, it will be an awakening.