Small Victories: The Real World of a Teacher, Her Students, and Their High School

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Harper Collins, May 23, 1991 - Social Science - 448 pages
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Small Victories is Samuel Freedman's remarkable story of life on the front lines in the sort of high school that seems like a disaster with walls--old, urban, overcrowded, and overwhelmingly minority. Seaward Park High School, on Manhattan's Lower East Side, has been ranked among the worst 10 percent of high schools in the state--yet 92 percent of its graduates go on to higher education. The reason is dedicated teachers, one of whom, English instructor Jessica Siegel, is the subject of Freedman's unforgettably dramatic humanization of the education crisis. Following Siegel through the 1987-88 academic year, Freedman not only saw a master at work but learned from the inside just how a school functions against impossible odds. Small Victories alternates Jessica's experiences with those of others at Seaward Park, and as we cone to know intimately a number of the astonishing students and staff, Small Victories reveals itself as a book that has the power to change the way we see our world.
 

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Small victories: the real world of a teacher, her students and their high school

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This engrossing narrative of one year in the life of New York City's Seward Park High School will bring "bravos'' from all readers. Freedman's approach in depicting the daily activities of one teacher ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Bobby Pins and Tissues
8
Tough Cookie
17
Lamplight
44
Slumber Party
70
Built to Fail
100
Method leaching
120
The House at the Edge of the World
147
Friends
230
Month of Somedays
242
Castillo de Jagua
272
A Kind of Grail
293
The OpaOpa Show
319
Soupin em Up
334
Leaving Trains
372
Part of Something
406

Raccoon Badge
168
The Ever Waveless Sea
191
Liquid Paper
209
Afterword
421
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

Samuel G. Freedman, who has won numerous awards for investigative reporting and feature writing, is a former reporter for The New York Times. He has written frequently for Rolling Stone and has taught in the Columbia University Graduate Departments of Theater and Journalism. He lives in New York City with his wife, Cynthia.

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