Freedom Writers Diary Books As an idealistic English teacher at Wilson High School in Long Beach, California, Erin Gruwell confronted a room of "unteachable. They learned to see the parallels in these books to their own lives, recording their thoughts and feelings in diaries and dubbing themselves the “Freedom Writers”. They learned to see the parallels in these books to their own lives, recording their thoughts and feelings in diaries and dubbing themselves the “ Freedom Writers”.
- Related Articles
- Follow the Authors
- How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them
- Editorial Reviews
- Freedom Writers Diary
- The Freedom Writers Diary
- Erin Gruwell "The Freedom Writers Diary" author inspires Kern County teachers
- The Freedom Writers Diary (20th Anniversary Edition)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
When Gruwell was a first-year high school teacher in Long Beach, CA, teaching the "unteachables" kids that no other teacher wanted to deal withshe discovered that most of her students had not heard of the Holocaust. Shocked, she introduced them to books about toleranceAfirst-person accounts by the likes of Anne Frank and Zlata Filopvic, who chronicled her life in war-torn Sarajevo. The students were inspired to start keeping diaries of their lives that showed the violence, homelessness, racism, illness, and abuse that surrounded them.
These student diaries form the basis of this book, which is cut from the same mold as Dangerous Minds: the outsider teacher, who isn't supposed to last a month, comes in and rebuilds a class with tough love and hard work.
Most readers will be proud to see how these students have succeeded; at the end of their four-year experience, the Freedom WritersAas they called themselves, in honor of the Freedom Riders of the sAhad all graduated; Grunwell now works at the college level, instructing teachers on how to provide more interactive classes for their students.
Recommended for youth, education, and urban studies collections. ADanna C. Bell-Russel, Lib. Gruwell lives in Long Beach. Freshman Year Fall Entry 1 -- Ms. Gruwell Dear Diary, Tomorrow morning, my journey as an English teacher officially begins.
Since first impressions are so important, I wonder what my students will think about me. Will they think I'm out of touch or too preppy?
Or worse yet, that I'm too young to be taken seriously?
Maybe I'll have them write a journal entry describing what their expectations are of me and the class. Even though I spent last year as a student teacher at Wilson High School, I'm still learning my way around the city. Long Beach is so different than the gated community I grew up in. Thanks to MTV dubbing Long Beach as the "gangsta-rap capital" with its depiction of guns and graffiti, my friends have a warped perception of the city, or L B C as the rappers refer to it.
Follow the Authors
They think I should wear a bulletproof vest rather than pearls. Still, TV tends to blow things out of proportion. The school is actually located in a safe neighborhood, just a few miles from the ocean. Its location and reputation make it desirable. So much so that a lot of the students that live in what they call the "'hood" take two or three buses just to get to school every day. Students come in from every corner of the city: Rich kids from the shore sit next to poor kids from the projects.
But since the Rodney King riots, racial tension has spilled over into the school. Due to busing and an outbreak in gang activity, Wilson's traditional white, upper-class demographics have changed radically. African Americans, Latinos, and Asians now make up the majority of the student body. As a student teacher last year, I was pretty naive. I wanted to see past color and culture, but I was immediately confronted by it when the first bell rang and a student named Sharaud sauntered in bouncing a basketball.
He was a junior, a disciplinary transfer from Wilson's crosstown rival, and his reputation preceded him. Word was that he had threatened his previous English teacher with a gun which I later found out was only a plastic water gun, but it had all the makings of a dramatic showdown. In those first few minutes, he made it brutally clear that he hated Wilson, he hated English, and he hated me. His sole purpose was to make his "preppy" student teacher cry.
Little did he know that within a month, he'd be the one crying. Sharaud became the butt of a bad joke. A classmate got tired of Sharaud's antics and drew a racial caricature of him with huge, exaggerated lips.
As the drawing made its way around the class, the other students laughed hysterically. When Sharaud saw it, he looked as if he was going to cry. For the first time, his tough facade began to crack.
When I got a hold of the picture, I went ballistic. When a student timidly asked me, "What's the Holocaust? I asked, "How many of you have heard of the Holocaust?
Then I asked, "How many of you have been shot at? I immediately decided to throw out my meticulously planned lessons and make tolerance the core of my curriculum. From that moment on, I would try to bring history to life by using new books, inviting guest speakers, and going on field trips. Since I was just a student teacher, I had no budget for my schemes. So, I moonlighted as a concierge at the Marriott Hotel and sold lingerie at Nordstrom. My dad even asked me, "Why can't you just be a normal teacher?
How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them
I took my students to see Schindler's List in Newport Beach, at a predominately white, upper-class theater. I was shocked to see women grab their pearls and clutch their purses in fear.
A local paper ran a front-page article about the incident, describing how poorly my students were treated, after which I received death threats. One of my disgruntled neighbors had the audacity to say, "If you love black people so much, why don't you just marry a monkey?
Luckily, some of my professors from University of California-Irvine read the article and invited my class to a seminar by the author of Schindler's List, Thomas Keneally.
Keneally was so impressed by my students that a few days later we got an invitation to meet Steven Spielberg at Universal Studios. I couldn't believe it! The famous director wanted to meet the class that I had dubbed "as colorful as a box of Crayola crayons" and their "rookie teacher who was causing waves. He even asked Sharaud what "we" were planning to do next year as an encore. After all, if a film does well, you make a sequel--if a class surpasses everyone's expectations, you.
Yep, that's exactly what happened. Upon my return from Universal, the head of the English department told me, "You're making us look bad. How was I making them look bad? After all, these were the same kids that "wouldn't last a month" or "were too stupid" to read advanced placement books.
She went on to say, "Things are based on seniority around here. Instead, I'd be teaching freshmen--"at risk" freshmen. So, starting tomorrow, it's back to the drawing board. But I'm convinced that if Sharaud could change, then anyone can.
So basically, I should prepare myself for a roomful of Sharauds. If it took a month to win Sharaud over. I wonder how long it's gonna take a bunch of feisty fourteen-year-olds to come around?
Freedom Writers Diary
Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Learn more about Amazon Prime. She had intercepted a note with an ugly racial caricature and angrily declared that this was precisely the sort of thing that led to the Holocaust.
She was met by uncomprehending looks—none of her students had heard of one of the defining moments of the twentieth century. And now, with this twentieth-anniversary edition, readers are brought up to date on the lives of the Freedom Writers, as they blend indispensable takes on social issues with uplifting stories of attending college—and watch their own children follow in their footsteps.
Read more Read less. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Customers who bought this item also bought these eBooks. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1.
Erin Gruwell. Rules of Thumb.
The Freedom Writers Diary
Jay Silverman. Seyla Benhabib.
George Ritzer. From Library Journal When Gruwell was a first-year high school teacher in Long Beach, CA, teaching the "unteachables" kids that no other teacher wanted to deal withshe discovered that most of her students had not heard of the Holocaust. Read more. All rights reserved.
Erin Gruwell "The Freedom Writers Diary" author inspires Kern County teachers
Product details Series: the freedom writers diary : how a teacher and teens used writing to change themselves and the world around them. Page 1 of 1 Start Over Page 1 of 1. Previous page. Videos for this product Click to play video.
The Freedom Writers Diary (20th Anniversary Edition)
Manufacturer Video. Next page. Customer reviews. How does Amazon calculate star ratings? The model takes into account factors including the age of a rating, whether the ratings are from verified purchasers, and factors that establish reviewer trustworthiness.