Our talented and overly modest blogger Ilana Garon (see View From the Bronx), refuses to make a big deal about this on her own blog, so we’ve decided to do it for her: Ilana just published a book on her teaching experiences! And not only is it getting great feedback from the critics so far—book review site Kirkus called it one of “this fall’s most anticipated debuts"—but it’s also, well, just great. (And hilarious. And sad. And riveting.)
The book, Why Do Only White People Get Abducted by Aliens?: Teaching Lessons from the Bronx, is a series of stories about the author’s first few years as a public high school teacher. (The title is a quote from a student who was suggesting topics for a research paper.) Garon assures readers upfront that it is not another hero-teacher book—that, despite her bright-eyed beginnings, she does not “save” her students in the end. Instead, she makes lots of mistakes. And comes to terms with her own, her students’, and the systems’ imperfections.
Those who read her blog know that Garon writes on issues in education with honesty, clarity, and wit. In the book, though, she focuses not on policy, but on people. When you finish you’ll feel like you know a new roster of students and you’ll understand why, despite facing at-times-impossible situations, Garon is still in the classroom.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.