There Are No Shortcuts by Rafe Esquith
How an inner-city teacher--winner of the American Teacher Award--inspires his students and challenges us to rethink the way we educate our children

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Year after year, Rafe Esquith’s fifth-grade students excel. They read passionately, far above their grade level; tackle algebra; and stage Shakespeare so professionally that they often wow the great Shakespearen actor himself, Sir Ian McKellen. Yet Esquith teaches at an L.A. innercity school known as the Jungle, where few of his students speak English at home, and many are from poor or troubled families. What’s his winning recipe? A diet of intensive learning mixed with a lot of kindness and fun. His kids attend class from 6:30 A.M. until well after 4:00 P.M., right through most of their vacations. They take field trips to Europe and Yosemite. They play rock and roll. Mediocrity has no place in their classroom. And the results follow them for life, as they go on to colleges such as Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford.
Possessed by a fierce idealism, Esquith works even harder than his students. As an outspoken maverick of public education (his heroes include Huck Finn and Atticus Finch), he admits to significant mistakes and heated fights with administrators and colleagues. We all—teachers, parents, citizens—have much to learn from his candor and uncompromising vision.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Rafe Esquith

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Rafe Esquith has taught at Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles for twenty-four years. He is the only classroom teacher to have been awarded the president’s National Medal of the Arts. His many other honors and awards include the American Teacher Award and People magazine’s Heroes Among Us Award. He lives in Los Angeles.
Published November 19, 2008 by Anchor. 225 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books. Non-fiction

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He has some moments of sloppy thinking—surely he doesn’t truly believe “there’s nothing wrong” with teachers going by rote, their charges on autopilot—and his schedule is way too scant on physical activity, though one senses he'd fix that if needed.

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