The title "My Posse Don't Do Homework" itself indicates how liberal and frustrated LouAnne Johnson was as a teacher. Her career as a teacher started with a classroom composed of the most hateful students. She felt deeply for these children who, no matter how aggressive, suffered from serious defects in terms of learning, behavior and language as well. They were mostly non-english speaking kids. LouAnne realized that these children first need to know that they not failures in life and it was essential for them to recover their self-esteem. The book tells you the wonders a teacher can do to shape his or her student's life. Also, it shows that teaching cannot fall into a pattern. A teacher needs to understand what would make the classroom an interesting learning area and also make students realize the importance of education in their lives. The strategies employed by the author can pose as guidelines for teachers who consider gaining knowledge above gaining grades.
Teacher's Day Books
About The Author
LouAnne Johnson is an ex-Marine who decided to become an english teacher. The book "My Posse Don't Do Homework" is an autobiography which records the author's hostile experiences as a public high school teacher in California. LouAnne ends up in a class of hooligans, kids who excel in anti-social activities and have been consistently failing. She instantly knows that this is the most suitable job for her and is determined to do anything to "teach" the children.
Understand Your Students
For LouAnne, teaching the marginalized and unhappy students was no less than a mission. The book at once arrests the reader's mind with the tragic happenings that the author had to go through. The students came from different races and social backgrounds which made things even worse. One of the most terrifying accounts in the story is of a previous english teacher who was hospitalized because of the students. LouAnne however, did not panic. She did not find the children hateful, rather felt pity for them. Her sole motive was to pull these children from the world of hooliganism and she did almost everything that would bring her students closer to her. She would keep a close eye on every student and deal with them accordingly. The book is filled with fascinating narratives depicting the achievements and impediments that come in the way of an inspirational teacher. The language is humorous and light, which makes reading this book an easy affair.
The Light To Glory
Another major feature of the book is the insight into the families and the social rearing of LouAnne's students. The families they belonged to were mostly immigrants which accounts for the language barriers and their failure in coping up with the already established people of America. For these children, school was an emotional depot and not a learning center. LouAnne kept this emotional storehouse intact and brought into picture the urge to study which was never a part of the school environment. Over a period of time, her students come to the realization that they are not hopeless or outcasts and are capable of building a better life for themselves. They acknowledged LouAnne as their key to the other and the brighter side of the world. The same children, who laughed at Shakespeare in the beginning, could not resist reading all his dramas after some intensive sessions on Shakespeare's works. LouAnne stretched herself to touch that delicate side of these kids' lives which helped her establish her connection with them, and most importantly the undying spirit to keep it intact. Was she a magician? No. She was struggling as much as the students were. She had to face failures, disappointment and regrets. They all came crushing on her but she continued her voyage.
The book is undoubtedly inspirational in nature, marked by a certain calmness which keeps the reader going. The key tool is the language, which with a touch of humor, keeps the story alive. even the most hesitant reader would be compelled to read book till the end. The presentation is extremely realistic and emotional too. It makes you laugh and cry at the same time. The book was converted into a movie "Dangerous Minds" in the year 1995, which received amazing responses.