A teacher is capable of making and even marring her students' careers. Apart from serving as an inspiration, "No Child Left Behind? The True Story of a Teacher's Quest" can be a guideline for aspiring teachers and educators for whom teaching is not just a profession, but a way of life. The book is about the atrocities done on those students who are not successful in terms of grades and other important activities in schools. Generally, such students are termed as the "at-risk" ones. As you go through the article, you will discover how a teacher throws an open challenge to the entire educational system and musters the courage to criticize it. Be it a small school at the local level or a big school recognized nationally and/or internationally, the essence is that the attention towards students is the foremost duty of a teacher. This book is a must read for teachers who believe in this value.
About The Author
"No Child Left Behind? The True Story of a Teacher's Quest" is about Ms. Blake's journey as a teacher, the challenges she faced and her ultimate success. Ms. Blake had worked for 20 years before taking on teaching the less privileged children and the 'at-risk' students. She is shaken by the lack of support and the poor leadership qualities portrayed by the administrators of inner-city high schools. She takes up the challenge of reforming education as if on direct orders from God and makes it the ultimate goal of her life.
A Peek Into The Book
Ms. Blake's students had learnt the ways of life the hard way. She was deeply moved seeing that her students were profoundly indulged in drugs, robbery, riots and teenage pregnancies. She also discovered that many of her pupils were adolescent lawbreakers. Some attended school because of a court order while others were regular school dropouts, inner-city schools being their alternatives. What saddened her was the inept administration which in itself was erroneous. Ms. Blake taught in three different schools during her tenure as a teacher and was passionate about teaching science to her students. The first school that she worked with involved a knaggy principal who blamed the teachers for everything without realizing that the children did not go through a normal upbringing and hence, had to be treated in a different manner. The second and third schools were no better. Ms. Blake was impromptu to such ambience, but gradually picked up pace.
Ms. Blake's mantra of teaching was to instill positivity into the minds of her students, so that they could abandon their anti-social or inacceptable activities and work towards achieving a decent and respectable life. To her relief, she received support from some colleagues who shared the same thought. In the course of her teaching, Ms. Blake found that the children started paying heed to her and there was a ray of hope. This prompted her to renew her contract as a teacher every year. Ms. Blake eventually turned out to be an angel in the lives of her students.
Self- Discovery Through Teaching
The style adopted by Ms. Blake in the book is spellbinding, distressing and compelling. There is a deep sense of positivity pervading throughout the story, which keeps the reader engrossed till the end. The book is inspirational to all, in every aspect. For Ms. Blake, teaching is a way of finding peace and connecting herself with God. The quest is more towards discovering herself and her purpose on earth. She knew it was not easy. Giving up a full-fledged career as a Medical Technologist in chemistry and hematology might not sound pleasant to ears, but it turns out to be the best choice she ever made.
The Student Teacher Relationship
Ms. Blake's passion of teaching and her compassion towards her students made her pen down her experiences in the form of a book. She could not see her students hurt or injured no matter how much they hated her. Her heart was shattered if any of her students were hospitalized or killed. With the administration not coming much to her rescue, she did not refrain from shouldering the responsibility of building her students' lives. It was never a smooth journey. But she was unmoved by the complications and dangers which posed as stumbling blocks. The manner in which she overcomes everything and moves on is quite surprising and inspiring. In this way, she has challenged the teachers and the administrators of the inner-city schools who seem to have given up or are indifferent to the at-risk kids who must be rescued.
The book sets an example for those who want to take an absolute turn from their well and long pursued carriers towards their passion. There is so much of positive energy in the book that the readers' minds are flooded with inspirational thoughts.