Publisher: Three Clover Press (June 14, 2014)
Category: Biographies and Memoirs, Educators
Available in: Print & ebook, 386 Pages
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Lloyd Lofthouse kept a daily journal for one-full school year and that journal became the primary source of this teacher’s memoir.
Lofthouse takes the reader to the innards of an inner city high school located in Nogales, CA. Rough neighborhood complete with gang bangers and drive by shootings, poverty all concerning.
I admired Lofthouse’s candor and determination. Unflappable, demanding, not to mention possessing the patience of a saint, he should be commended for his efforts and for coping with the numerous taxing challenges. No holds bared this teacher tells it like it is.
I’m familiar with the issues faced by teachers – student behavior, parental backlash or noninvolvement, supportive or unsupportive colleagues and the biggie….never ending administrative red tape. With ALL this it’s a wonder how instruction takes place and verifies the high teacher burn out rate. I see why finding a competent educator is difficult, the battle never ends and it’s not just about teaching students it is far more intricate and complex.
The fact an inner city high school was in the mix created an even greater challenge. Sad state of affairs, and very true. I held hope a few kids we were introduced to overcome the challenges and find a way to break the cycle. For those students headed for rough times in life, I hope they see the light before the darkness envelopes them.
Despite the long hours after the students vacate the classroom, when your after hours commitments have been fulfilled, a stack load of papers to be graded require even more time outside of the classroom, volunteering in various activities, proving a teacher’s hours extend way past on campus time. Demanding vocation on all levels, mentally, physically and emotionally.
The schools newspaper, Scroll, provides a ray of hope with a handful of standout students taking this endeavor seriously as well as learning. A few with unlimited potential allowing nothing to retain their growth, suffocate their goals. You maintain faith their thirst for learning will be contagious and the slackers will catch on.
Interjected throughout the novel are facts from differing organizations addressing a variety of issues: consumption of sugar, teacher burn out, learning disabilities etc… I found the supplements educational and interesting. Lighthouse cites his opinions on education and suggests remedies, check out his website, insightful, attention worthy.
Well written, informative, a brutally honest autopsy of one steadfast teacher’s year on the front line of the on going war on education. Reinforcing the obvious – it takes a special person to venture the field of educator, I would fail, thank you those willing and able.
Little did Lloyd Lofthouse know in 1999, when he married Anchee Min, that he was beginning a journey of discovery. His first trip to The Middle Kingdom was on the honeymoon with his bride, who introduced him to China and Robert Hart (1835-1911), the main characters in Lloyd’s first two novels, My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. The next decade was a journey of discovery. Lloyd now lives near San Francisco with his wife–with a second home in Shanghai, China.
Lloyd earned a BA in journalism in 1973 after fighting in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine. While working days as an English teacher, he enjoyed a second job as a maitre d’ in a multimillion-dollar nightclub. His short story, A Night at the ‘Well of Purity’ was named as a finalist for the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards.
Lloyd has won 15 awards for My Splendid Concubine and 5 awards for Running With the Enemy.
Thrilled to be participating in the tour for Lloyd Lofthouse’s Crazy Is Normal, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 18 November. Thank you Virtual Author Book Tours