Lessons to Learn
Voices from the Front Lines of Teach for America
This is the inside story of the more than 8,000 recent college graduates who have joined Teach for America and committed two years of service to teaching in the nation's most troubled public schools. In the tradition of books by Studs Terkel, Ness combines interviews and essays from TFA members and alumni as well as principals, superintendents, parents, and noted education experts.
Table of Contents
Prologue1. Making the Commitment2. Summer Institute3. First Impressions4. Raw Realities5. Beyond Classroom Walls6. It's About the Impossible7. Two Years and Counting8. Life After Teach For America9. Voices From Outside the Corps10. Reflections11. One Day12. The Road Ahead
Molly Ness is a Teach for America alumna and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The Johns Hopkins University. While teaching at Roosevelt Middle School in Oakland, California, she was the recipient of the Jean Wilson Scholarship to the 2000 California Conference for Educational Leadership. She lives in Charlottesville.
"On the heels of Michael Johnston's book, In the Deep Heart's Core, comes the broader-themed I
essons to Learn. Ness, who joined the national teacher corps in 1999, writes a book that seeks to describe the broad range of experiences corps members report, and to tell their stories of hope and determination." -- Harvard Educational Review
"Ness, a former TFA teacher herself, weaves together a narrative of voices from over 150 current and former TFA participants. Her thorough analysis of the program highlights its merits as well as its weaknesses, offering a concise and thought-provoking look at this idealistic and entrepreneurial response to a core national problem." -- Library Journal
"An affirmation of Teach for America's importance." -- Publishers Weekly
"In the field of education reform, Teach for America is often an overlooked but significant element. Lessons to be learned from this ongoing rough experiment are well explored through the lens of Molly Ness and her teacher colleagues. Lessons to Learn is a vital contribution to the national debate." -- Meredith Maran, author of Class Dismissed
"Lessons to Learn is the first book to provide a comprehensive look at the individual and collective stories of TFA. It bears witness to TFA's powerful ripple-effect--this young organization really has ignited an irrepressible national movement for educational equity. Lessons to Learn is a balanced evaluation of the most important American service organization since the Peace Corps." -- Michael Johnston, author of In the Deep Heart's Core
"On the heels of Michael Johnston's book, In the Deep Heart's Core, comes the broader-themed Lessons to Learn: Voices from the Front Lines of Teach for America by Molly Ness. Ness, who joined the national teacher corps in 1999, writes a book that seeks to describe the broad range of experiences corps members report, and to tell their stories of hope and determination. She also acknowledges her own passionate committment of Teach for America to recognize the day when all children have access to a quality education. All of this notwithstanding, the tone of the book illustrates the salience of this mission to the thousands of young people who have applied to and participated in the corps." -- Harvard Education Review
"[A]n affirmation of Teach for America's importance." -- Publishers Weekly
"Lessons to Learn" will find an audience with educators and people who care about he future of public education in America.
." -- Harriet Little, The Roanoke Times