I just finished "Relentless Pursuit" a book written about the Teach for America first year experience for 4 different teachers, a program director, and a new "assistant principal," in the LA school district. It was labeled the "Best Book of the Year" by one news source and had some other positive feedback about it.
My feedback: Kind of slow, kind of repetitive, certainly not inspiring, and a little bit formulated. Now, first I do want to say that because I have participated in the program I may have come at this book a little jaded. Although I loved my experience in the Delta, there definitely was a big learning curve. I was unaware of many things that were to happen to me that year-both personal and professionally. I guess that means I could kind of identify with the characters in the book-but really? I didn't.
Maybe it was because the author was not a participant? Maybe it was because it was painted as such a dramatic experience. I don't know. I just felt like "yah, these are some of the experiences you have when you move into the inner city....duh." Further proving my point, many sections started out with the author explaining that the Corps member was "struggling." Okay for me-NO BRAINER. Hey upper middle class college graduate- moving to a poor, under served, underprivileged, struggling school might be a little difficult. I think most people can deduct that this might be a struggle.
Not to sound like I hated the book or anything! Haha I did enjoy reading about the relationships formed and identified with the character that coached soccer as well. I also liked that the author didn't hide the fact that Corps members do have a life outside of the classroom. Whether that is traveling on the weekends or drinking at happy hour, we are real people too!
I'm moving onto my next TFA book-"One Day All Children" by Wendy Kopp herself. Let's see how this one goes...