Looking beyond education - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Education

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Looking beyond education

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, August 8, 2007 11:00 pm

Being a teacher is about more than just being an educator, it is about influencing and encouraging our future leaders to reach for the stars. Last Tuesday morning, nearly 2,000 employees from the Kyrene School District received a bit of inspiration themselves when Erin Gruwell, author of the book Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them, dropped in on the district's beginning of the year kick-off celebration. A wide range of employees, from principals and teachers to bus drivers and custodians, gathered at Desert Vista High School to hear Gruwell's story. "She spoke for an hour about her journey as a brand new teacher, assigned 150 students who society had basically almost given up on," said Kelly Alexander, spokesman for Kyrene School District. "She inspired these students, some who had been members of gangs or had families who spoke no English, to graduate from high school and move on to college." Gruwell's story began in the mid-'90s in Long Beach, Calif. The fresh-out-of-college teacher began her first job at Wilson High School faced with a challenge. Assigned a group of students deemed "unteachable," "below average" and "delinquents" by the educational system, Gruwell found ways around financial obstacles and society's criticisms to create what many called a miracle. The struggling teacher scrounged for ways to raise money to purchase improved educational technology. Gruwell even used her own Christmas money to help purchase computers for her classroom, which in turn created the opportunity for her students to unite and author a compilation of reflective writing. These writings were later published into a book, and inspired the movie Freedom Writers, starring Hilary Swank. After seeing Gruwell speak a few years ago, Sheryl Green, principal at Kyrene de la Esperanza Elementary School, contacted the Freedom Writers Foundation and requested an appearance at the party. "I've known of her story and am familiar with her books," Green said. "I thought she was so inspiring that we had to bring her in." "What was inspiring was her approach on doing the very best work with each student, regardless of how they walk in the door," Alexander said of Gruwell. "We have a responsibility to meet each child where they are, and give them the opportunity to succeed." For one Kyrene teacher, inspiration did not end after the kick-off party. "Before her speech, Erin informed me she had an opening for a teacher to attend the Freedom Writers Institute," Green said. The institute is a five-day learning program in Long Beach where teachers explore Gruwell's Freedom Writer Method in order to improve academic performance at their schools. Mike Sissel, a fourth-grade teacher at Esperanza, attended the institute Friday to Tuesday. "He will be implementing the methods here at Experanza and is also contributing to Erin's third book, a teacher's version of Freedom Writers," Green said. Corinne Frayer can be reached at (480) 898-7917 or cfrayer@aztrib.com.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Gilbert, Chandler teens part of martial arts team going to Japan competition

Two East Valley teens part of a team representing Arizona in Tokyo next week have come from what is considered one of the best dojos in all of…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 4:38 pm @ http://www.ahwatukee.com/news/valley_and_state/art…

Ariz. police release video of Navajo woman before cop killed her

Arizona police released body camera footage of a Navajo woman approaching an officer with scissors before he shot her five times and killed he…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 3:38 pm @ http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ariz-poli…

Skydiver to jump from plane without a parachute on live TV

He’s made 18,000 parachute jumps, helped train some of the world’s most elite skydivers, done some of the stunts for Ironman 3. But the plunge…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 3:38 pm @ https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/28/sk…

Uplifting Movie Recommendation List

Here is the complete list of film recommendations made by various writers at RogerEbert.com. The list was inspired by an e-mail from Susan Wlo…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 3:40 pm @ http://www.rogerebert.com/chazs-blog/movie-recomme…

Hearst purchases community newspapers across Houston’s suburbs

The Houston Chronicle's parent company has purchased two dozen community newspapers across the metro area, extending its reach deeper into the…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 3:10 pm @ http://www.chron.com/business/article/Hearst-purch…

AZ telemarketer smacked with $110K judgment

PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK) - The Arizona Attorney General's Office recent obtained a $110,000 judgment against and Arizona telemarketer it accused of…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 3:08 pm @ http://www.azfamily.com/story/32575437/az-telemark…

How to Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Arizona

On November 2, 2010, Proposition 203, also known as the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which allows AZ residents with specific medical conditi…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 2:44 pm @ https://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/07/29/qualify-…

Arizona Cardinals Training Camp Fan Guide: 7 things you need to know

PHOENIX - The Bird Gang is ready to hit the field. Larry Fitzgerald, Carson Palmer and Tyrann Mathieu will take to the turf at University of P…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 2:40 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/entertainment/events/arizona-…

Phoenix Zoo welcomes squirrel monkey baby

PHOENIX - Say hello to Tuvok, the newest addition to the Phoenix Zoo family. Born on July 15, Tuvok (yes, that's a Star Trek reference) is the…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 2:40 pm @ http://www.12news.com/news/local/valley/phoenix-zo…

Geoff Stults Jumps Into ‘Granite Mountain’; Martha Kelly Joins ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

Film Fox Geoff Stults has joined the cast of Joseph Kosinski’s Granite Mountain, the true tale of the elite Granite Mountain Hotshots firefigh…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 2:40 pm @ http://deadline.com/2016/07/geoff-stults-granite-m…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…