“The popular notion of what it’s like to teach in urban America is dominated by two extremes” (Michie, 1999, p. xxi). Gregory Michie succeeds admirably in rendering his teaching experiences in the complicated reality between two extremes in his book Holler If You Hear Me: The Education of a Teacher and His Students. Many people hear about the horror stories, portrayed by the media mainly, that schools in urban America are nothing short of chaos; uneducated and uninterested kids. Then there are other stories that are rarely heard of, about the one teacher who makes the difference in such a school. Michie’s account in his book skillfully avoids the simplification either extreme would demand.
Holler if You Hear Me touches on a variety
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102). Michie presents his victories with a genuine modesty that comes from the experience of other, less effective teaching moments, but these moments are not always successful. Michie’s reported mistakes and difficulties are some of the most instructive parts of the book. As a prospective teacher, I have to understand the reality of life that not all teachable moments are going to be seen through. Sometimes they are lost and Michie has opened my eyes to such an existence. The only difference is that I hope I do not “knowingly” allow this to happen.
At times, though, I wanted to hear even more introspection from the author about the reasoning behind his actions or why he thinks a particular moment worked well or did not work at all. It was frustrating when there was no follow up on something as important as “a teachable moment being lost” (Michie, 1999, p, 102). It is apathy such as this that makes going into the teaching field frustrating. The Corridor of Shame is a prime example of a cold detachment of interest. Nobody really cares for the students who live out there along the highway, but who is suffering? The students are. Do people even know what’s going on in our state? I didn’t until I watched this film.
What kind of message is this sending to our nation? What’s behind the motives of leaving schools such as these left out to