Review of "Ordinary Resurrections" by Jonathan Kozol Essay

Words: 2162
Pages: 9

In his book, Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope, Jonathan Kozol pulls back the veil and provides readers with a glimpse of the harsh conditions and unrelenting hope that exists in a community located in the South Bronx called Mott Haven. Mr. Kozol provides his own socially conscious and very informative view of the issues facing the children and educators in this poverty ravaged neighborhood. Just his commentary would paint a very bleak picture of the future. It is the words of the children that give this book optimism and meaning. The courage and care exhibited by the volunteers of St. Ann's after school program and the creativity of the teachers at P.S. 30 are utterly inspiring. They work long hours and go beyond …show more content…
Unfortunately, not every classroom is blessed with the likes of Mrs. Gamble. It would be unrealistic to romanticize the motivation of teachers in under funded schools across the United States. In my observations of an inner city school this year, I have encountered educators who have become calloused and on the verge of being depleted of inspiration. Many of teachers I have met expressed frustrations with the lack of financial support of the school and unrealistic curricular demands. One teacher that I have observed at length discussed the difficulty of teaching a class of children with widely varying levels of needs and preparedness. Her class consists of students who are excelling and well as several who are learning disabled and non-English speaking. In a wealthier school, these children would be provided with tutors and special classes. The segregation that exists in schools like P.S. 30 sends a very dangerous message to children who attend. Of the 11,000 children in the elementary schools here, only 22 are white. The rest are African-American, Hispanic, and very poor. Schools in poorer neighborhoods are encouraged to teach students a trade rather than prepare them for college. Parents and students alike are aware of the difference in expectation for the privileged children in places like Manhattan and those living in communities like Mott Haven. Kozol points out "They come to