Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Story: Connie Heerman--At Risk Teacher

(A powerful story about a teacher who was reaching discarded, disillusioned, at-risk students.)

Connie Heerman: At-Risk Teacher
The Story (American Public Media)
Host: Dick Gordon

Last September, Connie Heerman couldn't wait to teach her students about The Freedom Writers Diary. It's a book about "at-risk" students just like Connie's, who lead chaotic lives and have little expectation of finishing high school. Through perseverance and the guidance of a dedicated teacher, all of the students featured in the book made it to college.

Since the book contains swear words and racial slurs, Connie repeatedly requested permission from her school administration to teach the book. When she received no response, she went ahead and gave the books out to her kids, and started teaching the unit.

When the school found out, Connie was suspended for insubordination. She continues to plead her case. She talks with Dick Gordon about standing up for her students and for herself.

To Listen to the Story

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