WELCOME TO 57: Four Years of Teaching and Learning in Bedford-Stuyvesant by Robert Moore

WELCOME TO 57: Four Years of Teaching and Learning in Bedford-Stuyvesant

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Coming from orderly middle-class Staten Island, Bob Moore, armed with only his per diem teaching license, landed in Bedford-Stuyvesant's junior high school 57. He was all innocence and idealism when he arrived; but not for long. ""I ain't sitting in no motherfuckin permanent seat""; ""I think I got my girlfriend pregnant, Mr. Moore""; ""I'm gonna beat your butt."" Out the window went his educational theories -- along with the classroom chairs his students liked to throw. Being a resourceful guy, he got it together with his classes as he learned to deal with the flashing pocket knives, glue sniffers, shattered window panes, fires in the hallways and bloodied heads. Without bothering to moralize or deplore the state of our ghetto school, Moore recreates his life in the combat zone with humor and compassion. He loves the kids and it shows. Then one day a moronic dashiki-wearing black nationalist is appointed principal and, if you believe Moore, the hard-won esprit de corps among faculty and students is shattered by vicious racism. It's not likely that anyone except other faculty members at 57 will care much about these intramural racial politics. But Moore's transcriptions of how he taught -- and partially tamed -- his saucy, jiving, wild Indians has both appeal and foul-mouthed authenticity.

Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 1974
Publisher: Putnam