Review of "Ordinary Resurrections" by Jonathan Kozol Essay

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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…
Teachers in wealthier schools are paid as much as $20,000 more than those working in the South Bronx. P.S. 30, the best of Mott Haven's primary schools, runs short on the most basic supplies and operates with little to no funding for a library, music, or art education. The average class contains 31 students. Given these conditions, somehow P.S. 30 still manages to retain talented, generous and energetic teachers who are dedicated to providing their students with the education that they deserve. As a teacher himself, Kozol understands the demands of the classroom and conveys how very difficult it can be to simply manage a group of children, much less instruct with creativity and grace. One seemingly tireless young teacher wins Jonathan's heart with her joyful manner and, more specifically, gentle command of her students. He highlights a few beautiful moments in her classroom when she guides the children from growing distraction back into order and focus. At the first sign of chaos, Mrs. Gamble rises to her feet, lifts her hands to mime playing a flute, trills a little, and soon the children, too, have risen -- eyes on her, all improvising the flute section of an orchestra until their leader places the invisible instrument back into its case and silently glides back into the lesson. Spontaneity, creativity and an element of playfulness are elements that raise teaching to an art form.

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