The Emergency Teacher is Christina Asquith’s moving firsthand account of her year spent teaching in one of Philadelphia’s worst schools. Told with striking humor and honesty, her story begins when the School District of Philadelphia, faced with 1,500 teacherless classrooms, instituted a policy of hiring “emergency certified” teachers to fill the void. Asquith, a twenty-five-year-old reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, joined their untrained ranks. Assigned to a classroom known as “the Badlands,” she was told to “sink or swim.”
More challenging than the classroom are the trials she faces outside it, including the antics of an overwhelmed first-year principal, the politics that prevent a million-dollar grant from reaching her students, and the administration’s shocking insistence that teachers maintain the appearance of success in the face of utter defeat, even if it means falsifying test scores. Asquith tells a classic story of succeeding against insurmountable odds.
With a foreword by bestselling author Mark Bowden and an introduction by award-winning educator Dr. Harry K. Wong, The Emergency Teacher will inspire every teacher—be they first-timers or experienced professionals—to make a difference.