Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Teacher Reading about Teachers

The Blackboard Jungle
Evan Hunter

Really great novel! Once I got over the 50s hetero sexist male dominant ideals, I really enjoyed it. I got to the end and wanted it to go on. I love it when that happens! It's definitely embellished fiction, but not so far off the mark because I know of many teacher stories that people wouldn't believe it if they head them. I just checked IMDB and the movie looks really interesting. Shot in 1955, so here comes that 50s mentality that offends my somewhat feministic sensabilities, but stars Sidney Poitier as Gregory Miller, so definitely something to see. Tune in for the review! Dadier is an interesting character but I was most intrigued by the depiction of the hopeless school as a dumping ground for the trash of society. I completely felt Dadier's elation when he got through to that one class with the dragon story. I know what it's like to have a lesson bomb, and also what it's like to breakthrough to your students. This book is really good entertainment, and I would recommend it as a good story for anyone who enjoys scintilating fiction and not just for teachers. It's not so much a teacher novel, just a excellent story that happens have a teacher as its protagonist.

1 comment:

Amy Brown said...

Enh, I saw the movie and I was really disappointed. They changed some things which really weakened the story, glossed over some other bits... the usual novel-to-movie problems.

And it was plagued by the sensibilities of the time it was made: you know that scene where the one kid swears all over his tape recording and Dadier has to take it away? In the movie they changed "fucking" (which as I recall Hunter only alluded to in the book, but at least you knew what he meant) to "stinking", which of course renders the scene pretty much incomprehensible.

Very disappointing, all in all.