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Up the Down Staircase

Publication date: Aug 11, 2014

The recent news that Bel Kaufman died at the age of 103 prompted me to reread her classic tale of a young teacher, fresh from her master’s in English literature, arriving at a New York City high school only to find out just how chaotic, disorganized, and discouraging life in a badly run bureaucracy can be.

Almost the entire book consists of documents — notes, assignments, memos, homework, and letters — that allow the reader to share the bewilderment of a new teacher being bombarded by memos demanding compliance with regulations regarding wooden lavatory passes, Accident Reports, and unauthorized student chalk-using — but holding no promise of help.

Read the full article on The Huffington Post Education.

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