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by Garret Keizer
Harper’s contributor Keizer chronicles his return to teaching at a rural Vermont high school 14 years after his departure. One of Keizer's former students was now the principal, all the students now possessed smartphones, and teaching to the test was more common than before. Some phenomena had not changed, however: the motivated students, the indifferent students, the time-consuming lesson plans, the seemingly endless grading of essays, the individual crises of students at home and in the hallways, as well as the occasional classroom revolts that any teacher would have difficulty controlling. … The author never romanticizes classroom teaching, and he skillfully compares his own admittedly challenging daily tasks to the even more difficult tasks willingly undertaken by his wife and his adult daughter, who teach special needs children.
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