After teaching school for over twelve years Denise Chase has written a hilarious and astonishingly candid journal chronicling one of her years as a middle school teacher.
Though comedic her journal has a serious side as well. It gives vivid and often appalling vignettes of students hopelessly preoccupied with themselves and pop culture officials presiding over a dysfunctional and foundering system teachers grappling with frustrations and sometimes leaving the profession and parents deluded into thinking their kids are blameless angels whose poor grades must be the fault of teachers.
We meet earnest students who despite grim home lives are determined to succeed and unruly students who with some prodding decide to turn their lives around. And at the end we experience the pride in seeing 8th graders ''cross the stage'' and go on to new life challenges.
The Whiteboard Jungle should be read by teachers prospective teachers and perhaps most importantly by parents of students.