Frenk McCourt (author of Angela’s Ashes) has a splendid book entitled Teacher Man. It’s about his time teaching in New York City schools. Weaving together the joys and frustrations of teaching, the exciting melting pot that is NYC, and a strong Irish class-consciousness, it’s a rollicking read. McCourt describes enticing kids to write by having them write fake excuse notes, the son whose father died at the moment the rest of the family were in the next room watching Armstrong set foot on the moon, and the black student who wants to be a doctor and gets taunted for ‘acting white’ in his local neighbourhood. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Read it.
An aside: I picked up the paperback for 8 Euros in Frankfurt airport. It’ll be out in paperback in Australia in October, for A$30. My recollection is that Australia abolished our ban on parallel importing of books in 2003. So is market size the only explanation for the price gap?