In his introduction, Emdin states the following:

In this work, the term white folks is an obvious racial classification, but it also identifies a group that is associated with power and the use of power to disempower others.

He goes on to explain that this tendency is a function of training and something for everyone who teaches to be aware of. Particularly when we teach students who live with the traumas associated with race and poverty. It's a reminder that our job is, in part, to see our students as individuals first - complete, complex individuals who bring with them a variety of interests, strengths, challenges, and life experiences.

The remainder of the book is a how-to guide. Emdin spends his time and talent outlining ways of authentically connecting with students and building a way of teaching that is both respectful of and responsive to the individuals who populate our classes. And he does it with his own pedagogy in mind, offering specific ideas and examples from his own experience that demonstrate both successes and set backs.

The book also reminded me of all the reasons I wanted to get into education back when I was still in high school. Emdin paints a picture of the classroom as a vibrant, energized, interactive space capable of shifting to reflect the reality of both the time and the people within it. I read it with pen and highlighter in hand, taking notes, marking pages, turning it into the reference I will need to move my own learning forward.

And so I'm going to do something I rarely do here, and recommend this one for anyone who works with kids.