The 9th Grade Experiment

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About Suzanne Rosenwasser

Suzanne McLain Rosenwasser is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times. She has taught high school for 23 years and works with at-risk ninth grade boys. Suzanne's fiction can be found on the iApp etherbooks, where a few of her short stories are among its top 25 best sellers.

Comments

  1. Leslie Droogan says:

    You go girl!!! Wow, am I impressed!

  2. I have goosebumps reading this. The arc of the story is so satisfying without pandering to the reader with some wished-for ending. Of all these troubled boys, some get better and that’s the best we can hope for. To pass at least 3 classes, to get a dunk shot over the principal – who truly has been their “pal” – all of this is what makes for great fiction. But it’s not. It’s real life and it’s all over America. Thanks be to teachers like you who have dedicated your lives and opened your arms to these kids whose own families lack the tools to give them the life they deserve. I hope there will be more stories coming in your column.

  3. It’s an honor to be your friend.Your whole family would be so proud…

  4. Lynne MdGrail says:

    “We can be human only together.”……. Suzanne, you are an inspirtation!!! We need more like you.
    Thanks so much for sharing. I will pass this along. It’s so easy to become jaded and to give up. You give them HOPE and LOVE!!!!
    Keep it up!
    xxxooo

  5. Suzanne, I’ve known you are an exceptional writer. This genuine and heart-felt article reveals what an exceptional teacher you are. You are living the Desmond Tutu quote! Warmly, Barbara

  6. Roger Durham says:

    Ditto on the goosebumps. This is an exceptional story.

  7. Jocelyn says:

    Awesome.

  8. Love it. Inspiring.

  9. Too bad every kid doesn’t have this class.

  10. THIS is why teachers are heroes.

  11. Doesn’t everyone need a class like this to so me degree?

  12. Yes, she is doing great work,but the impression I am left with is that these boys don’t trust male authority because it has failed them.Excuse me but myself and too many men to mention do and have done what she does- for little or no compensation. I am not saying that she shouldn’t be paid. But her story is tilted,slanted and pretends to speak on the lives of all at risks boys.The impression left by this story is too typical of white female liberalism. It says nothing about the struggles and stressors faced by men of color. It says nothing about the shaming and abuse many of these boy’s suffer from their mother’s. Nor does it say that men of color across this country have arich history of raising and caring for boy’s who are not there own. There are lots of men of color who do far more and get far less credit than she does.I for one am sick and tired of white women like this getting all the props, while others get none. On this site,for telling a similar story of my work with youth,I was condemned as a braggart!Only two people,both men of color,said good job. We tell the boy’s we work with I love you all the time!.

  13. I have been doing this kind of work for too long to mention in one of the toughest cities in America-Oakland Ca.Simply telling an at risk kid, “I love you,” is not and does not magically transform them; in my experience, that’s a Disneyesque fairytale. The same kid you just said that to may,in the next breath, curse you out! The same kid will still sell drugs tomorrow,will still miss class tomorrow and will still curse you and be disrespectful. All this article does is sugarcoat the kind of and amount of work it takes to make a difference in the lives of these boy’s. It takes months and years of being there for them to help them.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by suzanne rosenwasser, Benoit Denizet-Lewis. Benoit Denizet-Lewis said: The 9th Grade Experiment – http://goodmenproject.com/2010/06/01/the-9th-grade-experiment/ [...]

  2. [...] the school where I teach, many of the students are products of uncommunicative, insensitive, or entirely absent adults. [...]

  3. [...] part 1 of Believing in Boys, click here. Part 2, click here. Part 3, click here. Part 4, click [...]

  4. [...] part 1 of Believing in Boys, click here. Part 2, click here. Part 3, click here. Part 4, click [...]

  5. [...] the school where I teach, many of the students are products of uncommunicative, insensitive, or entirely absent adults. [...]

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