Be Honest: And Other Advice from Students Across the Countryby Ninive Calegari, Neko Case
Be Honest is the newest innovative publishing project from 826 National, the tutoring center founded by bestselling author Dave Eggers, now with branches in eight cities nationwide. Eggers’s co-founder Nínive Calegari, the former CEO of 826 National and a co-author of the bestselling Teachers Have It Easy, presents a riveting book full of/i>/i>
Be Honest is the newest innovative publishing project from 826 National, the tutoring center founded by bestselling author Dave Eggers, now with branches in eight cities nationwide. Eggers’s co-founder Nínive Calegari, the former CEO of 826 National and a co-author of the bestselling Teachers Have It Easy, presents a riveting book full of surprising insights from young people who have a lot to say to their teachers.
Be Honest presents the first-person stories of dozens of high school students from every ethnic group and financial bracket: a girl from an immigrant family is put in an ESL class even though her English is fluent; an African American boy talks about the social pressures that prevent him from asking his teacher for help; and a privileged private school student describes his transition to public schooland reports that he was able to learn more with the increased freedom it brought.
Through these personal narratives, teachers and activists will learn an invaluable lesson: what the classroom looks like from the other side of the desk.
Insightful observations and useful ideas abound in these writings by participants in 826 National, a nonprofit San Franciscobased tutoring program focused on writing. In these "Letters to Teachers," edited by Nínive Calegari, the program's cofounder (along with Dave Eggers), the writers address specific "teachers who had an impact on their lives." All the writers are teenagers, and the essays focus on a wide range of subjects: the section "Vignettes Inspired by Sherman Alexie" recalls events from primary through high school. Another section addresses a phrase from James Baldwin, "prepared to 'go for broke,' as a starting point and assesses the state of American education. One student writes: "I have witnessed the dismantling of the California public education system, one budget cut at a time." Another group of essays explores how schools would look if the students ran them: cleaner bathrooms and working water fountains, more innovative use of space, and a rethinking of metal detectors. The collection is fresh and as informing as much research-oriented work. In pithy, pertinent, and affecting writings, the students advise administrators to make "sure good teachers [are] running all of the classes," and urge teachers to "raise their expectations of all students so that precious potential will not be lost."
- New Press, The
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Meet the Author
Nínive Calegari is the co-founder of 826 Valencia, and the former CEO of 826 National. She is a co-author (with Daniel Moulthrop and Dave Eggers) of Teachers Have It Easy. She lives in San Francisco.
Neko Case is an American singer-songwriter. Her album Middle Cyclone was released in March 2009. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.
826 National is a nonprofit tutoring, writing, and publishing organization with locations in Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. It is the recipient of a 2010 Jim Henson Community Honor Award and a 2010 Innovations in Reading Prize from the National Book Foundation.
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