“Superbly written and timely, Teaching in the Terrordome casts an unflinching gaze on one of America’s ‘dropout factory’ high schools. Though Teach For America often touts its most successful teacher stories, Lanier’s powerful memoir illuminates a more common experience of “Teaching For America” with thoughtful complexity, a poet’s eye, and an engaging voice.”—University of Missouri Press

Praise for Teaching in the Terrordome:

“I loved Teaching in the Terrordome. It’s a heart-wrenching, sometimes humorous, and much needed account of what it’s like to be a new teacher–one with smarts, courage, compassion and still–totally unprepared! Who could be prepared? I couldn’t put it down.” —Deborah Meier, author of In Schools We Trust, and Many Children Left Behind.

 

“What shall happen to us with our hope? Teaching in the Terrordome tackles the hardest possible questions, not only for educators, but for anyone who treads the line between optimism and the gritty reality of our age. Heather Kirn Lanier’s memoir is both compelling and wise.” —Stephen Kuusisto, author of Planet of the Blind

 

“Lanier is a fine writer with a refreshingly realistic story to tell. Few lives are saved and no achievement gaps are wiped out during her two years at a very bad Baltimore high school, but you get a vivid sense of what is wrong with the culture and organization of such places, and how much it will take to make them better. This book is, among other things, a great gift for a new teacher.” —Jay Mathews, Washington Post columnist and author of Work Hard. Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America.

“Heather Kirn Lanier’s insightful analysis of her experience as a new teacher provides readers with a unique vantage point for understanding what is wrong with American education. Her example shows us that it will take more than a few dedicated, young Teach for America Corp members to save America’s schools. In fact, this myth is perpetuating the mistaken notion that all we need to do is fire the “bad teachers”, and shut down the “bad schools” to solve the education dilemma. Lanier shows us that the problems are far more complex and she makes it clear that hard work and good intentions can never make up for failed policies and weak leadership at the state and federal level. Clear, well-written, candid and occasionally funny, this book is a must read for those who want to understand many of the problems facing urban schools and are willing to honestly consider what we must do to address them.”— Pedro A. Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, NYU and author of The Trouble With Black Boys and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education

[Order at UM Press and on Amazon.]