The First-Year Urban High School Teacher: Holding the Torch, Lighting the Fire tracks co-author Paul Weinberg during his first year of teaching as he is introduced to the daily tribulations of an urban Los Angeles high school. Paul's father, Carl Weinberg, who fifty years earlier himself began his career in education as an urban secondary school teacher, shares his experiences side-by-side with those of his son. Together they reveal parallels between Carl's former problems in the urban classroom and the problems his son faces. Though some things have changed, there have not been nearly as many changes as one would have hoped. Interwoven with the father-son anecdotes of personal experience in teaching is a careful scholarly examination of the areas of social and cultural disorganization that the new teacher confronts with students, teachers, administrators, policy makers, and parents as he or she navigates through the behemoth of urban schooling.
Carl Weinberg is a professor emeritus in the Graduate School of Education at UCLA where he taught the sociology of education and curriculum studies. He began his teaching career in 1955 and taught in inner-city secondary schools in Philadelphia and Los Angeles for six years. For the past ten years of his tenure at UCLA he worked in teacher education where he introduced perspectives from humanistic and confluent education to prospective teachers. Paul J. Weinberg spent two years teaching mathematics at Leuzinger High School, a traditional urban school in Lawndale, California. He left Leuzinger to help with the start-up process of a public charter school in San Jose, California, working for the Leadership Public Schools organization as the mathematics department chair and head of assessment. He is currently doing doctoral work at Vanderbilt University's Peabody School of Education and Human Development with an academic focus on mathematics and science education.
Chapter 1: Autobiographical Note from Paul Chapter 2: Incoming Chapter 3: Making Decisions Chapter 4: Dealing with Failure Chapter 5: Collegiality and Social Class Chapter 6: Loosening Up and Seeing the Social Problems Chapter 7: The New Year Chapter 8: Second Semester: Old Patterns, New Insights Chapter 9: Visions of Failure Chapter 10: April Flowers and Doubters Chapter 11: Emersion Chapter 12: They Smell Summer Chapter 13: Conclusion