Teach with your Heart

Teach with Your Heart: Lessons I Learned from the Freedom Writers by Erin Gruwell

Erin Gruwell, the teacher who inspired the Freedom Writers, wrote her own memoir, which was published in January, 2007. Much of it echoes what we learned about her in the movie – that she was a new teacher saddled with kids labeled “unteachable,” that she used her own funds to keep them interested and motivated, that her marriage suffered for it.

What the movie doesn’t show, but shines through in Gruwell’s writing, is the wonder she feels as each thing she needed clicked into place. A contact made once leads to funding for a computer lab, some of her kids getting jobs, etc., and every time something happens she’s squealing with as much – if not more – delight than the students in her classroom.