My name is Ellie Herman. This blog, Gatsby In L.A., is my record of my sabbatical from teaching during the 2013-14 school year, during which I visited high school English classrooms across the socioeconomic spectrum in order to answer two questions:
- What’s a great teacher?
2. What do we mean when we say “a good education?”
Before writing this blog, I taught English and electives at a charter high school in South Los Angeles. Along the way, I talked to dozens of teachers, administrators and parents, sat in many, many classrooms, and connected with readers in Los Angeles and beyond. Several of my posts went viral, picked up by other, larger blogs and shared by teachers on social media. My most popular post was “Why Do Teachers Obsess that They’re Not Good Enough?”
Even now, two years after I stopped posting, teachers continue to seek out this site, sometimes very late in the night. I don’t have easy answers to anything, but I hope that these posts, and my search here, can provide community.
If you are one of those teachers, this blog is dedicated to you, out of respect for your choice to give so much every day when our educational system sometimes does not honor, respect or prepare us for the essential work that we do. I hope that this blog can introduce you to other teachers who also work so hard for the dream that every child has an equal right to an education.
Thank you for all that you do every day for the next generation.