Download previews of Literally Unbelievable: Stories from an East Oakland Classroom:
The first installment includes Bronwyn’s initial reaction to the neighborhood and her reasons for recording the students’ stories, as well as her own. She explains why the school and home environments are crucial to learning and illustrates the continuous struggles that teachers in under-resourced communities face. The wealth of a community should not determine the educational outcome for a student. Personal stories show how a caring teacher and support from the greater community can make a lasting difference.
This second installment discusses the importance of safety in a learning environment. It was a challenge to teach during lockdowns or when children were suffering from PTSD — and police and community relations often exacerbated the trauma. Bronwyn’s experiences also demonstrate the difficulties of a dysfunctional administration and a high-stakes testing culture.