Books That Inspire 2003

Up the Down Staircase
Bel Kaufman

Up the Down Staircase tells the story of Sylvia Barrett, a first-year teacher making the transition from the ivy-covered halls of her college to a high school where some of her students must sit on the floor. Bel Kaufman's forty year-old book is a mixture of bulletin boards, interoffice memos, bulletins from the principal, letters, homework – any of which might still be seen in a classroom. This book showed me the reality of teaching. I remembered it during my first year when I, too, learned to deal with incomprehensible announcements that ended with the phrase “let it be a challenge to you.”
Timothy Jones
Academic Counselor
University College