One year, the most popular activity among the boys was soccer. It was so popular that a teacher had to act as referee. Otherwise the large group of 30 children would wreak havoc on one another. Imagine a pinball machine with each student’s two feet as the triggers. With 60 triggers, each game was exciting and then some.
At recess one afternoon, the black and white ball rolled toward the far goal with Joe and José in close pursuit. Both of their heads were down as they looked at the ball, and naturally they collided and fell to the ground. A simple accident, you might think, but not Joe.
This fierce athlete jumped to his feet, puffed out his chest, and assumed a stance similar to that of a king cobra threatening its enemy.
Within seconds, he’d pushed José back to the ground and jumped on top of him, and the two began rolling around, battling for control.
Mr. Olavarri ran to the boys faster than his aching knee would have liked and separated them. “Off this soccer field now,” he sternly ordered.
Joe screamed back with the entire fourth grade watching, “F*** you!”
The world needs more ``Lesson's from the Back of the Line`` by creative and compassionate educators like Joshua Duncan. His authenticity and insightful perspective casts a much needed light into the sometimes dark world of a declining educational model. As a lifelong educator, I'm grateful for his commitment to his craft and dedication to making the world a better place through his words and actions with today's youth
The stories made it feel as if I was right there in the classroom. Our youth are the future.
This book will awaken teachers of the reason they first pursued a career in education. Josh demonstrates how to love the whole child with empathy and compassion, and as a result of that students automatically desire to apply themselves to learning
Although Josh Duncan has always had a preternatural ability to see things as they truly are, his true gift is in molding them into what is good and right and then helping us to do that as well. His book is a handbook for life.
Josh lived the divide and inequity in public and a more privileged private education. I recall a timid young Josh who found acceptance in my theatre class. Lessons From the Back of the Line reveals his gentle heart and his commitment to education and service.
Josh Duncan gets people, he gets kids! He brought that connectivity into his classroom and made education fun and relatable. This book is a testimony of his life struggles and how he uses it to help others.
Josh emphasizes the importance of teaching students to take responsibility and ownership for their actions. This is an important life skill that will benefit them beyond the classroom.
As a teacher who's previously worked with Josh, I witnessed his ability to relate to students. I observed him make connections in a way that made students excited to learn and actually enjoy attending school.
Josh understands the challenge and need of educators to educate the WHOLE child. His passion and desire to see youth reach their fullest potential resonates throughout this book.
Josh empathizes with the effort teachers have to put in everyday while empathizing with students and their experiences. He knows that only through empathy teachers have a real impact in students' lives.
Nearly 20% of every preorder of Lessons From the Back of the Line will be donated to Ascension Leadership Group, a non profit providing mentorship through leadership in Dallas, Tx. Thank you for making a difference.
Join Joshua Duncan on his pursuit to overcome the obstacles of poverty in a lower income elementary school. Lessons from the Back of the Line: How Teachers Change the Trajectory of Lower Income Students is a collection of true stories told by a former teacher who has lived through the same challenges his lower income students face. From incarcerated family members to abandonment, from a fundamental lack of knowledge on issues ranging from money management to eating healthy foods, from highlighting the desperate need of mentors for his students to teaching them how to control their anger and develop problem-solving skills, Josh offers an intimate portrait of why he became a teacher to impoverished students.
A poignant, thoughtful, and practical memoir, this groundbreaking book explores the many challenges these teachers, not to mention their students, face. An entrepreneur, CEO of the marketing firm Software Blueprint, LLC, and founder of the non-profit Ascension Leadership Group uplifting lower income youth, Josh reveals how, working together, dedicated teachers can help lower income students overcome the odds stacked against them.