Wednesday, September 19, 2012
From the moment she stepped into a classroom as a teacher, Melinda Ehrlich was destined to write this book. With her trusty notepad at her side, she documented her experiences - from her students' zany antics to the bureaucratic directives that were issued. Her journals, filled with stories and anecdotes, have shaped this extraordinary memoir, painting a vivid picture of her life as a New York City English teacher. Ehrlich's positive approach and fiery spirit enabled her to thrive within the largest public school system in America. You will meet the vocational high school girls who couldn't open their notebooks until their hair and nails dried, the wannabe mobster who greeted Ms. Ehrlich with "Hi ya doll!" in the hallways, and the forger who insisted he and his mother shared identical signatures. But it wasn't all sunshine and daisies. She had her share of intense encounters with troubled students that tested the boundaries not only of education but of human perseverance and understanding. All of these and more make up the students she "couldn't erase." A lightning bolt of inspiration, Take Off Your Hat and Spit Out Your Gum is a must-read for the over three million teachers in the U.S. today. This is the remarkably entertaining story of a teacher who rode the rollercoaster for over 30 years and exited clicking her heels, still believing there's no place like school.