In the course of a few decades, I became separated from my copy of “Up the Down Staircase,” Bel Kaufman’s classic novel about a New York. Unit 5 Up The Down Staircase Солодокова Анастасия ИЯ АМБ The text under analysis is called “Up The Down Staircase” and written by an American. Bel Kaufman, a former New York City schoolteacher whose classic first novel, “ Up the Down Staircase” — shot through with despair and.

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It achieves this in large part by mixing long-form letters to a close friend with the short memos and comment box entries.

One morning a boy came to class three months late. This is one of those rare cases in which I liked the movie better than the book. Because Esquire in the early s had refused to publish fiction by women, Belle Kaufman had submitted her work under the androgynous first name “Bel,” and has published under that name ever bfl.

Publication of Bel Kaufman’s “Up the Down Staircase” | Jewish Women’s Archive

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. If you want to laugh a little and be reminded about why you became a teacher in the first place, you can’t go wrong wtaircase this book! I have found a book to add to my collection of inspiration-to-stay-a-teacher-media; I found it just in time.

Learn how your comment data is processed. Feb 10, Matthew Gallant rated it really liked it. This article needs additional citations for verification. Started re-reading this classic masterpiece — which somehow never made it on my GR bookshelves before! The novel is epistolary ; aside from opening and closing chapters consisting entirely of dialogue the story is told through memos from the office, fragments of notes dropped in the trash can, essays handed in to be graded, lesson plans, suggestions dropped in the class suggestion box, and most often by inter-classroom notes that are a dialogue between Sylvia and an older teacher.

I asked if she thought it was weird that the book never talked about the race issues of the t I learned that white people back in the sixties don’t talk about racism much less the complexities of race. I tend to doubt it. The author, Bel Kaufman, was an educator for over thirty years. No, no, others cried, that’s frustration and defeat!


For me, and later for her, there were a few great teachers who stood out and made learning a desired thing for it’s own sake.

Publication of Bel Kaufman’s “Up the Down Staircase”

It’s easy to be brilliant for a term or a kaufamn, much harder to find the heart to keep going, as Sylvia’s co-worker and mentor, Bea has. I had seen the movie by staircaze same title starring Sandy Dennis, so I jumped at the chance to read the fictional book on which the movie was based.

I was never in a school with a problem with minorities, neither is 60’s America in any way close to me as far as ideals and ideas go. Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site. That got sort of irritating too though I know that students’ love for a new and caring teacher can be like that and that much of it can be attributed, as hers was, to her wardrobe, but still. A true teacher ought to make pupils be involved and motivated, so that they could enlarge their knowledge.

It was still a very entertaining and enlightening novel, though no doubt some of the same battles are still being fought in the public schools to this day. And for any teacher who hasn’t read this book, you should.

Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. I can see why it has attained classic status. I would have liked some more roundedness.

A lady and i were sitting next to each other in the bart station and she mentioned that she went to an inner city school in New York when this book came out in fown sixties. Chronicling kaufmqn first tentative steps into a classroom chock full of idealism and short on any real preparation, Saircase shows the hearts and minds of students – and teachers and principals- for what they truly are, as well as the sea of senseless and dehumanizing paperwork that was laugh out loud funny in its clever irony and utter stupidity.

May 06, Boris rated it really liked it. I was never a teacher, but I was certainly a student, as was my daughter. Help Center Find new research papers in: Aug 29, rivka rated it really liked it Recommends it for: She has such a crushing workload of essays and papers to grade from her students, that she has no personal life at all.

Of course, it is not easy to correspond to them, but teachers are not to give it up, staitcase though they think all their efforts are doomed to failure. Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically. She is torn because she feels she can do good staurcase the public high school and that would be satisfying, but at the same time she is bureaucratically frustrated and demoralized by perceived failures.


Bel Kaufman was a substitute teacher who bounced between public high schools in New York because her Ukrainian accent was considered a little thick.

Bel Kaufman Took Us ‘Up The Down Staircase’ : NPR

You are commenting using your Twitter account. I am admittedly biased. In one high school, in a special annex for boys, two tall boys served as my bodyguards when I walked down the hall.

Ok, yes, I’m a sucker for all things teacher, and especially English teacher, but this book truly is outstanding. I also adore books told completely through notes, letters, memos, and such, which makes it perfect. I loved this book when I first read it at age 15, and I love it still. It has been translated into 16 languages, and has sold 6. The first one is that the pupils try to go up but fail due to teachers.

Up the Down Staircase

Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www. Click here to sign up. Many of her inner city students are at risk of dropping out, have haphazard home lives, and little parental staircass, yet she soon learns that most are just crying out for someone to notice them, to care about them.

Bel Kaufman will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Jewish Women’s Archive at its annual luncheon on March 10, She liked to tell a story about a student who came in late. Therefore, tge are told that she is a good teacher, but we never see kaurman as a good teacher. The novel uses a series of memos, directives, student comments, teachers’ notes, and various materials drawn from school wastepaper baskets to detail a new idealistic teacher’s encounters with the administrative bureaucracy of an inner-city school.

There is only one main character in the fragment of the story — Sylvia Barrett.