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Book details
  • SubGenre:Special Education / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:236
  • eBook ISBN:9781626752917

Skullcaps 'n' Switchblades

by Dr. David Lazerson

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Author Dr. David Lazerson is not ashamed to document his fears, mistakes, and apprehensions in this well-written memoir regarding his first year of teaching. Because of this, Skullcaps ‘n’ Switchblades is a compelling book, full of heart, humor, and realism. This story is about a sincerely committed Orthodox Jew who is hired to teach learning disabled students in an inner-city school. He puts it best when he asks himself the question, “Can skullcaps & switchblades ever learn to get along?”
Some of us choose professions in our youth and never stray from that vision. Others among us seem to have our vocations thrust upon us, as if the hand of the Almighty carved a pathway not of our choosing. For teacher David Lazerson, this scenario was his reality. By the time he finally embraced the idea of becoming an educator, he was full of idealism, determination, and hopefulness. Little did he realize that his starry-eyed vision of impacting young people’s lives would be tested on the grounds of an ill-reputed inner-city school, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community School, in Buffalo, NY. Skullcaps ‘n’ Switchblades is a descript title for this book. Mr. Laz, as his students learn to call him, is a committed Orthodox Jew who attempts to teach, communicate, and survive his first teaching job in this challenging environment. He asks himself, quite simply, whether skullcaps & switchblades can ever get along. Through an honest re-telling of these amazing events, Dr. David Lazerson paints a compelling portrait of two distinct cultures, and the insights gained through these experiences. Skullcaps ‘n Switchblades will have you laughing out loud, shedding some tears, and feeling inspired.
About the author
Dr. Lazerson, PhD, has been teaching special needs students for more than 35 years. He remains enthusiastic about any student's ability to not only to learn, but to flourish. In his first eBook, "We're all Special Needs...Teach Me if you Can!" Dr. Laz shares the tools he utilizes to pique student's interest, tap into their imagination, and spark their curiosity. He insists that "everyone is unique, worthy, and capable of adding something to the world that no one else can;" and his student-centered experiential-based methodologies help students recognize this fact for themselves. In his newest book, "Skullcaps ‘n’ Switchblades," Dr. Laz provides a heartfelt look at his first year of teaching. The fact that his first-ever teaching assignment would take place in a school consisting of street-wise adolescents in a primarily-black neighborhood made him a bit apprehensive, at first. Would he, as a young Orthodox Jew who wore the traditional skullcap and tzitzis, be accepted in this environment? "Could skullcaps & switchblades possibly get along?" Obviously, Dr. Lazerson did something right that first year. Within two years of beginning his notable career, he received The Teacher of the Year Award in recognition of the fresh ideas and innovations he implemented at his very first tenured position. Later, he would receive the prestigious Holland's Opus Award, and a second Teacher of the Year Award while addressing the needs of severely handicapped students at Broward County Schools in Florida. In 2008 he became of five inductees into the National Teacher's Hall of Fame. He says of his teaching style, "I am not a teacher, I am an awakener."