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Crazy is Normal: a classroom exposé by [Lofthouse, Lloyd]
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Crazy is Normal: a classroom exposé Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 387 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

"Readers who envision eager students lapping up learning led by a Tiger Teacher will be disappointed. Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult. Throughout this journal, though, Lofthouse seems able to keep the hope alive that there’s a future for each student that doesn’t include jail—thanks in large part to his sixth period journalism class and its incredible editor, Amanda." – Bruce Reeves

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1282 KB
  • Print Length: 387 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0986032859
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Three Clover Press (13 June 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L00EM8A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,030,951 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed getting to know this teacher and his student body. An interesting time and place snapshot with universal themes. Literacy and discipline are the key themes in this story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 33 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading 31 October 2014
By Mindy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds. It is well written by a man clearly passionate about the subject. The writing contains humor, objective information, and passion. It is also often negative and opinionated.

I have been a public school English teacher and I am a parent of two children. I agree that it is unfair to hold teachers accountable for student’ lack of work. Many students have backgrounds that make school challenging. Some student’s only eat when school is in session because there is not enough food at home and some come from truly horrific backgrounds that result in school being the least of their worries. That said some teachers are incompetent or lazy and unwilling to work with any student, particularly one who has special needs.

My son is on the autistic spectrum and my daughter is not. BOTH of my children could be considered “difficult” children at times. And I am definitely a difficult parent….I have highly active in my children’s education but I do not always take the teacher’s word for it because I have had teachers who didn’t like my child and made their life difficult. That said, I also expect the highest standards from my children. I found the negativity toward parents to be off-putting. Parents were almost uniformly presented in a negative light which was disappointing. Parents and teachers must work together and support one another…and I come from a family of educators so I know it is possible.

This book is a clear look into the education system with all its foibles, but has the potential to bring many emotions to the surface. Definitely worth the read.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We need more classroom journal-keepers as honest as this one 11 July 2014
By Unhirsute - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lots of teachers I know wish they had kept a daily journal as detailed as Lofthouse's; you forget so much. He's done old teachers a favor, and will have them nodding their heads -- "yes, that's the way it was." Parents and teachers who live in lusher locations may turn their nose up at his toughness and military approach to classroom rules, but in the long run it's the students who profited. Someday maybe someone will keep a similar journal and write a parallel account of life in a "nice" school classroom. A great read that gradually moves the reader from a sense of "crazy" to a sense of "maybe there's hope."
4.0 out of 5 stars Remember when you went to school???? 2 May 2017
By CAHarrold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Keeps you engaged and enrages you at the same time. Schools are not what anyone over 40 remembers. Worth reading to know what is going on with our education system.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sending your kid to school? Read this book! 9 August 2016
By Josey Jacques - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you think the failure of children in inner city classrooms is the teachers’ fault, you need to read this book. This book is what it says: an exposé of what happens inside the classroom of a dedicated teacher in an inner city school. There is no plot or particular theme, just the day-by-day goings on of Lloyd Lofthouse in his high school classes some twenty odd years ago.

For 13 years, I taught in an inner-city school as well. Even though it was at the elementary level, I relived my own many nightmares and frustrations while reading this book. Parents of the worst-behaved kids never showing up for conferences? Check. Worthless workshops and "School Improvement Plans"? Check. Kids talking back incessantly and refusing to do work? Check. Me exhausted at the end of every school day? Check.

Two critiques of this book. First, Lloyd mentions the statistic that children who aren’t reading by Kindergarten are by and large doomed to be failures in life. This may be true for children who are sent to school and who do not receive a lot of academic support at home. But it is totally false for homeschooled children, many of whom are late readers – but when they do learn to read, they catch up with their peers in a year or two.

Second critique, and related: Lloyd implies that the answer to the problem of public education is putting more responsibility and children and parents. I disagree. The answer is twofold: first, people who do not want to, or for whatever reason cannot, do right by their kids should not have kids in the first place; and two, those parents who are left should educate their children in the most natural, relaxing environment possible: their home and community.

Lloyd and I have this in common: we are impossible idealists.

I am homeschooling my son. Because of what I experienced as a teacher. Enough said.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nogales is an interesting school with some amazing qualities that might surprise most people 12 July 2014
By GailtheReader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lloyd Lofthouse has written a powerful memoir in Crazy Normal that took me back to time we shared at Nogales High School. His reflections and anecdotes based on his daily journal brought so many memories of my own teaching experiences there. This is not fiction, but retelling of events that might give insight for many into the challenges a teacher faces every day.
Nogales is an interesting school with some amazing qualities that might surprise most people. The school itself is nestled among several diverse communities in Southern California. Our kids came to us from middle class to lower economic backgrounds. The ethnic make-up ranged to include everyone and everything with a dominance of the Hispanic groups. The kids with Spanish surnames came from Mexico (upper and lower classes), the Philippines, Honduras, Columbia, etc. This diversity made it necessary for teachers to try to reach students past the barrier of limited English skills, or those whose parents had no schooling, as well as parents who were professional people, the wealthy, the poor, and everything in between. Our teachers worked miracles every day.
Part of a small school district just east of Los Angeles, Nogales sprang up quickly as many families tried to escape the “big city” problems of LA to find a home in a more country-like setting. The early neighborhoods included some housing that required extra money if the buyers wanted concrete floors. In the early days of my teaching, some of my students shared their sleeping quarters with farm animals that wondered at will from the yard to the dirt flooring under the roofs. These were the “Happy Homes” of La Puente.
Lofthouse’s journal shows a later picture of the community. The kids who populate the pages of his memoir don’t have dirt floors, but many of them are still new to the country and the language. Some are headed to colleges and universities while others, if they graduate from high school, might be the first of their families to achieve that diploma.
Though he doesn’t use the real names of his students, I was able to recognize quite a few o f his main characters. Lloyd’s frustration with his Scrollies, the staff members of the school newspaper, often included kids I had in my own English classes. Like Lloyd, I advised the Scroll for many years and Mr. Lofthouse took it over one or two years after me. While my battles over the school newspaper had been with an administration who wanted to control it, Lloyd’s were with students who were resistant to his demands and with parents who, often, were not supportive.
I had to take breaks from reading when Lloyd described the grueling and frustrating teachers’ meetings. These were not times I wanted to revisit now that I have retired after thirty-seven years of teaching. But like Lloyd, my good memories are of the students who walked through my doors every day. I revel in their accomplishments and their ability to overcome huge societal obstacles in order to succeed. Nogales is a place like many other American high schools where crazy is normal.
I applaud Lloyd Lofthouse for his dedication and hard work on behalf of kids who needed someone who cared enough to help his students learn and grow. His story is worth telling—and worth the read.

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