STUDENT GIVES TEACHER THE FINGER screams the Post headline after Patrick Lynch slams his classroom door on the hand of Josh Mishkin, the learning-disabled son of two NYU professors. Josh’s injury casts Patrick, thirty-year-old son of the Midwest, down a New York City rabbit hole of Board of Ed bureaucracy and union politics. Transformed into an unwilling celebrity by his fellow inmates in that teacher purgatory, the Rubber Room, Mr. Lynch is suddenly more “at risk” than any of his students.
Now he must fight his way back to his classroom at Marcus Garvey High School and reclaim the affections of his social worker fiancée, all while wrestling the legend of his late father, Superintendent Lynch, the pride of Peterson’s Prairie, Minnesota. Written with pathos and wit, Class Dismissed offers a fresh lens on the urban teacher tale, an intimate view of teaching and learning that reveals how the tensions—and absurdities—of inner-city education can lead a young teacher to a surprising path of self-discovery and a belated coming-of-age.
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