In this chapter the author reminisces about his own experience teaching in urban classrooms. While some teachers are "on fire" in the classroom, others are drowning or barely treading water. As a teacher, sometime in your career you too will feel yourself somewhere along that range of fire and water. Not every class of every day will be worthy of the next feel-good Hollywood screenplay. Don't worry, it's not you. But, after you get some experience under your belt, you'll also find that not every day is a just-getting-by day, either.
Great quote, from page 54:
"The point, for me, is that a teacher's work must be at once grounded in the challenges of the present moment and directed toward the hope of a better future, of what might be. In that respect, the saving grace, always, is the kids themselves."