- Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta (University Press of Mississippi, 2016)
Author Michael Copperman joined Teach for America in 2002 and taught fourth grade for two years in the Mississippi Delta in rural black public schools. His memoir, Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta is the recollection of his experience teaching underprivileged children in rural Promise, Mississippi.
About Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta
From the publisher
When Michael Copperman left Stanford University for the Mississippi Delta in 2002, he imagined he would lift underprivileged children from the narrow horizons of rural poverty. Well-meaning but na ve, the Asian American from the West Coast soon lost his bearings in a world divided between black and white. He had no idea how to manage a classroom or help children navigate the considerable challenges they faced. In trying to help students, he often found he couldn’t afford to give what they required–sometimes with heartbreaking consequences. His desperate efforts to save child after child were misguided but sincere. He offered children the best invitations to success he could manage. But he still felt like an outsider who was failing the children and himself.
This book has been featured on several radio shows and podcasts including Think Out Loud (NPR), Wisconsin Public Radio, Mississippi Public Radio, and New Books In Education.
Teacher is also being used to help train and educate upcoming teachers and in English composition classrooms in universities.
Born in Eugene, Oregon, Copperman attended Washington Elementary School, Evergreen Elementary School, and Monroe Middle School. He graduated from South Eugene High School, where he was on the wrestling team.
He attended Stanford University on a wrestling scholarship where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English in 2002. He went on to obtain a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon.
Copperman teaches in the English Department at the University of Oregon. He is part of the Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence in the university’s English Department. Copperman facilitates and co-founded The Oregon Writer’s Collective which fosters developing writers.
Copperman’s writing has been published in the many magazines, online publications, and newspapers including the Oxford American, The Sun, Creative Nonfiction, Salon, The Oregonian, and Guernica.
- Munster Literature Center Fellowship
- Breadloaf Writer’s Conference Fellowship
- Oregon Literary Fellowship
- Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship
- Finalist for the Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonfiction (2018)
- Faculty Excellence Award – Center for Multicultural Academic Success
Read reviews and look inside the book on Amazon’s page for Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta
- Challenging reflections: Eugene native Michael Copperman shares his revelations teaching in Mississippi Delta (August, 2018)
- Interview with Michael Copperman from the Office of the Provost, University of Oregon
- Teaching Guide for Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta
- Senior Writing Instructor Mike Copperman a Finalist for the Oregon Book Award