Addressing Students' Social-Emotional Needs
The Freedom Writers Teacher Institute will help you #BetheTeacher you want to see in the world.
The Teacher Institute is a 5-day intensive workshop in Long Beach, CA, led by renowned educator Erin Gruwell. While most professional development for educators emphasizes pedagogy or classroom management, Ms. G’s primary focus at the Institute is developing you, the educator, as an individual. You step into her classroom as a student, and leave better prepared to empower your own students.
- First-hand insights about Ms. G’s teaching methodology
- A full tool chest of activities, frameworks, and lesson plans
- A renewed sense of purpose in the classroom
- Exclusive access to the global Freedom Writer Teacher network
Apply today for an upcoming Institute!
Dear Freedom Writer
The students of today tell their stories of adversity and growth in letters to the original Freedom Writers—authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Freedom Writers Diary—who write supportive and powerful letters in response.
Over twenty years ago, the students in first-year teacher Erin Gruwell’s high school class in Long Beach, California, were labeled “unteachable”—but she saw past that. Instead of treating them as scores on a test, she understood that each of them had a unique story to tell. Inspired by books like Anne Frank’s diary, her students began writing their own diaries, eventually dubbing themselves the Freedom Writers. Together, they co-authored The Freedom Writers Diary, which launched a movement that remains incredibly relevant and impactful today. Their stories speak to young people who feel as if those around them do not care about their lives, their feelings, and their struggles. They want to be heard; they want to be seen.
In Dear Freedom Writer, the next generation of Freedom Writers shares its struggles with abuse, racism, discrimination, poverty, mental health, imposed borders, LGBTQIA+ identity, and police violence. Each story is answered with a letter of advice from an original Freedom Writer. With empathy and honesty, they address these young people not with the platitudes of a politician or a celebrity, but with the pragmatic advice of people who have dealt with these same issues and come out on the other side.
Through its eye-opening and inspiring stories, Dear Freedom Writer paints an unflinchingly honest portrait of today’s youth and offers a powerful message of perseverance, understanding, and hope.
The Freedom Writers Diary
Erin Gruwell was confronted with a room of high school freshman students labeled “unteachable.” Four years later, these same students were graduating and publishing their stories of overcoming adversity in The Freedom Writers Diary.
With powerful, first-hand accounts from students struggling in the streets of Long Beach, The Freedom Writers Diary is an unforgettable example for teens of how hard work, courage, and determination changed the lives of a teacher and her students.
To date, The Freedom Writers Diary has become popular in classrooms, sold more than one million copies, and has been translated in over a dozen languages.
Teaching Hope unites the voices of these Freedom Writer Teachers, who share uplifting, devastating, and poignant stories from their classrooms, stories that provide insight into the struggles and triumphs of education in all of its forms.
Mirroring an academic year, these dispatches from the front lines of education take us from the anticipation of the first day to the disillusionment, challenges, and triumphs of the school year. These are the voices of teachers who persevere in the face of intolerance, rigid administration, and countless other challenges, and continue to reach out and teach those who are deemed unteachable. Their stories inspire everyone to make a difference in the world around them.
Teach with Your Heart
Teach with Your Heart, Erin Gruwell’s personal memoir, takes a deeper look into the educator who changed the lives of 150 at-risk teens. Her book chronicles her years with the Freedom Writers and surpasses The Freedom Writers Diary and the film Freedom Writers to share how the lessons learned from the Freedom Writers continue to change her life.
In this passionate, poignant, and deeply personal memoir and call to arms, Erin Gruwell, the dynamic teacher who nurtured an extraordinary group of high school students from Long Beach, California, who called themselves the Freedom Writers, picks up where The Freedom Writers Diary—and the hit movie Freedom Writers—left off and brings the reader up to date on where the Freedom Writers are today.
The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher’s Guide
The Freedom Writers Diary Teacher’s Guide is a class supplement that shares Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writer Teacher’s standard-based, educational strategies and techniques for shifing a classroom into a space for students to grow.
Here, Gruwell goes in depth and shares her unconventional but highly successful educational strategies and techniques (all 150 of her students, who had been deemed “unteachable,” graduated from Wilson High School in Long Beach, California): from her very successful “toast for change” (an exercise in which Gruwell exhorted her students to leave the past behind and start fresh) to writing exercises that focus on the importance of journal writing, vocabulary, and more.