Three years ago, Stuart Albright decided to quit his job as a public high school teacher. Despite numerous awards and accolades over a 17-year career, he felt empty and burned out. So Albright started to ask hard questions about what it means to serve others and what it means to be unselfish. His newest book, This is the Good Thing, is the result of that struggle – a struggle that ultimately led him to remain in his job and approach his work with a renewed sense of purpose. In the book, Albright concludes that most of us want to be good, but we live in a culture that rewards selfishness. So we reach for fame and fortune and all the trappings of success – all the stuff that is supposed to make us happy but leaves us feeling empty instead. For the past 17 years, Stuart Albright has struggled with this dilemma. Teaching in the same public high school for his entire career, Albright has experienced tremendous success and tremendous failures. These moments have led him to one hard-earned lesson: in order to be fulfilled, we have to put other people first. In This is the Good Thing, Albright argues that if we focus on ourselves, we will miss out on the many things that make life worth living. Albright makes a convincing case for Service over Self by pulling from research in psychology and sociology, as well as from his own experiences in a diverse public school. Albright challenges us to lift up the people who matter most in our lives – our co-workers, our neighbors, and our family – by placing them in the spotlight while we stand back in the shadows. This is the Good Thing is a powerful call to service.
George was a drug dealer at age 15. Siddiq was a gang member. Five years later, George was a world-famous spoken word poet, and Siddiq was a college football star whose passion for community service led newspapers to call him “the Gandhi of Delaware.” How did this transformation take place? How did these teenagers succeed while so many of their friends drifted aimlessly into adulthood? A World Beyond Home explores these questions through a behind-the-scenes look at success in an American public school. As George and Siddiq’s high school English teacher, Stuart Albright watched their lives unfold at a critical stage of their development. George struggled to stay in school. Siddiq had to choose between his gang and his football team. George and Siddiq were deeply flawed teenagers who made plenty of bad decisions, but they still found a way to be successful. A World Beyond Home follows George, Siddiq, and their classmates as they try to find meaning in their lives. Their stories are unique, but their struggles define an entire generation of kids.
Stuart Albright has taught creative writing for more than a decade, drawing regional and national attention to his classroom. In Creative Writing 101, Albright shares the lessons and activities that have inspired thousands of students. This book has something for everyone – the novice as well as the expert, writers both young and old. Creative Writing 101 is packed with over 50 detailed, time-tested activities that will take any writer to the next level.
Bull City follows Sid Ellison, a high school English teacher who lives in the Appalachian Mountains. Sid must return home to Durham to help his brother, Tyrell, who is homeless and has been charged with the murder of a Pakistani woman. As Sid seeks to prove his brother’s innocence, the novel moves from the tobacco factories of Durham to Pakistan and to the inner-city streets of Boston.
Sidelines is an insider’s look at the fascinating world of high-school football, and, beyond that, it is also about the death and rebirth of the American community. Albright uses football to explore our nation’s complicated history of race and public education and to explain why some communities continue to thrive while others are slowly dying away.
Camden, New Jersey, is quite possibly the most troubled and dangerous city in America. But a far different story lies beneath this cold surface. It is a story of hope, of voices struggling desperately against deaf ears. In the summer of 1999, a college student named Stuart Albright arrived in Camden full of youthful idealism and a naïve sense of justice. Blessed Returns is the moving, deeply personal account of a young man’s coming-of-age amidst a tumultuous and life-changing summer.