Rachel Zemach - The Butterfly Cage (Corte Madera Store)

Rachel Zemach 

The Butterfly Cage

Corte Madera Store

Sat., August 26, 2023 • 11:00am PT

This event will be hosted in-person at Book Passage's Corte Madera Store. Please contact webmaster@bookpassage.com with questions regarding events.

Joy, heartache, and corruption: Teaching while Deaf in a California public school

This book is tender, funny, surprising, and disruptive. You'll be a fly on the wall in a Deaf classroom in a public school, watching a Deaf teacher struggle with staff, administration, and aides who sabotage the teachers at every turn. You’ll also see the children struggle with a principal who removes their textbooks, a vindictive, power-hungry speech therapist, and a system that leaves them defenseless against it.

You'll also meet a language-hungry boy who will capture your heart and run away with it and the political, fiercely intelligent elite members of the Deaf community who rally to change legislation after his life takes a shocking turn. Learn from these true stories of individual students and their quirky, fallible teacher, what the deepest feelings and dilemmas of Deaf and hard of hearing people are, and why 90% of our students around the country are being unnecessarily set up for failure.

Rachel Zemach was hearing for half her childhood and Deaf the other half, after an accident left her Deaf at age ten. But it wasn't until much later, over a ten year period when she taught a Deaf class in a hearing, public school, that she began to identify as Deaf-with-a-capital-D. Incidents occurring in her classroom and in her interactions with the hearing administration and staff were often absurd, comedic and at times, shocking. The students were language-hungry, wonderful and smart. They-and their sometimes surprising journeys, particularly one boy whose story turned tragic-provided the fire and impetus for this book.


Rachel Zemach photo courtesy of author.



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