There are many challenges that Erin Gruwell faces when beginning to teach at an inner-city high school. She is young and optimistic, but she is about to enter one of most difficult teaching assignments she could have possibly received.
The first obstacle she faces is internal: she has to overcome her own naïveté and inexperience to deal with the rampant racism and violence she sees in the school. She goes into the situation completely unaware of how rough the school is.
The second obstacle is her students, who are apathetic and jaded toward the system. They have grown up in a violent, racist school system, and at this point, they don't have any motivation to improve. Gruwell is faced with the tall task of encouraging them to change and improve their lives.
The final obstacle she experiences is the staff. All of the other members of the staff are older and more experienced; they are therefore familiar with the school system and feel callous toward it, no longer feeling upset by the...
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