At the age of twenty-two, Dan Brown came to P.S. 85 as an eager, fresh-faced teacher. He was even as-signed his own class: 4-217. Unbeknownst to him, 4-217 was the designated “dumping ground” for all fourth-grade problem cases, and his students would prove to be more challenging than he could have ever anticipated.
Intent on being a caring, dedicated teacher but confronted with unruly children, absent parents, and a failing administration, Dan was pushed to the limit time and again: he found himself screaming with rage, punching his fist through a blackboard out of sheer frustration, often just wanting to give up and walk away. Yet, in this seeming chaos, he slowly learned—from the more seasoned teachers at the school and from his own mistakes—how to discipline, teach, and make a difference. The Great Expectations School is the touching story of Class 4-217 and their teacher, Mr. Brown. But more than that, it is the revealing story of a broken educational system and all those struggling within and fighting against it.