The event that took me by surprise in this chapter was when Benjamin found the poem. Kozol asked him to read it out loud to him and the poem to me explained Ben's behavior from the beginning of the chapter and poem to the end of the chapter and poem. The poem was him. A lion in a zoo, Ben in his school. Shut up in a cage, Shut up in the classroom. lives a life of smothered rage, can't sit still and runs around the room.
The most important character is Benjamin because Kozol really talks about him the most in the chapter. Although he talks about the other kids, Benjamin stands out the most to me. He was held back and he could be held back again, he doesn't listen or try to learn but then he finds the poem and it's like a game changer because he changes his ways. He has a new mindset to learn and to move on into the 5th grade.
Kozol talks about class sizes and how they have an effect on the students. On page 215, middle paragraph, it states "Most damaging of all the factors that are truly in society's direct control, at least in my belief, is the large size of classes here, especially for kids who have so many worries on their minds and so much natural desire to receive a big share of the adoration and attention of a grown-up. This paragraph sums up what's happening in the book because at St. Ann's has so many classes that have more than enough students in them and each student needs attention. With so many students it's hard for the grown ups or teachers to give them all enough attention but they manage and they do it so well. the Suburban schools wouldn't know what to do with that many students.