Good Troublemakers Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this project focused on schools?

With Orleans parish schools planning to unify under one central school district by July 2018, this transitional year is an opportune time for those who will be most affected–the students–to share their personal experiences, as well as hopes and dreams of how schools should look.

What does the project entail?

Writing workshops will be held in schools and community spaces during the month of September to gain insight into students' perspectives. Then the Big Class Young Writers’ Council will serve as the editorial board, putting the book together: organizing workshop writing by trends, conducting further research, writing overarching persuasive pieces, and contributing to book design. The book should be published by early 2018.

How will schools be portrayed in this project?

Big Class values the relationships we have with schools, and the people in them–who, every day, wake up to do one of the hardest jobs in the world. We will be asking students about both positive and negative school experiences, to gain insight into their lives. We want to honor all the truths the students share. We expect some writing will be lighthearted and make us smile, and we expect some will make us sad. However, students' last names and school attended will not be included in the book, so particular schools will never be called out. If you want more information about the workshop, please reach out directly to program director Kyley Pulphus at

How will this help students with writing?

Students will be honing several skills that can be used across multiple writing genres. They will be responding to a prompt, brainstorming compelling topics, using a graphic organizer to plan, and writing personal narratives using descriptive, sensory language. They will also contribute to class dialogues, and use evidence from those discussions to form clear arguments about the directions on which schools should focus.

Who is this project for?

We want to hear from 1st-12th graders in Orleans Parish. If you are a teacher (no matter the content area) or community organization who works with that group, please click here to bring us to your classroom or community space, free of charge.

Who are our partners in this project?

The intention of this project is to have a wide reach. Big Class is excited to partner with the New Orleans Children’s Youth and Planning Board, who has committed to using the book as a guide for policy changes. The project was inspired by a similar book, Attendance Would Be 100%, which was a collaboration between 826 Boston and a Boston-area high school. The curriculum for the Boston project was a springboard for our workshop and project planning.   

What is a Good Troublemaker?

A good troublemaker is someone who champions for change to make the world a better place. Because change is often met with challenge, those calling for a shift in thinking can be seen as causing trouble. But we know many good things in our world came from somebody taking a stand and causing trouble!   

What is The Good Troublemakers Project?

There are many ways to be a good troublemaker. Because Big Class is a writing organization, we champion for change through writing. Every year Big Class endeavors to publish a book promoting the voices of youth in the city around a social justice issue. This year the Good Troublemakers Project will be about school design.