Friday, November 20, 2009

When Teacher's Talk - A Book Review

Product Description

Principal abuse of power and principal abuse of teachers, which has been clearly documented by teachers in this book, may very well be the most significant underlying cause contributing to the decline of public education in America today. Abusive and incompetent public school administrators who treat teachers with anything less than the dignity and respect they deserve do so at the direct expense of teachers, their student populations, and the communities in which they reside. Throughout the interviews in this book, teachers give detailed accounts of how principals do not provide them with the administrative support needed to effectively teach and maintain discipline in their classrooms. They explain how they have been prevented from functioning optimally and how their best efforts to help their students have been frustrated. The inevitable results are dysfunctional, permissive, non-disciplinary school environments which produce a steady stream of students who leave school and enter mainstream society totally unequipped to take on the responsibilities of functioning adults.

For decades, the widespread condition of principal abuse of power has been hidden from public view. Throughout the book, teachers describe in detail, numerous examples of principal abuses they have personally witnessed and experienced, and how and why the situation remains unrecognized by the general public. Many teachers legitimately fear suffering repercussions for publicly speaking out about the problem. Consequently, parents have been almost completely unaware of its existence and the degree to which it affects their children's education. It is important to again emphasize, that the studies in this book are by no means a condemnation of all principals, and the positive contributions of good administrators have been fully recognized. The teachers who were interviewed for the educational studies in this text freely expressed their feelings regarding both “good” and “bad” principals for whom they had worked. However, the overall negative results of the studies unequivocally indicate that a crisis of major proportions may be present in many public school districts across America.

Since my son started Kindergarten I have had the opportunity to read so many books on education and the school system. This book was yet another one that made me reconsider the idea of homeschooling. If you are a teacher this book will not come as a surprise to you. However, it does uncover what a lot of us parents already know. The principal of the school isn't perfect and can and will make mistakes. The mistakes are not the problem, it is the abuse of teachers and students that is the heart of this book.

Every job has a boss. In the school the principal is the boss and then we move up to the Superintendent.  I am not ready to say that principals are the sole problem in the school. I believe the problem is much bigger than that. We all know that the BS trickles down from the top. I would never say the principal is the brains of the school. Maybe in some locations this is so but honestly, I believe the person who sees and knows everything is the School Secretary. In my experience they are quite knowledgeable, pleasant, do everything, know everything and  see everything. The principal is nothing without their secretary.

The problems is much more global than a bunch of power wielding principals. The school system as a whole has to be reevaluated. The people we put our children in the hands of need to be looked at. They need to be happy. They need to be compensated. They need to be educated and that education should never stop.

While the government is busy increasing the age of mammogram recipients they would be better of looking into our schools. The place where our children are being molded needs to be looked at under a microscope.

This book should be read by all parents, teachers, PTA members, and school board members.

Parents: If your child attends a school, buy this book and educate yourself. Get Involved! See what is really going on and if you don't like it, don't be afraid to do something about it. The school is where your child spends most of their time. Shouldn't it be a healthy environment?

You will not be able to put this book down.


  1. I know of one bloggy friend that could really use this book, her son went to a school where the principal was just horrible to her son and the teacher had no way of helping because the principal wouldn't listen to either the mom or the teacher. I think I'll provide her the link.
    Thanks for the review...

  2. Anonymous11:31 AM

    Very interesting book. I always wanted to be a teacher. Maybe I should rethink that.

    Looks like a book for everyone.


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