Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Disgrace To The Profession, Charles Newton and Gretchen Kauffman

Title: A Disgrace To The Profession
Authors: Charles Newton and Gretchen Kauffman
Rating: OK

Summer starts today, so I finally get around to writing the review for a book about school teachers. Go figure.

Doug reviewed A Disgrace To The Profession some time back, and as a result of his review I added it to my list. Eventually came up with a copy, and I've now read it. Doug's review is pretty much spot on. The story and characters are interesting, but the writing is amateurish. I found it a bit distracting, as I suspect Doug did.

The one thing I might say that Doug didn't is that the book suffers a bit from being a propaganda piece instead of just a story. The authors cram in all kinds of diatribe about various teaching issues that don't directly affect the plot. Yes, I know these issues are real, and yes I understand that the purpose of the book is to make the reader aware of just how bad teachers have it, but it did muck up the story a bit.

I am unlikely ever to teach children. Teaching adults (where "adult" is defined as junior college and older) is a possibility in various ways, but not teaching kids. But even so, this book was interesting, and it makes me wonder if there are any good fixes out there for the problems our kids, schools and teachers face. A Disgrace To The Profession isn't exactly full of suggested solutions for the myriad problems it points out.

Perhaps those solutions were deliberately left as an exercise for the reader.