Bad Teachers: The Essential Guide for Concerned Parents

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9780671529345: Bad Teachers: The Essential Guide for Concerned Parents
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Drawing on his thirty years of experience as an outstanding teacher and school administrator, the author shows parents how to tell if their children are languishing under a bad teacher and what they can do about it. Original.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This handbook for parents is sure to spark controversy. "In the legal definition of incompetence, the children are irrelevant," the author correctly points out in his discussion of our nation's public schools. He is careful to remind us that teaching is an almost impossible task, and that most teachers range from competent to excellent. School administrators will still panic when they see how Strickland educates parents in how to handle a parent-teacher conference and, when that fails, how to bypass on-site administrators and seek aid from the school board. More anecdotal and less academic than most books in this field, Strickland proves his points with a series of hypothetical vignettes, including realistic translations from a teacher's lingo to English. Before he became an educational consultant, Strickland was clearly a good teacher and a savvy administrator; he incorporates learning styles, learning disabilities, legal caveats and behind-the-scenes politics in this helpful guide. He reminds us that "teaching is a service industry" and that increasingly the best college students avoid teaching, while many of the best teachers leave the profession. Most importantly, Strickland drives home the grave importance of protecting children from bad teachers and answers the specter of the public school bureaucracy with a refreshing dose of realpolitik. "Save your own," Strickland says. And he tells parents just how to do just that.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Award-winning teacher Strickland comes down hard on fellow professionals who don't have their students' needs at heart. In fact, although he acknowledges some teachers' selfless dedication, the assortment of examples of bad teaching he has assembled is so mind-boggling that it is hard not to think he has a secondary agenda. Still, there is no question that Strickland is concerned about kids, and he provides some useful tips for parents who need to advocate on their child's behalf, whether about behavioral or academic concerns. He is particularly thorough in discussing parent-teacher conferences, including a goodly amount about how to cut through superficial verbiage to get to the real problem. His suggestions seem primarily geared to parents of elementary-school children, but some of them may also work well for parents whose kids are further up the educational ladder. He devotes a separate section to private schools. His is a sobering view of education, to say the least, but one that opens possibilities for change. Stephanie Zvirin

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