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Thursday, March 9, 2023
New York Times bestselling author and education expert, Alexandra Robbins, shares a riveting, must-read, year-in-the-life account of three teachers, combined with reporting that reveals what’s really going on behind school doors
New York Times bestselling author and education expert shares a riveting, must-read, year-in-the-life account of three teachers, combined with reporting that reveals what’s really going on behind school doors
New York Times bestselling author and award-winning investigative reporter Alexandra Robbins excels at immersive reporting that allows her to shine a bright light on the real, lived experiences of different facets of American life. Her incredibly timely new book features a vital profession that affects every single one of us: Teachers.
Writing about and supporting teachers has long been a focus for Robbins, and she is a highly sought voice on the plight of teachers, penning powerful pieces for The New York Times (Teachers Deserve More Respect) and others. Her new book, THE TEACHERS: A Year Inside America's Most Vulnerable, Important Profession is the result of Robbins’ intensive shadowing of three individual teachers over the course of a year, heavy reporting, and interviews with hundreds of teachers nationwide. It’s an eye-opening look at what is really going on in America’s schools and how teachers need our support now more than ever. It also contains some unexpected firsthand experience, which helped Robbins connect to the teacher community more than she could have imagined.
Join Alexandra Robbins as she discusses such topics as:
· Teachers’ secret codes, strategies, and other confessions: Teachers dish about parent conferences, staff meetings, educator code words, district practices that are hazardous for students and staff, and what they really think about administrators, parents, and more
· There’s not a “teacher shortage,” there’s a retention problem: Qualified candidates abound, but teachers are leaving in droves because of paltry salaries, stressful working environments, schools’ lack of resources and short-staffing, and sometimes dangerous expectations.
· Teacher “burnout” is a myth: This popular term is misleading, emblematic of a larger systemic problem, and does more harm than good.
· Librarians, specialty teachers (e.g., music, art, PE), and ESOL teachers are often treated as lower tier: For example, although research clearly shows that having a school librarian increases student success, many districts cut the position to save money. Robbins talks with librarians and other specialty teachers about their unique career hurdles.
· Schools become political sparring grounds: From lies about critical race theory to unprecedented censorship, politicians are reaching into classrooms and disrupting teachers’ ability to teach.
· Parents often make teaching more difficult: Helicopter parents, parents with political agendas, aggressive parents, parents who are completely checked out – all of these can get in the way of how the teacher can best serve their students.
· How you can support teachers in your school or community: Robbins asks real teachers what they need from parents and community members. There are ways we can all help.
Interspersed among the teachers’ stories—a seeming scandal, a fourth-grade whodunit, and teacher confessions—are hard-hitting essays featuring cutting-edge reporting on the biggest issues facing teachers today, such as school violence; outrageous parent behavior; inadequate support, staffing, and resources coupled with unrealistic mounting demands; the “myth” of teacher burnout; the COVID-19 pandemic; and ways all of us can help the professionals who are central both to the lives of our children and the heart of our communities.
About the Author:
Alexandra Robbins, the author of five New York Times bestselling books and a Goodreads Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, is an award-winning investigative reporter who also has been honored for “Distinguished Service to Public Education.” She has written for several publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic, and has appeared on hundreds of television shows, including 60 Minutes, Today, CBS Mornings, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, and The Colbert Report.