WRITING SCHOOL SELFIES

My anthology of essays is called School Selfies: Teachers, Parents, Students and Bandwagons. An alternate title could have been Real Teaching: Tales of Truth and Terror. As a newly retired teacher with 39 years of experience, I believe I have the answers to many whodunits in public education like why schools fail, why society cannot stop the epidemic of bullying, and what is wrong with kids today.

I know the tales of terror and tragedy from the trenches. I understand the unfiltered truth about parents, students, teachers and bandwagons, and it’s not always pretty. I learned all this from my experiences as a full-time educator. I came. I saw. I conquered sometimes and sometimes I didn’t. These are my straight-shooting credentials.

It is important to paint a realistic (but not jaded) picture of public education that is free of gobbledygook. How else can we fix what’s broken, an increasing concern in the 21st century, if we cannot be frank about school problems? Enough of endless research studies by those who know little about kids, classrooms, teachers or parents. These theorists, who may not have stepped into a classroom in years, cannot accurately describe the smartboard jungle and what occurs behind school doors.

While teaching, many of my comments were published in The Montreal Gazette, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Calgary Herald, The Christian Science Monitor, parade.com, and The Miami Herald. Education professors at McGill University in Montreal have used my articles in courses. Teachers in Montreal have applauded my essays. Administrators and school boards have not.

I have written the truth about teaching that few others have the experience or perhaps the courage to reveal. This book offers an undistorted, sometimes shocking, wide- angle view of what occurs in public schools. I have found no other book that deals with the plethora of gritty realities that mine does whether it’s accusations of assault by disgruntled students, three reasons that teachers leave the profession, or a description of the typical everyday violence in schools. My book is not uplifting. My book is definitely not a Chicken Soup for The Soul kind of book. My book tells it like it is. Really.

A title that is similar to mine is Paula Rutherford's Why Didn't I Learn This in College? However the book differs as it is a helpful teaching manual like so many others; it explains what to do and say and how to ask questions. It doesn't provide educators and parents with true selfies of what occurs behind school doors. Another title that appears to deal with one of my topics is How to Handle Difficult Parents; A Teacher's Survival Guide by Suzanne Tingley. Again this is another guide on how to manage demanding parents and while helpful, it only deals with one harsh reality facing educators today- the new bully on the playground. What is needed is a book that describes the dynamics of parent teacher interviews and that also informs teachers of new rules like they must always leave the classroom door open if alone with a student. That is something they didn't teach in college- the epidemic false accusation syndrome.

Clearly this is not a dry textbook. I have no tables, charts, illustrations or footnotes. What I do have, on the other hand, are actual notes I received from parents as well as discipline referrals that reveal the problems that lurk in public schools. I have true accounts of parent-teacher interviews. I have the legal nightmare narrative of a colleague in Quebec who was accused of bullying and humiliating a student when she insisted that the child and not the mother do the homework. I also have an essay about having taught Kimveer Gill, the Dawson College (Montreal) school shooter, when he was in my grade 8 class. No other book provides this information.

The general public would be interested in this book. Teachers –in–training and teachers of all grades are also the target audience. I would recommend also that parents and senior high school students definitely read this book. Many elements of my manuscript are controversial and will provoke discussion.

My book has international appeal, as I believe failing schools and parents as bullies are problems not limited to North America.

Key Subjects

The Lost and Damaged Children

The New Bullies: Mafia Mom and Dad, Wikipedia Parents, Defence Lawyer Parents, My Child Doesn’t Lie Parents, my favourite Artificial Support Parents, and many more

Reasons Why Teachers Quit

The Love Machine of Positive Discipline and Other Dangerous Bandwagons like the Self-Esteem Movement

School Violence

False Accusation Syndrome

Bullying Epidemic

Lack of Empathy in Children

ABC’s of Parent Teacher Interviews

Lack of Consequences and Discipline

School Failure

I present many truths about education and all school partners.

  • Schools cannot stop the epidemic of bullying

  • Where have all the good kids gone?

  • The new bully on the playground- mom and dad

  • There’s a new undiagnosed disability and it’s the oppositional students in every class who do not allow others to learn. It’s time to think of the shadow students whose disabilities are spitball- throwing hooligans.

  • Unbelievable emails and notes from parents

  • Discipline referrals that reveal exactly what misbehaving students are doing in school

  • Teachers need to protect themselves from false accusations/don’t touch the students!

  • Teachers are at the bottom of the food chain.

  • The DNA of racism and prejudice is alive and well in our schools

  • Self-esteem movement has damaged children


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