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THE TEACHERS by Alexandra Robbins Kirkus Star


A Year Inside America's Most Vulnerable, Important Profession

by Alexandra Robbins

Pub Date: March 14th, 2023
ISBN: 9781101986752
Publisher: Dutton

A revealing exploration of the current state of the teaching profession.

In her latest, Robbins, bestselling author of The Nurses, The Overachievers, Pledged, Fraternity, and other behind-the-scenes examinations, takes us into schools in America. The author followed three teachers from various regions of the country over the course of a school year, and she interviewed hundreds of others, providing an intimate view into the daily lives of educators. Even before the pandemic, writes Robbins, “the education landscape had already darkened considerably.” The rapidly deteriorating conditions at schools during the pandemic led to an exodus of many well-qualified educators from the profession as well as a shortage of substitute teachers. The pandemic also “further exposed the nation’s shameful mistreatment of teachers, which remains underaddressed.” According to the research that Robbins presents in this book, teachers are often subjected to toxic working conditions while they struggle to educate our nation’s children and are not offered the same respect as people in other professions. Teachers often face outrageous and overwhelming demands from parents and administrators as well as hostile cliques and bullying from co-workers. In addition to violence in schools, they now must contend with the growing movements to ban books and censor classroom material. Despite the increased demands and responsibilities placed on teachers, including the pressures of standardized testing and larger class sizes, they continue to remain underpaid. Refreshingly, the author also spotlights teachers who have chosen to remain in the profession despite the myriad challenges, sharing inspiring stories from the teachers she interviewed as well as tips and suggestions regarding how to better interact with students, parents, and colleagues. Some of the stories contain harsh language and very personal details about the lives of the teachers, but these narratives help illustrate her point that teachers deserve far more respect—and compensation—than they currently receive.

An important and eye-opening book that all parents, teachers, and educational administrators should read.