A debut educational guide warns parents of the detrimental effects that second-rate teachers can have on their children, encouraging them to stay alert and rectify all wrongdoings.
Ryan has written this book through the lens of a mother of five and a longtime educator. In the introduction, she affirms her respect for the educational system and teachers in general. But the remainder of the work follows the brash tone of its title in demonstrating why you should “never trust a teacher.” Using expressive alliterations to describe the teachers she has encountered, the author recounts their shortcomings and her many confrontations with them. Most of her qualms center on her children’s advanced intellectual abilities and her high expectations for their academic achievements. For example, “Manual-Bound Manny” gave her sixth-grader a B on a few assignments because his answers didn’t correspond to the teachers’ manual, which launched Ryan on a vigorous crusade to correct the guide and raise her son’s grades. And “Do-Little-or-Nothing Debbie” failed to induct her son into the National Junior Honor Society, despite his qualifications, but the error was soon rectified after the author’s complaints to administrators. Flipping the book over, readers will find “Twenty-Two Timeless Tips to Trump the System,” in which Ryan gives parents short snippets of useful advice to help their children excel in the educational system. The author’s creative and amusing alliterations make the teachers very memorable. But her harsh judgments cast them as one-sided antagonists, rarely considering their views or humanity. While this certainly drives home her points, the approach is neither objective nor rigorous. In addition, many of the author’s grievances seem negligible, and her arguments will likely fail to induce readers to follow her example of being so vigilant in fighting against these educational injustices. Thus her advisories may be taken seriously by only a few like-minded, super-involved parents who worry if their “children are not among the highest ranking students.” In addition, superfluous autobiographical details and irrelevant policy information provide little value and distract from the outspoken book’s main message.
An unconvincing appraisal of educators.