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The Teachers' Lounge (Uncensored): A Funny, Edgy, Poignant Look at Life in the Classroom Paperback – November 19, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1475800333 ISBN-10: 1475800339
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Editorial Reviews

Review

It’s funny, edgy and poignant, all right — but The Teachers’ Lounge is much more than that: it’s real. And hands-on reality is a rare commodity in much of what the media tells Americans about their schools, teachers and learning in 2012.
This delightful — but profound — book will ring teachers’ chimes. The vignettes and Flynn’s on-target observations are gritty and full of the kind of wisdom that can only be earned by years in the classroom and an eye for truth. She has the ability to take an unremarkable incident in the hallway or classroom and deftly turn it into a nugget of perception about kids, parents or our entire education system.
Which is why the book deserves a much wider audience than the education community. Flynn draws insights from the kinds of ordinary events that feed conversations at the grocery store and in the bleachers at Little League games: parent-teacher conferences, high school seniors’ last day, the girl who gets grabbed in the hallway and the sugar high that plagues teachers on the day after Halloween.
But Flynn goes much deeper, putting major policy initiatives into terms that the general public –and the legislators who make the policies — can understand.
The Teachers’ Lounge (Uncensored): A Funny, Edgy, Poignant Look at Life in the Classroom is a genuine gift for anyone paying attention to public education: a readable and down-to-earth analysis of the intersection of teaching practice with policy. Recommended.
(Nancy Flanagan, Education Consultant, “Teacher in a Strange Land” blog at Education Week)

Flynn has a gift for presenting the annoyances and failures of modern education in a light-hearted and understanding way. She shows you what is wrong and how it might be fixed, without sermonizing. (Jay Mathews, education columnist, Washington Post and author of Work Hard. Be Nice.)

Thank you, Kelly Flynn. Told from the inside out she captures what makes being a teacher so compelling as well as what drives us mad, the humorous as well as the tragic. She reminds me of why I miss it. (Deborah Meier, author of In Schools We Trust: Creating Communities of Learning in an Era of Testing and Standardization and Bridging Differences blog at Education Week)

An inconvenient reality check for policy makers, an insightful tale for outsiders, and a hopeful message for all, Kelly Flynn reports from the school, where learning happens (and sometimes doesn’t). Flynn’s stories show what matters, who cares, and why reform policies from government offices don’t work and test scores are not the right goal of education. This is a must read for all interested in improving education and concerned about America’s future. (Yong Zhao, Ph.D., presidential chair and associate dean for Global Education, University of Oregon, author of “World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students.”)

This delightful — but profound — book will ring teachers’ chimes. The vignettes and Flynn’s on-target observations are gritty and full of the kind of wisdom that can only be earned by years in the classroom and an eye for truth.She has the ability to take an unremarkable incident in the hallway or classroom and deftly turn it into a nugget of perception about kids, parents or our entire education system. (Nancy Flanagan, Education Consultant, “Teacher in a Strange Land” blog at Education Week)

Kelly Flynn's book takes us inside our most challenging schools, and shows us the sometimes exasperating, sometimes exhilarating world students and teachers inhabit every day. Her detailed stories help reveal the flaws in the quick fixes, and help us understand what teaching is all about. (Anthony Cody, author, “Living in Dialogue” blog at Education Week)

Every teacher should give a copy of this book to the mayor, to the school board, and to political representatives. It will astonish them and maybe increase their humility quotient. Written from inside classrooms, it is real. It is also fast-moving, funny, poignant, occasionally shocking. Most important, the book is also hopeful, showing that whatever her successes and failures, every year, every class, every lesson, every student, the teacher comes back, certain she can do it better. (Susan Ohanian, author of What Happened to Recess and Why Are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten?)

Kelly Flynn is a powerhouse and must have been a great classroom teacher. I would have loved to work with her when I taught high school. Kelly always keeps her ‘eyes on the prize,’ the ability of teachers to influence the lives of their students. What is best about this book is that she is able to remain positive and hopeful about teaching despite all the difficulties of the job and the political and corporate assault on public schools, students, and especially teachers. I want to thank Kelly for reminding me why we chose to teach. (Alan Singer, director, secondary education social studies department of teaching, literacy and leadership, Hofstra University, New York)

The media needs to spend time in the classroom and see what a teacher is up against today and tell that story without equivocation.This is what Kelly Flynn is writing about. (Frosty Troy, founder and editor of The Oklahoma Observer)

With candor and humor, Kelly Flynn courageously tells the absurd-but-true stories from the public school classroom. Readers will come away understanding that teachers do what they do not for the merit pay or ‘summers off,’ but out of a profound sense of purpose, a commitment to education, and love. (Eileen Button, author of The Waiting Place: Learning to Appreciate Life's Little Delays)

About the Author

Kelly Flynn is an education writer, speaker, public school advocate, and newspaper columnist whose commentary ran in The Flint Journal and the Jackson Citizen Patriot. She taught high school in Flint, Michigan for nearly 20 years.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: R&L Education (November 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475800339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475800333
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,976,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kelly Flynn is the author of The Teachers' Lounge (Uncensored): A Funny, Edgy, Poignant Look at Life in the Classroom. After teaching high school journalism and English in Flint, Michigan, Flynn decided to walk the walk after 20 years of talking the talk. She left the classroom and wrote a weekly newspaper column covering education from an insider's point of view. Her popular column, Inside Schools, covered all aspects of education policy, the politics of education, and life in the classroom. It appeared on the op-ed page of The Flint Journal every Sunday for seven years, and in the Jackson Citizen Patriot. She is also the author of Kids, Classrooms, and Capitol Hill: A Peek Inside the Walls of America's Public Schools.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey on December 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first noticed Kelly Flynn as the educational contributor to the Flint Journal and the Jackson Citizen Patriot newspapers. Currently, I understand, she is a freelance writer still focusing on public education and the current state of affairs. From her teacher perspective her book is a collection of observations regarding the classroom, students, parents, community, and policy. She takes a frank and honest look at what is really going on within these confines whether, as they say, it is the good, the bad, the ugly. Most interesting to me (And not all necessarily within Flynn's work) is the apparent disconnect between the needs of the students and the demands of the policy makers. For example, current emphasis on test taking and reaching annual yearly progress often ignores the complexities of who students are and what they bring to school. In many instances the testing phenomenon only measures a limited set of features and does not give a true profile needed to educate correctly and effectively. So sad for many teachers as they are the ones left holding an empty bag. In addition, teachers and districts are faced with state policy wonks who are willing and ready to take over the so-called failing schools based only on this limited criteria. To add fuel to the fire, Michigan's take-over laws include grievous penalties leading to personal firing and voiding teacher contracts. It is no wonder public school teachers appear to be leaving the ranks of the profession. It is my hope that enough people get a chance to read The Teachers Lounge. Flynn should be commended. Perhaps enough pro public education supporters can turn this issue around and we can again truly make teaching something to be proud of.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everyone who is a stakeholder in public education should read Teachers' Lounge (Uncensored). And every single person, one way or another, is a stakeholder.

The USA became what it is today to no small extent because of a "free" education available to all citizens. Education has changed through the years. It is nearly impossible for one person, the average J.Q. Public, to understand all of facets at work in, for, and against our public education system. Kelly Flynn does a superb job of explaining the state of public education today, and its precarious position as a cornerstone of our culture.

If you are a student, parent, or "only" a taxpayer, the chances are really good that you, in fact, have no idea how complex and stressful a teacher's job is. This book will help you understand.

If you are a new teacher or teaching intern, and are wondering just what in hell you have gotten yourself into as a career choice, this book will not only help you understand, it will reassure you that there IS light--and reward!--at the end of the tunnel.

If you are a more veteran teacher, and feel misunderstood, isolated, and alone in your classroom at the end of the hallway, this book will let you know that there are thousands more who feel just the way you do.

If you are a taxpayer/citizen, and have heard all about our "failing" schools, and have been appalled by what you have heard, this book will help you understand the corporate and political forces at work behind the scenes--and driving standardized testing--in a likely effort to abolish public education completely. You will come to understand that the term "failing" is political invention meant to distort our perception of education, and divert our attention away from the true root of problems in public education--the grinding, crushing poverty that affects so many of our children, and the impact it has on our education systems.
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Format: Paperback
Money is tight. Books can be expensive. The Teachers’ Lounge (Uncensored) by Kelly Flynn is worth your money and your time. Parents, school board members, older students, curious taxpayers, education advocates, and teachers will all learn something from this insightful and easy to read book written for a wide audience.
The (Uncensored) aspect refers to the honesty of seeing a school filled with real human beings rather than mere data providers and testing machines. So, if you are looking for the sole salacious material, read page 133 where the word cleavage is used. To teachers, the teachers’ lounge is the designated free speech area (Uncensored) of a school where during a few brief moments of respite truths can be uttered. Kelly Flynn is a good utterer of these truths.
If you want an honest view of the state of schools today from the perspective of a perceptive teacher and writer, you have found the right book.
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By m on January 3, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kelly Flynn give an ACCURATE account of public education today. She writes in a way which is easy to comprehend, even if one is not an educator. She is factual, non-judgemental, and informative. If you REALLY want to know what goes on in the public schools and how much pressure is on teachers, turn off the tv and read this book. You will be amused, shocked, entertained, saddened, and, I hope, galvanized.
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