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, PhD,presidential chair, director, Institute of Global and Online Education, professor, department of Eeducational methodology, policy, and leadership, College of Education, University of Oregon, author of “World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students”, “Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization”, “Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and worst) Education in the World”)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, educator, activist, and 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)