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Why Great Teachers Quit: And How We Might Stop the Exodus 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1412972451
ISBN-10: 1412972450
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book is a must-read for every principal, school board member, and policy maker concerned about teacher turnover. Farber does an excellent job framing the problems. Now the question is: What are we willing to do to stem the exodus of great teachers from our schools?" (Tom Israel, Executive Director 2009-05-18)

“This book is for every parent who has had their child’s teacher leave in the middle of the year, every administrator who marvels at the difficulty of teacher retention or team spirit, every policy maker ready to walk the walk, and anyone who has invested years in preparation for a career in the classroom only to be faced with the thought of cutting his or her losses.” (Esmé Raji Codell, Author of Educating Esmé 2010-05-06)

“In this lively and interesting book, Katy Farber makes public the real reasons why inexperienced teachers rarely stay long enough or get the support they need to become good, why good teachers don’t become great, and why great teachers quit.” (Deborah Meier, Educational Reformer, Writer, and Activist 2010-02-08)

"A timely book about a major crisis affecting our schools and real solutions to keep our best teachers in the classroom." (Anthony J. Mullen, 2009 National Teacher of the Year 2010-05-28)

"Finally, a book written by a practicing teacher who really understands what it is like to teach in today's schools: the demands, challenges, and rewards. Joining her are the voices of teachers from all over the country who have come together to share their stories and wisdom. Written with passion and insight, this is an excellent resource for anyone vested in improving education and keeping quality teachers in the classroom. This book should be required reading for every administrator and school board member." (Julie Smart, Special Educator 2009-07-01)

"This book can remind those who teach why we do so, not only reconnect us with our core beliefs, but also to motivate us to speak up beyond our individual classrooms on behalf of the well-being of our students and the ultimate success of public schools." (Kenneth J. Bernstein 2011-10-12)

About the Author

Katy Farber is a teacher, author, and founder of the blog, Non-Toxic Kids. She is also the author of two books about education, Why Great Teachers Quit and How We Might Stop the Exodus and Change the World with Service Learning. Katy has written for various news, parenting, non-profit and educational publications, including MomsRising, Moms Clean Air Force, Educational Leadership, CNN’s School of Thought Blog, Problogger, Fox News opinion, and many others.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Corwin; 1 edition (July 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412972450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412972451
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #964,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David J. Wilson on October 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Farber does an excellent job of describing why the professional mortality rate in public school teaching is so high, and why many of the casualties are just those teachers whom we can least afford to lose. The list of reasons is formidable: abuse of standardized testing; teachers powerless to control violence and chaos in the classroom; dilapidated, miserably maintained schools; ever-increasing expectations that must be met with ever-decreasing resources; an inept bureaucracy that is more interested in shifting blame and finding scapegoats than in addressing the problems; compensation that is far less than that available in fields making similar demands for intelligence, training, and skill; parents who micromanage their child's education; parent who don't give two hoots about their child's education; schools and teachers blamed for a host of socioeconomic ills (poverty, family breakdown, etc.) over which they have no control whatsoever. As one who has mentored school science and math projects for years and done a lot of volunteering in the schools, I was not surprised by Farber's extensive and accurate indictments. One of the results I've seen as a university prof has been the tendency of the brighter students to avoid careers in education as if they were the plague. Who wants a job (no longer a profession!) that is viewed with such contempt by our society?

I am less happy with Farber's proposed solutions to these problems. While her solutions are very reasonable, by and large, I fear the chances of their being implemented in America as it exists today are absolutely zero. In the long haul, this breakdown of our educational system will turn the U.S. into a second-rate or third-rate country. American politicians and the American people seem to be very much more interested in finding scapegoats and remaining in denial than in dealing with our badly broken public school system.
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Format: Paperback
By compiling stories from teachers across the nation, Katy Farber identifies the consistent problems which follow the profession. While the stories may scare some from becoming a teacher, they provide solace to those who have remained in education and provide a base of mutual understanding among teachers, administrators and board members. Why Great Teachers Quit should be read by all groups and used as a workbook to bridge the frustrations and help fix the situations that often send the best into other occupations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don't buy the kindle version as the tables and some of the written sections are too small to read and you can't enlarge them as you can with regular text.
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By Zetica on November 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
If the by-line read "Because let's face it the pay is s*** and if you are any good you are burnt out in five years", well, that would be the truth of it so there would be no book. Perhaps there ought to be an abstract on the cover 'When you put good people in a bad system - the system always wins'. I read this `Why Great Teachers Quit' book really just looking to read about people like myself and my fellow contemporaries who left the so-called teaching 'profession' over the last 18 months. Whilst I would not say that I was a great teacher, I did love my job so much, I discovered I was born to it, was good at it and I wanted to keep doing it, hone my skills and become a person that students would remember in their adult years as someone who had guided and perhaps inspired them to expect more of themselves than others had in store for them. Like many who enter the profession with ideas, I never realised my ambition. In reading 'Why Great Teachers Quit' I at least found some degree of validation for quitting as within the text I found the club of which I had become a member was not a particularly exclusive one.

It appears that, according to Katy Farber, the main reasons great teachers quit are, quite aside from the lengthy list provided in earlier reviews; an increasing lack of autonomy within their job, the lack of tenure from the over use of short-term contracts and poor leadership by an ageing cohort of Principals. There is little knowledge nor experience of other working environments amongst the present cohort of Principals, many of whom are known less for `inspirational leadership' and more for poor communication, bad hiring policies and a desire to be liked.

Such principals avoid or delegate difficult decisions.
Read more ›
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