I just finished the book "Waiting for Superman" that was based off of the movie that recently came out. Before I begin my review, I want to emphasize that I have not seen the movie, which I hear has gotten a lot of negative reviews from the educational community. The book has also gotten its fair share of negative criticism, but I think the criticism is largely coming from people who have seen the movie. I think most educators believe that the filmmaker was putting an unfair amount of blame on teachers and teacher's unions for where our educational system is today. I just want to say that the following review is *my* opinion as a teacher in training, and I have a right to have this opinion!
I really enjoyed the book. The book was a collection of essays written by people on different topics of education and how they believe that we can help the current state of our school system. Let's face it, our schools are in serious trouble. I think that the book brought up some very valid points, and I dont really feel that it puts too much blame on teachers and teacher's unions. The book pointed out many reasons why our school system is currently failing our children, and bad teachers are only part of the problem. The book was careful to point out that not all teachers are bad teachers, and that the majority of teachers out there are very hardworking and committed individuals. With that being said, we also have a stigma in this country that "if you can't do, teach" and there are people who are in our classrooms who don't belong there. One of the major problems that the book pointed out is the stigma attached to being a teacher, that the position of teacher is not held with respect in our country and that is a major problem. People who are out in the "real world" think that teaching is a joke of a career and the current salaries for our teachers proves that. I think the prevailing message of the book was that we shouldn't be sitting around waiting for some miracle of a cure for our school systems because there are students right now in our schools that need our attention and best efforts to educate them. There will never be one set miracle cure for our schools, so we shouldn't wait around for one~ I could go on a soapbox rant of all of the points that I agreed with in this book, but I will spare you for the time being. No, I didnt agree with everything in this book, but I still was interested in the different arguments it did raise. I will leave you with a recommendation to read it and encourage you to see for yourself how you feel about the issues raised in the book.