Monday, December 28, 2009

When Teacher's Talk

When Teachers Talk by Rosalyn Schnall

Information from the publicist...

The hidden crisis in American public schools
New book exposes inept, abusive principals through teacher testimonials

CHICAGO – Theories abound on what’s causing the decline of the American public school system, whether it’s the focus on standardized testing, programs like No Child Left Behind or just lack of proper funding. These may all be contributing factors to the weakening of educational standards; but according to veteran educator, researcher and author Rosalyn Schnall, the root of the problem lies with ineffective and destructive school administrators.

Schnall is a retired elementary school teacher with 35 years experience, serving at seven different schools and under nine principals in the Chicago Public School System. Repeated experiences with unsupportive principals who had a negative impact on both teacher effectiveness and student achievement led her to question whether this was a widespread problem in the Chicago school system—or even around the country.

Based on survey results and personal interviews with 500 Chicago public school teachers between 2000 and 2005, Schnall’s new book, When Teachers Talk (Goldenring Publishing, LLC, November 2009, 978-0-578-00563-8), features hundreds of teacher testimonials that expose the hidden crisis of principal misconduct in America’s schools, and how it’s affecting our children.

“Principal abuse of power and mistreatment of teachers may very well be the most significant underlying cause contributing to the decline of public education in America today,” says Schnall, a Chicago native. “From my study, teachers working under those they deemed as ‘good principals’ proved to enhance teachers’ effectiveness and had a positive effect on students. Those deemed as ‘bad principals’ negatively affected teachers’ mental, emotional and physical health, which has an adverse impact on the children they teach.”

When Teachers Talk gives a voice to often-unheard public school teachers, who share true stories of biased, politically motivated and even openly vindictive principals. Some teach in fear due to lack of safety and security in the classroom; for others, their health is directly affected by poor principals, causing them to transfer schools and even retire early in some cases; still others are instructed by principals to pass children to the next grade who aren’t functioning at the necessary level.

Schnall currently resides in Henderson, Nev., with her husband of 17 years. She is working on a series of multi-cultural children’s books that are designed to help students develop sensitivity, kindness and positive character traits. Visit for more information. Distributed to the book trade by Small Press United/IPG.


I found this book very sad- the fact that some teachers are being treated so unfairly is just not cool.  The book was obviously very USA-specific so I am not too sure how much of the information would be accurate in Canada... but I sincerely hope the situation is not that bad here. The book itself is relatively easy to follow but rather emotionally draining. It made me respect teachers even more than I already do... and I think they are amazing.  I hope this book can help change the situation for those teachers in bad situations.

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