Friday, August 3, 2012

Mission Possible Book Review & Giveaway

At the end of August I will be starting a program for my Master's in Elementary Education. I am freaking excited. Now if you've read this blog for more than five seconds you know that I am a big huge nerd. I love to learn. So I was really excited when I was recently offered the book Mission Possible: How the Secrets of the Success Academies Can Work in any School to review. This book definitely made me start thinking about how and why I want to teach.

So what is a Success Academy? Well the very first one was opened in Harlem NYC by the author of this book Eva Moskowitz. It is a charter school and just three years after opening, it was named the best charter school and one of the best schools overall in NYC. That's no small feat considering the vast number of public and private schools in NYC. 

The book goes over just how Eva and the amazing teachers she hired were able to do that. They have their own process in how they teach reading and writing that is different from the way it is generally taught. Something that I thought was interesting was that the don't dumb down anything. I love this idea. Kids WANT to learn and kids WANT to do well. By surrounding the students (called Scholars at the Success Academy) with intelligent teachers who push them (and I mean push them) to do well, the students push themselves to learn more and more and more. They surround the kids with quality above-average literature and the kids absorb it all like a sponge. The Success Academy sounds like the kind of place that I would love to work once I finish my Master's program. 

The publishers who sent me over a copy of Mission Possible asked me if I would answer a question for them. They asked me : Why do you think that this country treats teaching so differently than it does other professions? 

That is a doozie of a question. Honestly, I don't know. I once heard that if people were paid on the importance of their profession to the world, then garbage collectors would be billionaires. Being that I am a teacher and my husband is a nurse, I would argue that those professions are also important. I think that the reason that teachers aren't thought as highly as say a businessman is because they have no output. What I mean by that is that there is no final product. Yes, you have a child who goes on to learn more and more and more, but you are not responsible completely for the end product. You don't go to work and come home at the end of the day knowing exactly what you have created. People like to think in numbers. They want results, they want to know exactly what you are producing on a daily basis. Teaching doesn't work like that. Like I said, there's no final product at the end of the day that can be measured. Yes, you can check test scores but that isn't the same. This is getting long-winded, but what I am trying to say is that teaching should be considered as valid an occupation as any other. Parents put their children into these teachers hands daily, they should want them to be appreciated as more than just babysitters. They should value the contributions that they are making to not only their children, but to society as a whole. 

So what do you think, why do you think that teaches aren't valued in our society? Let me know in a comment below, then fill out the rafflecopter to win a copy of this extremely interesting book. For more information about Mission Possible, go to Read Mission Possible

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  1. Teaching used to be an esteemed profession, perhaps it isn't as much so these days because society is more focused on technology jobs? Teachers play a significant role in raising our children, they should be held in higher regard than they currently are. I have many fun memories of my kindergarden teacher, and several others.

  2. Teachers don't make widgets that can be sold and generate income for the corporation. There are way too many people who think the bottom financial line is the most important thing. (I think many of them suffer from a poor education.) My granddaughters attended a small charter school and learned to love learning. They are personal friends with several of their teachers (and now with their college professors). The oldest is in a PhD program and her emphasis is Education Reform and I'd love to win this book for her.


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