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

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Low pay, increased responsibilities, and high-stakes standardized testingthese are just some of the reasons why more talented teachers are leaving the profession than ever before. Drawing on in-depth interviews with teachers all over the country, Farber presents an in-the-trenches view of the classroom exodus and uncovers ways that schools can turn the tide.

200 pages, Paperback

First published July 6, 2010

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About the author

Katy Farber

11 books37 followers
Katy Farber is a teacher and author from the mountains of Vermont. Her first book, Why Great Teachers Quit and How We Might Stop the Exodus, was released in July by Corwin Press.  Her second book, Change the World with Service Learning:  How to Create, Lead and Assess Service Learning Projects, was released in 2011 by Rowman and Littlefield Press

Her latest book for children is Salamander Sky, a picture book about the magical and secretive crossings of the spotted salamander, and a girl who goes out on a rainy early spring night to help them. Her other book for children, The Order of the Trees, is a middle grade novel published by Green Writers Press in May 2015. It won the Green Earth Award Honor Award from the Nature Generation.

Her latest non-fiction book was as a co-author of Personalized Learning in the Middle Grades: a guide for educators and school leaders with Harvard Education Press (May 2019).

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Profile Image for Amanda Kaye.
197 reviews11 followers
September 18, 2010
Wow! I was really impressed with how accurate and helpful this book was! I can tell that the author Katy Farber really is a teacher who is aware of the condition of our schools in America. And I can tell that the accounts of hundreds of teachers were used in this book to portray the areas that need to be fixed in our schools.

Farber addresses the following areas:
1-Standardized Testing
2- Working Conditions in Today's Schools
3- Ever Higher Expectations
4- Bureaucracy
5- Respect and Compensation
6- Parents
7- Administrators
8- School Boards

The thing that most impressed me was not only did she have such a variety of topics to discuss, but also had practical real life ways of addressing and fixing those problems. Both at the administration level and the teacher's level. I also was grateful for the data that back up her conclusions, actual antidotes from teachers, and the friendly enjoyable reading format.

I would defiantly recommend this book to any teacher, administrator, education college student, and/or any parents involved with the school system. Finally a book has come along that actually addresses the REAL problems and how to affectively deal with the mess.
Profile Image for Traci.
142 reviews
January 31, 2011
I won this book in a GoodReads First Reads giveaway...yay! I work in a public school district (I am NOT a teacher), so I knew the book would be interesting to me from that perspective. The author is a 10-year teaching veteran who interviewed and garnered input from many current and former teachers. The book was divided into some main topics that appear to be the biggest factors in teacher attrition, namely standardized testing, working conditions/safety, bureaucracy, compensation, parents, administrators, and school boards, among others.

The nice thing about this book is that it had some concrete suggestions from successful veteran teachers about how to cope, as well as "to do" lists for administrators and teacher leaders to avoid many of the pitfalls that Farber identifies.

In my own experience, the author is right on with much of her observations about what is bad in the public school system. For me, this book was a well-researched, non-fiction version of the book "Up the Down Staircase," which profiled the work of a new teacher in an inner-city school. And while I know there are great teachers just trying to get by and do the best for their students, sadly there are also the stereotypical teachers who are milking the system and should really find another career. There are also a lot of administrators who should have stayed in the classroom because they have no business managing people or a school building. Maybe if enough superintendents, school board members, and administrators read books like this, that would begin to change.

Profile Image for Betsy.
79 reviews2 followers
February 19, 2011
Needed mid-year inspiration. Very good read with practical advice to help ease teacher burn-out.
70 reviews
July 1, 2014
A huge number of teachers leave teaching within the first year and even more follow so that a large percentage have left teaching within the first five years. Katy Farber discusses the problem, but, in my opinion, presents no satisfactory or viable solutions.
Profile Image for Lexi.
14 reviews7 followers
November 23, 2017
Farber examines some of the harsh realities of teaching life that contribute to high teacher attrition: lack of respect from students, parents, administrators, and school boards; poor working conditions, including violence, overwhelming volumes of paperwork, and building safety hazards; and increasing (non-teaching) responsibilities without increasing salaries. But, importantly, Farber offers practical solutions and success stories to help combat these issues. This is a great read for aspiring educators who want to understand the challenges associated with teaching, and who want that knowledge to help them feel empowered rather than disillusioned or dissuaded.
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews

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