Review of "The Untold Chronicles of a School Teacher" by Elma Robinson
When we think of teachers, so many things come to mind. The well-know quote, "If you can read this, thank a teacher;" as well as countless other sentiments about how dedicated teachers shape, inculcate and inspire generations.
Like most people, I have had some great and some not-so-great educators throughout my twenty-two years of formal education. But I do not recall having a teacher like Mrs. Elma Robinson during my elementary school years.
Reading this book was a moving experience for me. I was deeply touched and very impressed with Mrs. Robinson's clarity, compassion and commitment to her students. Like most, I view teaching as an honorable profession and see it as a "calling."
As Joyce A. Myers puts it, "Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges."
Robinson's indefatigable dedication is evident throughout, and that, along with the many very personal stories she relates in her book, make it a truly inspiring read.
Her initiative to meet with parents in their homes, taking a deeply compassionate interest in the whole of her students' lives, coming up with extra, after-school activities, setting high standards and firm goals, as well as overcoming tremendous professional and personal challenges with clarity and strong faith are no doubt a big reason for the tremendous legacy Mrs. Robinson forged throughout her 25 year teaching career.
Personally, I can't imagine anyone attempting to teach if they are not passionate and dedicated. I know I could never do it, nor would I want to attempt it. We all have different gifts and mine are not well-suited for an elementary school classroom.
One of the realities educators face, which makes sense but was something to which I'd not given much thought, is the power and influence of the particular administration which oversees the teacher's performance.
In the book Mrs. Robinson provides insight into the policies, procedures, requirements and the politics of our educational system. The frequent changes in administration, along with their various leadership styles, and being switched between grade levels with very little notice, was startling.
Some of the incidents Mrs. Robinson included in her book left me feeling incredulous about the petty abuses of power to which she was subjected. Thankfully these were balanced with the heartfelt appreciation of parents, as well as the measurable and often dramatic successes of her students.
This small book contains big messages and I would urge anyone and everyone who is engaged in our educational system in any way to read it.
If only we could have more teachers with Mrs. Robinson's "Classroom Rules" and "Consequences" our children and our society would be much better for it.
It is my hope that every one who is involved with educating our children will read this book.
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