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  • Ritu Pant

    As someone who grew up in a third world country (Nepal), it's really sad to see a broken education system in a country such as the US where the possibilities for a better education is endless (compared to the third world). I don't think the problem is so much as "bad teachers." I think one of the thing that is missing in play in the education system is lack of proper investment in things (and people). It's one of those things where they keep doing the same thing while expecting different results.

    • John Owens

      Thank you, Ritu. You have an important perspective that I hope many people will take into consideration. US public education has never been perfect, but it has provided great opportunities. And if all the $ that's been used to falsely attack teachers had been used to help impoverished communities, we'd be in better shape. The idea that this country is being pushed toward doing away with public education in favor of for-profit schools is sad and scary.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    Excited to read your book. Did you ever feel like you were a "bad teacher" not because the principal was saying you weren't meeting the school's goals, but rather you had no time to work on what really mattered, which was helping the kids learn slowly, at their pace? I wonder how you worked around all the schools' goals to help your kids learn better?

    • John Owens

      Thank you for your comments, Allessandra. The education "system" makes it almost impossible to be a good teacher by any measure. I set high standards for myself in wanting to connect with the kids and get them excited about learning -- and I tried to do that while also complying with the endless rules I had to follow. When I was told "don't get the kids excited" (?!) it was pretty clear I was not destined for success by the crazy standards of the school. Some great teachers and/or veteran teachers could work around the crazy rules better than I could. The whole experience -- of being with bright, eager kids who wanted to learn, yet having to follow ridiculous choreography and never get them excited about learning -- well, that just didn't make any sense.

      • Alessandra Rizzotti

        Are you still a teacher? In this case, do you think private schools are the way to go? I feel like privatization is such a sad thing and not everyone can enjoy that specialized learning they offer.