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Dear Parents: Letters from the Teacher—your children, their education, and how you can help

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In this funny, heartfelt and passionate call to arms, Gabbie Stroud makes a plea to all parents to understand their roles as their children's lifelong teachers and show how they can best help their kids' teachers and schools achieve the best results for the next generation of leaders. So many parents are buying the government line about standardised testing of students and In this funny, heartfelt and passionate call to arms, Gabbie Stroud makes a plea to all parents to understand their roles as their children's lifelong teachers and show how they can best help their kids' teachers and schools achieve the best results for the next generation of leaders. So many parents are buying the government line about standardised testing of students and programs like NAPLAN and MySchool, which somehow satisfy the 'consumer' in many people as they think they are getting results because of ranking and comparisons. But what these parents don't seem to realise is what those new ways of assessing students' skills are actually doing to their kids' ability to learn the crucial life skills and appreciation for learning that has thus far been the primary aim of teaching. In this funny, heartfelt and passionate series of letters to the Mothers and Fathers of Australia, Gabbie Stroud makes a plea to all parents to understand the fundamental changes to the way their children are being taught, and the results of such a process on the development of future generations. She wants parents to understand their responsibility as primary educators and to appreciate the benefits to their kids of the life-long benefits that committed and dedicated teachers can bring to them.


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In this funny, heartfelt and passionate call to arms, Gabbie Stroud makes a plea to all parents to understand their roles as their children's lifelong teachers and show how they can best help their kids' teachers and schools achieve the best results for the next generation of leaders. So many parents are buying the government line about standardised testing of students and In this funny, heartfelt and passionate call to arms, Gabbie Stroud makes a plea to all parents to understand their roles as their children's lifelong teachers and show how they can best help their kids' teachers and schools achieve the best results for the next generation of leaders. So many parents are buying the government line about standardised testing of students and programs like NAPLAN and MySchool, which somehow satisfy the 'consumer' in many people as they think they are getting results because of ranking and comparisons. But what these parents don't seem to realise is what those new ways of assessing students' skills are actually doing to their kids' ability to learn the crucial life skills and appreciation for learning that has thus far been the primary aim of teaching. In this funny, heartfelt and passionate series of letters to the Mothers and Fathers of Australia, Gabbie Stroud makes a plea to all parents to understand the fundamental changes to the way their children are being taught, and the results of such a process on the development of future generations. She wants parents to understand their responsibility as primary educators and to appreciate the benefits to their kids of the life-long benefits that committed and dedicated teachers can bring to them.

30 review for Dear Parents: Letters from the Teacher—your children, their education, and how you can help

  1. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    This book was everything I hoped it would be! Smart, insightful, hilarious - I devoured all of it. Teachers, non-teachers, parents and non-parents - everyone needs to read this book. There's a gem of advice on every page. I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud, fist-punched the air in agreement, cheered Ms Stroud on. Her thoughts, concerns, and ideas about education and teaching closely mirror my own - literally every word she wrote I was in agreement with. It also made me nostalgic f This book was everything I hoped it would be! Smart, insightful, hilarious - I devoured all of it. Teachers, non-teachers, parents and non-parents - everyone needs to read this book. There's a gem of advice on every page. I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud, fist-punched the air in agreement, cheered Ms Stroud on. Her thoughts, concerns, and ideas about education and teaching closely mirror my own - literally every word she wrote I was in agreement with. It also made me nostalgic for the classroom (I had a brief stint as a primary teacher before I escaped for the quieter life of a librarian). And the anecdotes - my god - you could read it for the classroom anecdotes alone! Dear Teacher, please write more! Needless to say - highly recommend.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Beth Herbert

    Unfortunately, this book just didn't do it for me. As an experienced teacher myself, I agree wholeheartedly with a lot of the sentiments expressed (ie: invidious nature of NAPLAN), but found the criticisms often read like lectures and weren't balanced enough with 'Magic Moments' which, in small ways, happen every day. For me, teaching is just not that wretched. Unfortunately, this book just didn't do it for me. As an experienced teacher myself, I agree wholeheartedly with a lot of the sentiments expressed (ie: invidious nature of NAPLAN), but found the criticisms often read like lectures and weren't balanced enough with 'Magic Moments' which, in small ways, happen every day. For me, teaching is just not that wretched.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lysh

    This was one of my most highly anticipated reads for 2020 and I'm sorry to say that I was disappointed. I went into this believing it might make a difference in education. Stroud's first book, "Teacher" brought to light many of the problems in education, and I read it at a time when I was in the midst of experiencing many, if not all, of them simultaneously. I was not in a good space and was only just surviving in my career. It was validation that what I was feeling was what many other teachers This was one of my most highly anticipated reads for 2020 and I'm sorry to say that I was disappointed. I went into this believing it might make a difference in education. Stroud's first book, "Teacher" brought to light many of the problems in education, and I read it at a time when I was in the midst of experiencing many, if not all, of them simultaneously. I was not in a good space and was only just surviving in my career. It was validation that what I was feeling was what many other teachers experience too. However, that first book didn't offer any solutions to these problems. It brought us down without building us up. I had hoped that this epistolary novel would be different. I had hoped that it would bring these problems to light in a way that made sense to parents and offer solutions that we can achieve together. But I was wrong. There were points that I found myself in agreeance, but for once there were also points where I found Stroud to be stretching the negativity a bit too far. Her portrayal of another teacher in the 'make-believe' school wasn't fair and a single paragraph at the end of the book about why this teacher's actions might be that way was not enough to save her bringing them down. Teachers need to stick together and I didn't like the way that she portrayed the put-downs of a colleague. I felt like the NAPLAN story was oversold as well - it felt like she was beating a dead horse! The tone of the book was too negative towards parents themselves. No parent (who isn't a teacher) is going to read this and agree with teachers because she was constantly belittling them and telling them that they do everything wrong! I teach the children of many amazing parents, and just because a handful take up more time and energy because they perhaps don't know the whole story or evidence behind certain parenting approaches, doesn't mean that those amazing parents are any less of a hero! I wish she would have spent more time describing the positive behaviours of parents, rather than the negative ones. Teach through modelling! And then, when describing the negative, Stroud could have offered alternatives backed by research instead of rambling thoughts and complaints. I may not have sided with Stroud as strongly, since I am now in a better place in my career. I am at an amazing school. I have some truly amazing parents. All my kidlets are awesome and great little personalities. I feel really confident in my role as their teacher. There is also what is happening in the world right now...as I was reading about the woes of NAPLAN, thousands of people were dying overseas due to the current pandemic. It really puts these issues into perspective. This may have swayed my views. Easy to read, but I wish this book was a bit easier for parents to swallow....I feel like that would have been more productive for all.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Née Tipman

    *warning unpopular opinions ahead!* Sadly as a parent, this book made me feel lost, overwhelmed, and bewildered. Wow! What a hugely negative opinion this teacher has of parents! And it's shocking to see so many other teachers agree and rate the book highly. I'm all for honest feedback (full disclosure I don't even have kids in school yet), however this book made me feel like there isn't really much a parent can do right in a teacher's eyes! Even the chapter on teaching conferences which lists th *warning unpopular opinions ahead!* Sadly as a parent, this book made me feel lost, overwhelmed, and bewildered. Wow! What a hugely negative opinion this teacher has of parents! And it's shocking to see so many other teachers agree and rate the book highly. I'm all for honest feedback (full disclosure I don't even have kids in school yet), however this book made me feel like there isn't really much a parent can do right in a teacher's eyes! Even the chapter on teaching conferences which lists the contradictory comments from parents (some of which were kind and positive) was written up as another example of teacher gripes with parents and how hard it is "to please everyone". If this book had included some kind of a fictional parent who represented what teachers wanted, then I think the profession would find that this book would help educate parents and possibly help close this weird divide between "us and them". I fear all it does is lead to more disengagement and possibly defensiveness (my review is an obvious case in point). Also, whilst constantly complaining about parents and insinuating that they have poor parenting skills, I disliked her righteous comments about her own parenting style (e.g., the example of the beautiful teaching moment she had with her daughter and tooth brushing, whilst also commenting on how many parents in her class haven't bothered to teach their kids basic self care skills). Could she have reflected that she too is a flawed parent? As we all are? It would have made her seem more realistic and easier to connect with. Unfortunately, for someone who isn't a teacher, this just felt like a long sad rant from a lady who should find a different job. As an aside, *warning really unpopular opinion coming up* what is with this seemingly toxic culture amongst teachers which makes it fine for them to write books complaining about the people they care for in their job? I'm a health care worker and yes it isn't all butterflies and rainbows but I can't imagine I'd be popular amongst my colleagues if I wrote a book outlining all the negative patient and family experiences I have had. But it's totally okay to do if you're a teacher right? Sorry, big thumbs down for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Millie May

    So so good!! While being fictitious still an amazing insight to teaching!! Very relatable as a pass student and current preservice teacher!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chantel Chandler

    Absolutely loved the anecdotal nature of this book. I could relate to so many of the stories. I didn’t finish it though because I feel the writing about NAPLAN is so strong that it takes away from the story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Hilarious, relatable, heartwarming and painfully honest. Love Gabbie's 'real-ness' and also enjoyed the unfiltered prose and commentary. A must-read for any teacher! Hilarious, relatable, heartwarming and painfully honest. Love Gabbie's 'real-ness' and also enjoyed the unfiltered prose and commentary. A must-read for any teacher!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sonja Bates

    Well..fuck me sideways. I simply loved this! I listened to it as an audio and the voice actress did a great job of bringing Gabbie's voice to life. I wonder if the written version would be as effective? Gabbie Stroud, you have done a great job. You are an important voice in the advocacy of Australian teachers and I salute you. My partner is a firefighter and when he walks down the street, he is waved to, cheered and thanked. All the time. For what? Being of service, putting himself on the front Well..fuck me sideways. I simply loved this! I listened to it as an audio and the voice actress did a great job of bringing Gabbie's voice to life. I wonder if the written version would be as effective? Gabbie Stroud, you have done a great job. You are an important voice in the advocacy of Australian teachers and I salute you. My partner is a firefighter and when he walks down the street, he is waved to, cheered and thanked. All the time. For what? Being of service, putting himself on the front line and doing a job that most of us would be too scared to do. He is acknowledged and thanked. Wow.... and Australian teachers? Nope. All we hear time and time again is how we are incompetent, lazy, whingers and dumb. Really? Years ago I promised myself to never talk to anyone about my job unless they were teachers. Now, I will refuse to discuss education with anyone unless they have read your book. Especially the chapters where she describes her average day to someone who simply refers to our many holiday breaks. You know, I will admit... I LOVE the holidays we get. Whenever someone highlights the holidays, I laugh and say: Yep, it is the best job. We've got it so good. You should retrain and join us! End of discussion. I gave up years ago justifying myself and the perks of my profession. The last chapter brought me to tears. I felt that Gabbie was thanking me. I have worked at a tough school, private schools and independent schools. To be thanked is amazing. Parents can be so cruel. So unkind and oh so demanding. In fact, you only ever hear from them when they complain. A classroom is a community and I am responsible for all the little souls in it. Not just for one student. Where is the trust that I know what I am doing? I left Australia and have been working as a teacher in Germany and it is like a Sabbatical. I have time for lunch, toilet breaks, chats with colleagues, time to plan and so much more. But it is soon time to return home. And I am nervous. I dont want to face the workload anymore and so I am thinking of retraining and leaving the classroom. If I do, then that's yet another experienced and competent teacher to hit the dust. I loved Gabbie's critique of the over involvement of parents in the child's life, and the constant invitations for parents (mums) to be at school. The apps, the data, Naplan oh what on earth is it all for? Gabbie, did you slip into my mind and read it? The only critique was that Gabbie's description of the farm life childhood. She lost me there. But that was just a fleeting moment. I also agreed that it is not a parent's job to play with your kids. When did we think we need to micro manage everything our children do? Let them breathe. Let them become bored. I also loved: "you parent, so I can teach." I cant help but think if we had more men in our profession we wouldnt be in the situation we're in. Because it has been primarily a women's profession, well.... we can just as well raise them. How many times in moments of stress, have I asked if we need to cook our students dinner as well? It is TOO much. Gabbie - please can you become the minister of education? We need you. We really do. If I do end up back in the classroom, your collections of essays has given me the strength to only do the things that matter. My wellbeing matters, too. The teacher's wellbeing is so overlooked and totally taken for granted. We dont even admit to each other that we are 'not coping'. We are expected to smile and just be happy. Because we are women. We give and give. We smile. Dont dare to complain. Come home, continue to take care of those at home etc. Enough is enough. Thank you Gabbie Stroud. Thank you for voicing my thoughts and daring to speak out. You are my hero.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    There were passages in this book I wanted to read aloud to others. There were passages where I wanted to put my arms around the author, Gabbie Stroud (or ‘Stroudy’ as The Ax called her). In this semi-fictional memoir teacher Gabbie Stroud shares her inner-most thoughts and emotions through a series of emails. The implausible format didn’t detract from the genuine discourse. But the overall effect is crushingly sad. An educated, caring and sensitive woman gives so much to her profession (teaching There were passages in this book I wanted to read aloud to others. There were passages where I wanted to put my arms around the author, Gabbie Stroud (or ‘Stroudy’ as The Ax called her). In this semi-fictional memoir teacher Gabbie Stroud shares her inner-most thoughts and emotions through a series of emails. The implausible format didn’t detract from the genuine discourse. But the overall effect is crushingly sad. An educated, caring and sensitive woman gives so much to her profession (teaching), that her family and personal life suffer. A true and intelligent educator. This is what we want for all students. But, not at this price.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ietrio

    The argument is pretty much uniform: Stroud * lives off your taxes even if you don't have school children * can't be avoided, because school is mandatory * can't be fired, because magic * isn't responsible for the consequences of his actions and will be shielded by Union and School * will trump any discussion because he is "a professional" Yet, the parents are supposed to do the work, because Stroud is * stressed, but not unfit, * busy, but not unqualified, * intelligent, but can't answer basic children The argument is pretty much uniform: Stroud * lives off your taxes even if you don't have school children * can't be avoided, because school is mandatory * can't be fired, because magic * isn't responsible for the consequences of his actions and will be shielded by Union and School * will trump any discussion because he is "a professional" Yet, the parents are supposed to do the work, because Stroud is * stressed, but not unfit, * busy, but not unqualified, * intelligent, but can't answer basic children questions outside the routine of the standard curricula

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tonia

    The final page includes, "No one can really tell you what it's like to be a parent until you become a parent. In the same way, no one can really tell you what it's like to be a teacher until you become one." Parents will gain some insights fron reading the book but only teachers will understand how well Stroud has captured education as it is today in urban NSW. The final page includes, "No one can really tell you what it's like to be a parent until you become a parent. In the same way, no one can really tell you what it's like to be a teacher until you become one." Parents will gain some insights fron reading the book but only teachers will understand how well Stroud has captured education as it is today in urban NSW.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Well worth the read for every teacher and parent.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    Insightful and humorous. I liked the format with Stroud writing an honest email to her students' parents each week of the school term. Sometimes I felt like her critiques of the system didn't quite work in the email format, but overall it was a good balance of criticism, information and entertainment. I didn't like it as much as Teacher, but I'd definitely recommend to both parents and teachers in Australia. Thanks to Allen & Unwin for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Insightful and humorous. I liked the format with Stroud writing an honest email to her students' parents each week of the school term. Sometimes I felt like her critiques of the system didn't quite work in the email format, but overall it was a good balance of criticism, information and entertainment. I didn't like it as much as Teacher, but I'd definitely recommend to both parents and teachers in Australia. Thanks to Allen & Unwin for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ngarie

    Written in an entertaining manner which I think certain readers will respond really well to, but for me, it's highly subjective and written by someone who seems to be suffering from high anxiety. I agree with a great deal of the content but I felt at times it swung between preaching and whinging. Important to at least get the conversation started though. Written in an entertaining manner which I think certain readers will respond really well to, but for me, it's highly subjective and written by someone who seems to be suffering from high anxiety. I agree with a great deal of the content but I felt at times it swung between preaching and whinging. Important to at least get the conversation started though.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Markmann

    Highly recommend this book for literally anyone. So much of the education system is revealed that people just don't think about, and it's written in such an entertaining and accessible way! While reading this as a first year teacher made me a little freaked out at times of what could happen, the magic moments are so worth the pain. Highly recommend this book for literally anyone. So much of the education system is revealed that people just don't think about, and it's written in such an entertaining and accessible way! While reading this as a first year teacher made me a little freaked out at times of what could happen, the magic moments are so worth the pain.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    A succinct encapsulation of the life of a teacher. Would recommend to anyone involved with schools - parents, leaders and civil servants.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kimberley Shaw

    A little improbable, but still a good, fun enjoyable read - especially for teachers.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Required reading for every parent in Australia.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michele Powell

    Brilliant. Every parent should be issued it when their child starts school & made to reread each year after 😂😂 Fabulous read

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nicki Dadic

    Newfound insight into the lives of and empathy for Australian public school teachers. Quick and easy read - definitely going to read Gabbie Stroud’s “Teacher” soon.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    I really enjoy the way Gabbie writes. I can relate to all the great parts about being a teacher, but also everything that is wrong with our education system.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    For the first time ever, I wanted to highlight passages in the book with a pencil. I did not, but I wanted to! So much of what is discussed here so true to life it's crazy. It is a fictionalised version of a teacher's lot, but the truths that are included are absolute. My heart broke in term 4, I laughed all the way through term 2's excursion. I liked it all, and the laughter helps to stop the tears! At least Stroud is able to speak out about the life of a teacher, which many of us are not able For the first time ever, I wanted to highlight passages in the book with a pencil. I did not, but I wanted to! So much of what is discussed here so true to life it's crazy. It is a fictionalised version of a teacher's lot, but the truths that are included are absolute. My heart broke in term 4, I laughed all the way through term 2's excursion. I liked it all, and the laughter helps to stop the tears! At least Stroud is able to speak out about the life of a teacher, which many of us are not able to do. Because it's fictionalised, of course there is exaggeration but if you are a teacher, the exaggeration is not over-exaggerated, if that makes sense. I think every teacher and educator and school based worker can relate to something in the book, and if you can't, then I think either you are very lucky or you're lying. Again, not everyone will read this, even though they should. Not everyone will like it. I have already seen teachers and educators bagging it out. Some parents will hate it. But books are meant to reflect society and the problems within it, to allow for discussion. I absolutely know that as a teacher I will still have to justify my role and value to society, including to some of my friends and family even. But like Stroud, I have made a difference to the lives of students, and colleagues. But the cost of that was too much. So I understand her love hate relationship with it all, because I have it too. But I am so happy I can read this and know I'm not alone. We have hope for the profession, and for our students and our schools, but we can't ignore the very real problems, issues and experiences that teachers, educators and school workers face in their careers. This book at least gives some voice to this, and for that I am thankful, and admire Gabbie Stroud.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kira

    I was looking forward to reading Gabbie’s new book. I previously listened to an interview on Mia Freedman’s podcast No Filter where she interviewed Gabbie after the release of her first book Teacher. I found so many of Gabbie’s experiences and stories relatable as my mum is a Primary School teacher and has shared very similar stories with me. However, I can see how much of this would be surprising for others. Gabbie is extremely talented at making a point whilst also keeping the text light hearte I was looking forward to reading Gabbie’s new book. I previously listened to an interview on Mia Freedman’s podcast No Filter where she interviewed Gabbie after the release of her first book Teacher. I found so many of Gabbie’s experiences and stories relatable as my mum is a Primary School teacher and has shared very similar stories with me. However, I can see how much of this would be surprising for others. Gabbie is extremely talented at making a point whilst also keeping the text light hearted. The book was threaded with humour and moments which I couldn’t help but laugh at. I loved how the story shed light on today’s needy parents and their unrealistic expectations. Also, the difference between what a teacher should be teaching and what a parent should be teaching. It is not a teacher’s job to teach a child how to do life! Teaching and learning are far more effective when children have basic life skills. Thank-you Gabbie for writing such a wonderful book and helping people outside of teaching understand all the extras that teachers deal with. This is a must read for anyone who has children in school, a teacher in their life and/or don’t think teaching is a difficult job.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shreedevi Gurumurty

    Where has this book been all my life, I've been longing to read about how teachers actually feel about their work these days and this book really gets to the point and pulls no punches. Thank you so much Gabbie Stroud for writing it. I share all of your opinions regarding the poor quality of education in Australia due to the introduction of standardised testing methods like NAPLAN, too much accreditation bureaucracy that teachers have to be complete so that they can still stay in their jobs and Where has this book been all my life, I've been longing to read about how teachers actually feel about their work these days and this book really gets to the point and pulls no punches. Thank you so much Gabbie Stroud for writing it. I share all of your opinions regarding the poor quality of education in Australia due to the introduction of standardised testing methods like NAPLAN, too much accreditation bureaucracy that teachers have to be complete so that they can still stay in their jobs and generally embracing a culture of competition and comparisons between students and pitting schools against each other, instead of actively focusing and fostering teacher-student and parent relationships and viewing learning as a lifelong process full of magical moments, instead of as a means to an end to get a high paying job and becoming a mindless consumer. The education system also fails disadvantaged and special needs students by not providing them with the support and resources they need to achieve their potential. Every student is different and has different issues, some more than others, but there are a lot of issues that can't be seen. Factors have to be taken into account, especially about the student's home life-what their parents do for work, do they have a healthy, balanced diet, do they have books at home? Too many people, especially politicians, believe they know what's best for Australia's students, teachers and schools and it's always about collecting and analysing data and countless and pointless arguments about who deserves funding and support and teachers always get blamed if their students and schools don't perform to national standards.These politicians aren't teachers and even though they were students once, they've completely forgotten how the education system operates. Like Gabbie says,"Too many things are being done, but none of them done well." Everything has become too administrative and mundane in schools as the education system itself is overburdened. Everyone wants the school to do everything and teachers have to bend over backwards time and time again to get stuff done, mostly to please their principal bosses and entitled parents who always want to pick a fight over something or the other. Teachers aren't respected a lot anymore, once it was a position of service but now teachers are treated like servants. This book also challenges stereotypes that people have about teachers: Teachers work day isn't 9AM-3PM anymore-a lot of inane, tedious and massive school projects and initiatives coupled with marking and preparing lessons, is adding to their tremendous workloads. Teachers complete all this work on weekends, as soon as they come back home after the weekdays and they even come into school in the holidays to plan things out. This workload eats away at their time like anything and affects their personal time-with family and friends but mostly themselves. This book makes a plea to all parents to understand their roles as children's lifelong teachers and demonstrate how they can best help their child and teachers achieve the best results for the next generation. Reading to your children,leading by example,teaching them practical skills and allowing them to be bored goes a long way than giving into their demands and not curtailing their digital usages.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    I was given this book a year ago and was not compelled to read it but thought I'd give it a go. I just found it so negative that I stopped 3/4 in, skipped to the end chapters and then did something I never do, I threw it in the bin. She's been acclaimed for her fight for teachers but really, I don't get it - she doesn't speak for me. It's clear she had an unsupportive principal, and I get that that would be hard -I probably would have left that school too. Some people in the role need leadership I was given this book a year ago and was not compelled to read it but thought I'd give it a go. I just found it so negative that I stopped 3/4 in, skipped to the end chapters and then did something I never do, I threw it in the bin. She's been acclaimed for her fight for teachers but really, I don't get it - she doesn't speak for me. It's clear she had an unsupportive principal, and I get that that would be hard -I probably would have left that school too. Some people in the role need leadership training or are just not suited (not my experience with the many fabulous principals I've worked with). But the way she talks about parents is terrible, her attitude appalling, it's no surprise to me that she found teaching soul destroying. All she does is whine and offers no positive solutions or suggestions. It just reminded me of the best professional development I did years ago called teachers matter, which was really about taking responsibility for your own wellbeing. I know our education system needs to change, yes there is paperwork to be done and accountabity, and yes some parents can be very nasty (but then they are also nasty to shop assistants and others they encounter). And I too have had days/weeks where I've been hurt by people at work. I also know fabulous teachers who've been treated very badly. It can be hard but so to is running a business and other jobs and life sometimes. But surely we need to embrace the many supportive parents, the many fabulous things about teaching, the experiences with kids that make you come home excited and energised, and with every negative situation look at the role we've played and how to proceed moving forward. It may be that you ask another to support you when interacting with that person. I believe there's a chance to learn and grow with every negative encounter if you are open to refelecting and growing. And campaigning for change is extremely important. As a parent and teacher I just do not get the hype about this author or how her approach will improve anything. Am I batty? Thoughts? Be kind. And when you've had enough of one career, or school, allow yourself to leave, it's ok - there are always new avenues to explore.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jen Mactaggart

    I found Teacher gripping and was so impressed by it but this one was a whinge fest that reinforces everything people find off-putting about teachers. If you are in need of a serve of parent guilt on top of everything you already get in the media then look no further. We understand that the education system puts undue pressure on teachers and is too NAPLAN driven and administrative. I hope teachers also realise that family life has also changed with most parents needing to work on top of caring f I found Teacher gripping and was so impressed by it but this one was a whinge fest that reinforces everything people find off-putting about teachers. If you are in need of a serve of parent guilt on top of everything you already get in the media then look no further. We understand that the education system puts undue pressure on teachers and is too NAPLAN driven and administrative. I hope teachers also realise that family life has also changed with most parents needing to work on top of caring for children with many more financial and other societal pressures, and that this may have changed their parenting practices. The issue of screen time has overtaken everybody's ability to understand it and set boundaries around it. It's great that Gabbie had a wonderful childhood but many parents did not and have been concerned not to repeat it with their own children and so will make different mistakes. If all teachers were like Gabbie I would hope parents were less critical, however I have encountered some woeful teachers in the time my children have been at school who should have retired 20 years ago and my guess is that some of the accountability requirements that have come in to the profession are targeted at these people. It's important that parents advocate for their children in relation to these teachers or nothing will change. There are lots of difficult and demanding jobs out there, all with outside pressures and excessive administrative requirements, many of which don't have the pay and leave entitlements available to teachers. Think childcare workers among many others. I am shocked to hear of the way parents can criticise teachers but parents need help too.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Love

    Dear Parents by @gabbiestroud - Now more than ever, we need parents and teachers supporting one another. This book was everything I was hoping it would be. I absolutely loved Teacher and was driven towards reading this book the minute I found out it's intention of helping parents understand their role as their child's lifelong teacher. As a parent of a soon-to-be prep, I understand more of what is expected of me. As a teacher, more than anything, I hope it does the same for other parents. Like Tea Dear Parents by @gabbiestroud - Now more than ever, we need parents and teachers supporting one another. This book was everything I was hoping it would be. I absolutely loved Teacher and was driven towards reading this book the minute I found out it's intention of helping parents understand their role as their child's lifelong teacher. As a parent of a soon-to-be prep, I understand more of what is expected of me. As a teacher, more than anything, I hope it does the same for other parents. Like Teacher, every page was relatable. It was clever, insightful, funny, truthful. At times it was critical, heavy, concerning and a little bit sad. More than anything though, it was honest despite being fictitious. As I read the words out aloud, my wife and I would laugh together and cheer on Gabbie. We would also reflect and share experiences that were not always so different. I truly believe that all teachers and educators should read this book. I love the feeling of togetherness when reading Gabbie's books. You are not alone. Especially you grads out there! Parents too! Do yourself a favour and have a read. It's worth it! We are in this together and we both want the same thing - the very best for your child and their education. Thank you @allenandunwin for sending a review copy my way. I am so grateful to you guys to review

  28. 5 out of 5

    The Book Squirrel

    This book sits between fiction and non-fiction. The preface states that the letters are made up, but they are realistic to the point where it could feasibly be classified as creative nonfiction. This is a quick and easy read. This is what every teacher wishes they could say to parents, describing the realities and challenges and purpose and passion and "magic moments" of teaching. It emphasises the role and responsibilities of parents (like putting their child to bed at a reasonable time, teachin This book sits between fiction and non-fiction. The preface states that the letters are made up, but they are realistic to the point where it could feasibly be classified as creative nonfiction. This is a quick and easy read. This is what every teacher wishes they could say to parents, describing the realities and challenges and purpose and passion and "magic moments" of teaching. It emphasises the role and responsibilities of parents (like putting their child to bed at a reasonable time, teaching them manners, limiting screen time, reading to them, etc). Most people know these things (they are common sense), but it's also troubling that so many parents actually DON'T seem to know what their parental responsibilities are, so more and more are being placed on teachers' shoulders. The book also covers topics which parents may NOT know, like how NAPLAN works and other political aspects of the education system. I would recommend this book to all parents, teachers and politicians. I hope it will help parents understand the teaching role, and rejuvenate parent-teacher relationships as this can only be of benefit to children. (P.S. I TOTALLY agree that the Education minister should have to be an accomplished teacher before they take up the political post.)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I found Stroud's latest book disappointing. Her overarching view seems to be that teaching is rather a shitty job. The negative 'Mrs Jethro' was by far the most unfair depiction of a teaching colleague. Stroud was able to forgive the principal and enabled him a couple of positive moments but she showed little support for the teacher librarian. As a teacher librarian myself, the treatment of this teacher, her colleague, sends a poor message to parents that teacher librarians are grumpy and can't t I found Stroud's latest book disappointing. Her overarching view seems to be that teaching is rather a shitty job. The negative 'Mrs Jethro' was by far the most unfair depiction of a teaching colleague. Stroud was able to forgive the principal and enabled him a couple of positive moments but she showed little support for the teacher librarian. As a teacher librarian myself, the treatment of this teacher, her colleague, sends a poor message to parents that teacher librarians are grumpy and can't teach. Stroud needed to practise what she preached throughout the book regarding supporting your colleagues. Interesting that she was trying to emphasise the importance of reading but completely misses the point of the role of a well resourced school library and the teacher librarian. Perhaps Stroud only has room for one 'great' teacher in the book. It's a shame, because I did agree with her views on NAPLAN, parental demands, poor funding ( of public schools ) and how the administrative aspects of teaching and testing negatively effect the work we do with students. I just can't stop thinking about the character of Mrs Jethro (and what about the connotation of that name?) and wondering why Stroud thought her depiction was a necessary element of her book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    I didn't read the highly acclaimed 'teacher' mainly because I have many teacher friends so I feel like I pretty good idea of how difficult and ridiculous the Australian education system is. I was also a textbook buyer for four years and that's definitely the closest I ever want to come to working within this system. However I chose to read 'Dear Parents' as I'd heard it was a more practical outline of what parents can do to make things better for the teacher and their kids. And while it is that I didn't read the highly acclaimed 'teacher' mainly because I have many teacher friends so I feel like I pretty good idea of how difficult and ridiculous the Australian education system is. I was also a textbook buyer for four years and that's definitely the closest I ever want to come to working within this system. However I chose to read 'Dear Parents' as I'd heard it was a more practical outline of what parents can do to make things better for the teacher and their kids. And while it is that it is told in a highly narrative fictional style. Even though that wasn't what I was looking for from this book I'm actually glad it was like this - it gave me the opportunity to experience Gabbie Stroud's excellent writing skills. As well as being a heart felt criticism of both the education system and the parents within it, it was also an entertaining, well characterized narrative that made me laugh and nearly made me cry. Stroud is an excellent writer and I'm tempted to read Teacher now. Certainly if you are a parent of school age kids in australia but you don't personally know any teachers you should definitely read Stroud's work - its truly eye opening and it will make you a much better parent.

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