Confessions of a Bad Teacher was really shocking. I knew there are many frustrating things about being a public school teacher, especially in low-income schools, however I never pictured anything this severe. At first I couldn’t believe that this school was real, I felt like John Owens had to be exaggerating about the conditions in his school. The regulations about what he wrote on the white board and how he prepared a bulletin board seemed absurd. How could teachers be expected to do these things and write engaging and educational lesson plans? There was also a lack of resources. It would be nearly impossible to prepare for class if you were not sure if the smart board would work or if you would have a computer you could use. Dealing with these issues gets you off to a bad start that will just lead the class towards chaos. 

 The expectations the principal had for her teachers were absurd. They were being set up for failure. I feel like it would be impossible to be a good teacher at the Latinate Institute. I imagine this setting would be incredibly difficult for new teachers. Constantly being told you are a bad teacher would be hard to deal with. After reading this book, it is no wonder young teachers are leaving the profession at such high rates. If I were treated this way during my first year teaching, I don’t think I could continue teaching. I think that young teachers need to be supported rather than bullied. 

I believe that this is an extreme case, however, after talking to my peers in class I think it is more realistic than I originally thought. I think that it is obvious that American children are suffering due to our need to find data for everything. The administration needs to check off boxes and have numbers to show the government which causes good teachers and good students to fall through the cracks. In our effort to leave no child behind, I found after reading this book that more are being left behind than before. 

 Students who are actually trying are being disrupted by students with behavior problems. Students causing trouble are doing so because they are struggling to learn the content and in many cases they are struggling because they have a learning difference and they are not getting the support they deserve. Teachers are not adequately trained to deal with these issues and special education teachers are not as present as they should be. 

After reading this book, it has become obvious that the public education system needs a huge over haul. We need to stop obsessing over data and start focusing on the students and teachers. Education should be about the people, not the numbers. If teachers and students had the support they need our educational system would be a lot better for everyone. Teachers need a strong teacher education as well as time in the classroom with mentorship from an experienced teacher. Students need to have an adequate number of resources as well as a plan to deal with behavioral and learning problems. There is a lot that needs to be changed and unfortunately no one know this because no one asks the teachers what could be improved. I think Confessions of a Bad Teacher is a shocking eye-opener and I hope it leads to change in public schools.