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Lost in the Stacks: The Teachers

Welcome to the new school year! For middle school teacher Miquel, and elementary school teachers Penny and Rebecca, it’s a time of excitement - what will the kids be like? - and apprehension – what will the parents be like? Above all, they wonder if they can survive another school year of low pay, overwork and lack of support. As the school year unfolds, Alexanda Robbins documents their highs and lows, challenges and small triumphs, in her new book The Teachers. As the year begins, Miquel, a special education teacher, has recently switched from teaching severely disabled children to children with more moderate problems at the recommendation of his doctor. Sixth grade math teacher Penny is struggling with an imploding marriage and bullying from other teachers who are jealous of her success with students. Rebecca, a fourth-grade teacher, is determined to make more time for a social life after years of being consumed by teaching. Each teacher has unique challenges, but they all face difficulties with oblivious administrators, demanding parents and unruly students. Miquel, Penny, Rebecca and their students provide the framework for The Teachers. However, Robbins also interviewed hundreds of other teachers across the United States and uses their stories to support and expand on the current state of the profession. These stories are chilling. Once-respected, highly educated professionals are threatened by parents, physically attacked by students, and forced to do more and more with ever-dwindling resources. Have you thanked a teacher today? They’re superheroes (even if they shouldn’t have to be). 

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