On My Bookshelf: Mission Possible #readmissionpossible

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I received a copy of Mission Possible by Eva Moskowitz and Arin Lavinia to read and another to give away to one of you fabulous readers.  Education is always a major factor in our national and state budgets.  It seems that no one can agree on how money should be spent or how children should be taught.

I was asked to respond to this question when reading this book:

Stagnation, being unable to accomplish one’s job at a high level, is one of the greatest sources of low teacher morale. Why do you think this country treats teaching so differently than it does other professions?

In my opinion, it’s not that teachers are unable to accomplish exceptional teaching.   It’s that they have too many distractions that take away from the most important job—educating children.   In what other job is a professional expected to perform and get results that are truly out of one’s control?  For example, if a doctor tells a patient to lose weight and the patient doesn’t meet that goal, is the doctor held responsible?  Would an Olympic coach be able to take children from all walks of life, all shapes and sizes, and be able to make gold medalists out of each one?  Of course not!!  So why are teachers expected to make such miracles happen?    In the United States, teachers are being asked to take great measures beyond the classroom for the good of the children.  Often, this is done without resources or a realistic budget. Meanwhile, the country looks on and everyone has an opinion about how these measures should be evaluated.   Teachers are also some of the lowest-paid professionals among their college educated peers.  The country does treat teaching much differently than it does other professions.   For some reason, teachers are often looked upon with condescension from their colleagues in other fields.  We all know the saying, “those who can’t, teach.”   Anyone who speaks those words should be required to teach a third grader how to compute long division.  I think that phrase would be banished from the English language!

Going back to my point about teachers making miracles happen…….the point is that teachers do make that miracle happen.  No matter the excuses, teachers rise above and get results.  Teachers don’t go to into education for the money or the benefits.  Teachers are devoted to children and helping them love learning.   If you have a child, remember when your child learned to ride a bike?  That feeling that you had is what teachers live for.  At the end of the day, cantankerous parents or a boatload of papers to grade don’t hold a candle to the light in a child’s eyes when she makes the connection between addition and subtraction.

That’s what Mission Possible is all about.  These Success Academies take away the barriers that can stand in the way of true excellence in learning.  Economics, demographics, and gender are all cast aside.  What’s left is rigorous learning made simple and fun.  Although I didn’t agree with the part about bringing in entertainment to make school a crazy fun place to be, I love the idea of making schools about kids again.  Mission Possible focuses on “scholars” and teachers working together to achieve powerful results in kids’ reading and writing skills.   Another feature I liked about Mission Possible was the great tips on higher-level questioning skills.  The book is supported with an excellent array of documented research.  Although Mission Possible is primarily about public education, I think it could benefit homeschooling parents as well.

You can find out more about Mission Possible by liking author Eva Moskowitz on Facebook and following her on Twitter.  Send her a tweet and tell her what you think of Mission Possible and Success Academies!

Want to win a copy of Mission Possible?  Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.  The giveaway is open to US readers of Savings in Seconds and will end July 31, 2012.  Good luck!

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  1. Sounds like a very interesting book, and you make some very good points about teachers being expected to achieve the impossible (usually without anywhere near enough resources!)
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