Sutton resident Garret Keizer has tackled issues as diverse as noise pollution, anger (the "sometimes deadly sin"), the nature of help, his experience becoming an Episcopal clergyman, noise pollution, and, most recently. school systems. Getting Schooled is an account of Keizer's year of teaching at Lake Valley Regional High School, a place he'd left classroom teaching 14 years earlier. He returns to find his former students as Principal and School Board members, and significant changes in education, including technology, testing, and the current culture of being (and towards being) a teenager.
A feature article in the Times Argus by Kevin O'Connor (10.19.14) interviewed Keizer about his new book:
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"Anybody who looks to this book for a 10-point plan will be disappointed,"
Instead, the author poses more questions than answers as he prods readers to
inquire if the root cause of what's ailing public education is society
"If I'm in a supermarket and somebody says, 'Kids today ...,' I'm hell on
wheels. One of my hopes is that people will read the book and think maybe it
would behoove them to take some time before holding forth on schools to walk
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These questions place school in the context of a national debate about education, in the context of changes to society, and importantly in Keizer's personal experience. He stresses that this is principally a memoir. And it's one full of insightful reflections on larger issues - we're particularly fond of the observation that: "If you want kids who can read and write, you need a culture that prizes books."
You can hear more of Keizer's thoughts in some of the interviews and articles surrounding the publication of Getting Schooled:
- "Garret Keizer Goes Back to School" Interview on Vermont Edition
- "Sticking Up for Teachers" Interview on WNYC
- Q&A with Deborah Kalb
- A Level Playing Field at School Can't Make Up for a Broken Democracy, Los Angeles Times op-ed
You can read more writing by Garret Keizer at his website http://garretkeizer.com/ But wouldn't you rather hear him talk in person? You can: Tuesday, October 28th, 7:00 pm at Bear Pond Books. It should be a great discussion. It's free and open to the public - join us!