Confessions of a Bad Teacher

  • by John Owens
  • Narrated by James Killavey
  • 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An explosive new look at the pressures on today's teachers and the pitfalls of school reform, Confessions of a Bad Teacher presents a passionate appeal to save public schools, before it's too late.
When John Owens left a lucrative job to teach English at a public school in New York City's South Bronx, he thought he could do some good. Faced with a flood of struggling students, Owens devised ingenious ways to engage every last one. But as his students began to thrive under his tutelage, Owens found himself increasingly mired in a broken educational system, driven by broken statistics, finances, and administrations undermining their own support system-the teachers.
The situation has gotten to the point where the phrase "Bad Teacher" is almost interchangeable with "Teacher". And Owens found himself labeled just that when the methods he saw inspiring his students didn't meet the reform mandates. With firsthand accounts from teachers across the country and tips for improving public schools, Confessions of a Bad Teacher is an eye-opening call-to-action to embrace our best educators and create real reform for our children's futures.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Telling it like it is.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. People really need to understand how bad conditions can be.

What did you like best about this story?

I have been a teacher for 30 years. If you wonder what it's like to be a teacher should read this book. I've quoted a review of the print version below that I totally agree with.

Which character – as performed by James Killavey – was your favorite?

I thought the reader good but a couple of people did not and, in the "Days of Trump" it's not enough to say you don't like something. People have to go to extremes like...."Terrible, really terrible, Believe me, Believe me!." Sad but true. So I say..I think he's good but don't believe me..or them. Listen to the sample and decide for yourself.

Any additional comments?

"This book accurately describes my own experiences right down to the language used
by the students and the pettiness of the administration. The central message of the book,
according to my biased view as a teacher, is that teachers should be supported financially
(dedicated teachers are spending thousands of their own dollars for classroom supplies
and demonstration apparatus), logistically (removal of knuckleheads from class), and emotionally (regarded with the esteem they deserve). I could recite my own litany of abuse by assistant principals, extreme behavior problems, too many kids with special needs and not enough time, but John Owens has already described my experience with remarkable accuracy. I realize now that this is not just a local problem, but a systemic one pervading school systems across the nation. Education reform has relieved students of responsibility for their own education and placed it all on the teacher. Thirty percent of the school year is consumed by preparing for and taking high-stakes tests. Education reform is the worst thing to ever happen to education. Teachers should be supported and appreciated. Education reform is a big part of the problem, good teachers hold the key to the solution. We should listen to them. Thank you John Owens for stating our case so well!"

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- Deanna


This book is an excellent and enlightening anecdotal account of teaching in America.

The audio performance is also great the performers voice conveys all the sarcasm and wit of the text.
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- arthur patterson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-02-2014
  • Publisher: John T. Owens