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Book details
  • Genre:EDUCATION
  • SubGenre:Educational Policy & Reform / School Safety & Violence
  • Language:English
  • Pages:431
  • eBook ISBN:9781483546971

Swimming in the Cesspool

An American Teacher's Nightmare Encounter With New Zealand Education

by Gregg Smith

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Overview
This is the story of an American teacher who came to New Zealand hoping to share his love of mathematics with his students. What he encountered was an organized campaign to drive him out of his job and out of the teaching profession. This campaign cost him his job and his teaching career. This book tells this whole story, from the initial decision to make a mid-life career change to teaching through the failures of the various educational institutions in New Zealand and the ultimate end of his teaching career.
Description
This is the story of an American teacher who came to New Zealand hoping to share his love of mathematics with his students. What he encountered was an organized campaign to drive him out of his job and out of the teaching profession. This campaign cost him his job and his teaching career. Beginning with a detailed history of the author's life prior to training as a teacher, the book weaves a tale through the intricacies of applying for and attending teacher training in New Zealand; finding a job as a teacher; struggling to teach students aggressively opposed to learning; and dealing with the various bureaucratic organizations that surround New Zealand schools. While much of the introductory material is light-hearted, the narrative evolves into a serious discussion of issues surrounding secondary education in New Zealand. The horrors confronting some teachers are described in full detail, with extensive documentation. The book brings the full impact of the problems home by giving the reader an intimate look at the effects of the abusive and destructive work environment that eventually led to the author's walking away from his teaching career in order to preserve his mental and emotional health. This story is a must-read for anyone associated with education, particularly in New Zealand. IT raises serious questions about the demands we place on teachers. Ultimately, it questions the purpose and effectiveness of the education system as a whole, while exposing systemic failures at all levels. This story makes compelling, if frightening, reading. You may never want to put your child into a public school again.
About the author
Before descending into the abyss of New Zealand secondary eduction, Gregg Smith graduated from the US Air Force Academy and Colorado State University, eventually ending up with engineering and mathematics degrees. His initial professional work was developing computer graphics, signal analysis, and combat simulation programs for the US Air Force. After 8 years in the Air Force, Gregg went to Saudi Arabia, where he helped set up a large engineering centre for the Arabian American Oil Company. Following his five years in Saudi Arabia, Gregg went on to work in Switzerland, the US, Oman, the UK, Switzerland (again), and New Zealand. After spending a year training as a teacher, Gregg crashed into the nightmare that is New Zealand public secondary education. He has never recovered. When he's not writing books or preparing documents for court proceedings, Gregg enjoys films, music, and theatre.
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