A great deal of time that month was spent in sorting my collection of teaching paraphernalia into those three familiar piles: Keep, Discard, and Share. I'd done a lot of moving around in those thirty years, and the four years that I spent in this last classroom were the easiest to close out, materially speaking. In that setting, I taught only 8th grade US History. The teacher who would be in that room after me would bring his own collections with him, but might appreciate much of what I'd added to the room. And if not, he could sort them into his own Keep, Discard, and Share piles.
Publishing this collection of columns written for Phi Kappa Phi's Forum provided the closure I sought. I am happy to share here with you the three reviews that were posted at Amazon:
In a series of essays, Palardy explores timeless educational issues from her experienced perspective. She asks pertinent questions from varying perspectives. In Pendulum, we get a subtle, yet painfully accurate warning that the educational trends swing to extremes. (The current top-down business model of education may have been avoided if those who create education policy were forced to teach elementary school for one year.) Her intelligent writing explores various methods, addresses the intricacies involved in grading and grade inflation, and ends with a discussion with the principal demonstrating educators concerns for more than just academics. I was reading Diane Ravitch's The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education concurrent with Teaching: Education and Academics at the turn of the century, alternating between the two and on a couple occasions, I forgot which I was reading. That puts Palardy in very good company. Palardy is now retired and she is reflecting on her career in education. Let's hope she continues to shed light on an often misunderstood profession.
I am always a bit apprehensive when a fellow writer has favorably reviewed my fiction and then later I review their own work. The task was made easier because Teaching: Education and Academics at the turn of the century is nonfiction, and I write mostly fiction. Still, in this case, it's even more satisfying to enthusiastically give five stars.
~Jeffrey Penn May, author of No Teacher Left Standing