“If we want the citizens of tomorrow to be successful, education must be revised today.” This is a direct quote from retired school teacher, Regina Long Southall’s book, Teaching in Elementary Schools, where she gives readers an account of the many lessons she has learned working as an instrumental force in the lives of elementary school children. Before stepping foot in a classroom to teach, we learn about Regina’s experiences as a student herself. We take a walk with her from her elementary school years through the years she spent as a college student at Norfolk State University. Although Regina paints us a clear picture of what her professional life was like and as a student and teacher and teacher in training, it would have been nice if Regina opened the curtain a bit more so that we could learn more about what her personal life was like and what struggles she had to face while in college and during her training to become a full-time school teacher.
In this book, Regina chronicles her professional journey and teaches us what life was like for her as a full-time elementary school teacher, and for the most part, it is what most would expect. Her life was busy and her hands were full. It’s interesting to learn first-hand what being a school teacher entails and I would have liked to see Regina talk more about her relationship with her students. This book could use more balance of positive and negative reflections on the school system as it relates to Regina’s past experiences. It would have been great to see Regina spend more time telling us about the good times she had working as a teacher – inside the classroom and outside the classroom.
While Regina touches briefly on her involvement in the community and at her church, it would have been even better if she took us deeper into her past and gave us more details that the average person doesn’t already know about the life of a teacher.
Overall, I enjoyed reading, “Teaching in Elementary Schools” because of the connection I have with the public school systems and knowing that a lot of what Regina mentioned in her book is right on target and not far from the truth, since not much has changed in the schools since then.
As educators and community leaders, it is important that we not only shed light on the issues that affect us, but come together to do something about them. Since Regina has so much experience and a wealth of knowledge on the educational system, it would be great to see her organize a movement or initiative that could bring about change within her local school system and subsequently other school systems across the nation. This book is her starting point; there is still much more work that needs to be done. 5 stars
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