George Lucas Educational Foundation
Teacher Development

Readers' Survey 2007: Hottest Topic in the Teachers' Lounge

Edutopia readers weigh in on their favorites.


    It is tempting, at first, to feel sorry for the handful of teachers who responded to this question by saying they don't have a teachers' lounge. (As one wrote, "There isn't time for it.") A closer read of all the responses provides a twist. This is indeed a story about haves and have-nots, but in this version, it is the have-nots who should be envied. The litany of sorrows up for discussion in the lounge -- gangs, discipline, lack of student motivation, "how the district is going down the tubes," and a broadly felt "testing, always testing, testing that never ends and sucks the soul out of education" -- makes it hardly surprising that one teacher advised, simply, "Don't go there."

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    Our Take

    This Old Teachers' Lounge

    It isn't enough, or even fair, to suggest removal of the teachers' lounge as a way of helping educators avoid obsessing about the pains and pitfalls of their demanding jobs. Instead, we propose an extreme makeover of this vital space.

    Architectural Digest has never featured a teachers' lounge, but because we are fantasizing, the sky's the limit. We suggest adding a row of massage chairs, flower arrangements changed twice a week, a high-end Bose sound system (or even a resident string quartet), and a high-def flat screen TV (so "The Young and The Restless" can divert us from the young and the restless).

    NEXT PAGE OF READERS' SURVEY: Best new book about education

    2007 Readers' Survey Index