Gabbie Stroud to launch new book; 'Parents are lifelong educators of their children'

LOVE OF EDUCATION: Gabbie Stroud, pictured at the launch of her last book Teacher in Tathra in 2018, is preparing to release her new book Dear Parents.
LOVE OF EDUCATION: Gabbie Stroud, pictured at the launch of her last book Teacher in Tathra in 2018, is preparing to release her new book Dear Parents.

It is a new year and Gabbie Stroud is back with a new book, which calls for parents to realise the importance they play in educating their children.

The follow-up to her bestselling memoir Teacher, which focused on how the education system has let down children and parents and is breaking teachers, is titled Dear Parents.

A creative non-fiction book, it is a funny, heartfelt and passionate call to arms with two main messages.

"Firstly, I hope parents understand they are the first and lifelong educators of their children," the Merimbula author said.

"Also, what's needed right now is for parents to do the work of a parent back home, so a teacher can do the work of a teacher at school."

For example, she said, children should come to school understanding what "no" meant, should be able to look after and manage their belongings, and should be able to wipe their noses.

Teacher was widely-acclaimed and Ms Stroud said the process in writing her follow-up book was "harrowing".

"They talk about the troublesome second book, how it's difficult to not be paralyzed by the experiences of the first book," she said.

"What if it's not good enough? Fears like that have been lurking in the back of my head."

The idea for Dear Parents was sparked by her publisher who encouraged her to speak to parents as a way of changing the education system: they have children and they vote.

"I sat down to write a collection of essays and thought 'ugh, essays', so kind of went off on a bit of a tangent and embraced her idea of letters," the 42-year-old said.

The premise is a teacher has "gone rouge" and started writing letters to her students' parents to give an insight into teaching and what teachers need from parents, she said.

"It's sort of what I imagined my teaching experience would be if I hadn't left teaching," she said.

"There's all of my cynicism, but there's also all of my hope."

In 2015, Ms Stroud publicly announced on her social media page she had resigned from her job as a teacher at a Bega school in a post that went viral.

When asked if she thought there had been any positive change in Australia's education system since then, she said no.

"We are starting to have conversations that are getting to the heart of the issue," she said.

"All of the media attention I have received shows there is that interest out there and I do hope teachers are somewhat encouraged by that.

"But in the past five years I have not seen any significant attention given to education.

"Policy makers and politicians dodge me like a bullet.

"No-one's got a vision and I think that's the general problem in leadership in Australia at the moment."

Ms Stroud will launch Dear Parents at Mormors, 20-32 Market St, Merimbula on Thursday, February 13 from 6pm.

The band Don't Come Mondays will perform and Ms Stroud will have a conversation with author Zacharey Jane.

This story Gabbie Stroud to launch new book; 'Parents are lifelong educators of their children' first appeared on Bega District News.

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