"School Days 101" hits the shelves

Staff Writer

A local educator and author is making a splash in the literary scene with a new book on the shelves.

Angela Farmer's book, "School Days 101," has been released by Kendall Hunt publishing, and is available to buy in stores and online.

Farmer's book, "School Days 101" aims to share her professional experience with others.

"The book has a variety of vignettes, and it is designed to help parents, to help educators, even to help administrators, better navigate the day to day operations of preschool k-12, and it's designed to focus on academics, but at the same time to focus on the individual child, and what's best for the child in that set of circumstances, because it's not like a one-size-fits-all sweater," Farmer said.

Farmer's book reflects on her time working in the education field. Farmer is currently an assistant professor of professional leadership at Mississippi State. Before instructing at MSU, Farmer served in many administrative positions in education throughout her career.

"Before that, I was a principal, I was assistant superintendent, I was superintendent, and before that, I was a high school chemistry teacher," Farmer said. "I've worn a lot of hats."
With this time as a teacher and an administrator, Farmer gained experience in many situations.

"I saw the struggles that students had," Farmer said. "I saw some things that were wonderful - I've got a lot of tricks in the bag. But, at the same time, I also know that there are always weaknesses, and to ignore them or sweep them under the rug won't help, it'll make it stronger."

Farmer hopes that sharing the experiences in her book will help give peace to parents, educators, and administrators who are making difficult decisions and face challenging circumstances in their job or role — especially when the decision and circumstances involves a child or the child's parents.

"There are always special circumstances," Farmer said. "There are children that have a variety of challenges that they face individually. Maybe they're in a new setting, maybe their home life has changed, maybe they're really good in one subject or struggle in another."

Farmer pulled some of the frequently asked questions and most encountered issues she faced in her career as an administrator in public schools and explained them in short, simple language.

The work is set up like a lesson book, with Farmer's information beginning the chapter, and then a blank page for the reader to fill with his or her own thoughts.

"It's designed to help them have something to rely on," Farmer said. "It's sort of a Dr. Spock for parents and educators."

While Farmer's book is designed to answer the questions on how to handle certain situations, and it is also designed to give an idea of what is to come.

"It helps readers to be a little proactive, as well," Farmer said.

A large array of subjects are briefed in Farmer's book, ranging from the challenge girls face in expressing their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math at certain points in their maturing process, to managing a classroom.

The explosion of interest in the book has compelled Kendall Hunt, Farmer's publisher, to ask her to begin work on a "School Days 102" book.

"We can do sort of a series, because there are just so many things. So, I'm excited. It's not a high-dollar book. You can get it from Amazon, you can get it from Barnes and Noble, you can get it at Kendall Hunt. There are even E-Copies," Farmer said. "It's just a way to help demystify some of the challenges out there in the jungle we call K-12 education, because it's complicated."