Diary of a Prep School teacher chronicles the events of a turbulent year in a prep school, as told by a science teacher with twenty years of high school teaching experience in that school. While all the names have been changed, the events and conversations have been faithfully recorded.
At Paragon Prep, a school in Princeton, New Jersey, besides teaching four sections of high school science, the author becomes a member of the faculty salary committee, where he comes into direct conflict with the headmaster, as well as the chairman of the board of trustees. Unlike public school teachers, the overwhelming majority of private school teachers are not unionized, and therefore totally at the mercy of the whims and caprices of administrators. Because of his conflict with the headmaster, the author and some of the disaffected faculty surreptitiously start a faculty association, with hopes of turning it into a union.
As a neophyte advisor to Peer Group seniors, the author becomes involved in the trials and tribulations of seniors trying to learn to become leaders. As if this isnt enough, he finds himself trying to deal with a student in one of his physics classes who is in dire need of psychological help, a student who clearly does not belong in the school and may prove to be dangerous.
While this is indeed a diary, it also contains many of the authors ideas about teaching in general, teaching science in particular, and dealing with youngsters, colleagues, and administrators.