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SO WHAT! STORIES or WHATEVER! (So What! Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I was told that this was intended to be series of stories but when I read it seemed structured more like a novel, albeit with individual anecdotes included here and there. The book tells the tale of a men, Robert Jeffrey, who sets out to prove to himself (and his father under whose shadow he always seems to be) that he can become a Science teacher who will motivate children and get them to enjoy Science. Therefore, the setting is very much a school one and it is so realistically portrayed that I suspect the author has been, or maybe still is, a Science teacher. The classroom scenes and the interaction of the teachers among themselves and with their pupils are brilliantly described. They really do make for riveting reading.
The plot itself is rather a loose one, which perhaps accounts for its being described as a collection of tales and basically focuses on Robert Jeffrey's progression from a newly qualified teacher, bright eyed and bushy tailed but as naïve as he is well intentioned, to a highly respected and experienced member of staff and his encounters with a particularly unpleasant bully boy, Kyle, (good name for a bully!) who has no respect for authority or, indeed, anyone. His exploits are very epitomized by his physical and mental bullying of the brothers Adam and Nigel Shantra, two intelligent and well behaved boys who are no match for bully boy Kyle at school.
The characterisation in the book is one of its strongest features. Robert Jeffrey, around whom all of the action revolves, is a multi-faceted character who exhibits a combination of strengths and weaknesses in a complex mix.Read more ›
A Nice read!
I highly recommend this book - especially to teachers!
The cast in these stories is considerable, as it must be in order to paint a complete picture of a classroom, as well as the experiences of a teacher, over time--students, staff, experiences inside and outside a classroom that define one’s career. Initially, the load can be overwhelming, but it does not remain so. Some characters come to the forefront and remain, an afterimage stuck on the retina, while others fade into the background.
Still, it’s the children who hold this story together. Certainly the teachers are of some interest, but it’s the children’s behavior and development that capture our fascination while it is the teacher’s role to harness their potential. I want the teacher to succeed, but into that success is woven the successes and failures of the children, and in dealing with the children we learn more about them. Mr. Jeffrey seems to identify very early on that these aren’t simply children or students, they are individual human beings with distinct characters, even if some are negative. This is something a teacher understands.
Interestingly, one of the early lessons Mr. Jeffrey learns is that he can’t be nice, that he must be an authority figure rather than a friend. And yet, as he gains control over the children this allows him to receive more of their attention and become more attenuated to their needs and distresses. Which is what he wants from teaching, in addition to making them successful students and appreciating the genuinely curious.Read more ›
The first book reads more like a memoire than a novel. A series of incidents, situations and character outlines form a teacher’s purportedly imaginary recollection of his teaching experiences. Some of the events were clearly amusing that the time, but their narration came across as rather laboured and more than once I found myself with the thought ‘perhaps you had to have been there.’ There was little cohesion or development, for me, however the events of the finale did shock me and I began to view the central character with more interest.
So much so that I hoped that the second book would follow this character into his teaching at a college of FE; suddenly he was more solid and human to me than he had been throughout the first book. How would a new teaching environment, more mature students and the new-found recognition of his own short-comings influence him? However, the second book took another teacher as its main protagonist; the setting, the issues and the character types remained the same. It worked better as a novel, though, with a central storyline - the rescue and improvement of the school’s nature area. What a shame that the writer chose such unlikely and overtly ‘comedic’ names for some of his characters - it did prevent me from taking them at all seriously, which was a shame, as their trials and tribulations were, at times, quite affecting.
The third book is labelled as a ‘thriller’ but I am afraid that it didn’t thrill me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This three-parter centers around the life of high school students and teachers in the UK. I would recommend this read to my friends in the teaching profession. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Marie-Jo Fortis
The best in the ‘So What!’ series. Robert Jeffrey joins the teaching profession on a ‘try-it-out-for-a-year’ whim against the wishes of his father who feels he can do better, being... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Anna Fantabulous
So What! Stories or Whatever by G.J.Griffiths
Mr. Jeffrey is looking back at the years he spent as a teacher. Read more
Despite the title, I decided to read this as a story. It is about a science teacher and the schools and students. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Asian Mind
A revealing and honest insight into the life of a teacher, a profession I already had a lot of respect for. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mike D
Although personally I found high school a little more insidious than the stories in this book might suggest, the author did a really good job at taking me back to my days as a... Read morePublished on 16 April 2015 by S. Astbury
I liked this story, but I wanted more plot. The beginning was a little hard for me to get in, but things got more interesting after the first four chapters. Read morePublished on 2 Mar. 2015 by Princila M
Griffiths's writing style is fluid and readable, expressing the `story' in a series of vignettes of (I suppose) his lifetime experience as a teacher, sometimes emotionally, but... Read morePublished on 12 Feb. 2015 by AF
. I found myself in quite a dilemma trying to analyze this book. Portions are charming description of life at a British school, something teachers everywhere would love to read. Read morePublished on 2 Jan. 2015 by Amazon Customer
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