17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fantastic book, 12 Mar. 2011
This is a fantastic book, one that completely relates to my time teaching in a school in East London. It captures all the good things about teaching - the excitement, the thrill of seeing kids achieve things they didn't think possible, the energy that buzzes round a productive classroom. But it also captures all the bad things - the draining workload, the sapping battles over behaviour, the frustration of low-level disruption, the constant lecturing by overpaid consultants who haven't been inside a classroom since 1971, the sense that none of the pupils ever really understand the line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, the way we weaken our subject in order to make it 'accessible'.
I have long thought that the general public would be shocked if they could see the standards of behaviour that are classed as normal (or indeed, Ofsted 'good') in our schools. Read this book to get an idea of what really happens in the classroom. Of course behaviour isn't like this in every state school, but from conversations I've had with colleagues over the years, it's like it in a hell of a lot more schools than the nay-sayers would have you believe. Nearly every event in this book is similar to one that's happened to me, or to a close colleague. If we keep denying this, things will never improve. Katharine Birbalsingh deserves a medal for writing this book and exposing what goes on in so many of our schools.