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on 18 June 2011
This is an invaluable read for any teacher undertaking a GTP, PGCE or NQT, but I am sure it will be a good read for any experienced Secondary School teacher. I have waded through a few teaching theory books and found most to be boring or they just made me feel like I was failing. Most are written by teachers who have given it up for better paid and easier vocation. I needed simple, positive and practical advice and I found it here.

This book cuts through all the rubbish and helps you to prioritise on what is important and what you need to do to get your children engaged and learning. There are plenty of short-cuts to help, inspire and guide you through the first year and you and you may even find yourself laughing out loud at the familiar antics of the children, SLT, OfStead inspectors and the stressed out teachers, which I had become one of them.

The only other books I would recommend would be "The Teachers Toolkit" - Paul Ginnis and "Getting the Buggers to Behave" - Sue Cowley. However, this is better than both of them.
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on 25 August 2010
I really like this book a lot.

Mr Beadle is generally acknowledged as being one of England's finest teachers: he was voted 'Teacher of the Year' a few years back, and has made a large number of TV programmes about education for Channel Four. If you really want to see how good he is, then log on to 'Teacher TV' and watch his poetry lessons: they will blow the back off of your TV. As a jaded burnt-out bog-standard teacher, I was hungry to suck the marrow out of this tome: I was desperate to plunder as many of his ideas as I could lay my clammy paws on.

Mr Beadle's book does not disappoint: this book is unique. It provides practical user-friendly common-sense advice on classroom management from the start. This is gold for a working teacher. I loved reading his personal insights. He is not some airy-fairy academic pontificating, from upon high, for the benefit of minor munchkins slaving below at the chalk face. He identifies, and offers solutions to, the very real 'career-threatening fears that all teachers have' regarding disruption in the classroom.

This is a pedagogical player at the top of his game. Having given us his slant on classroom managment, he then shows us how he goes about delivering his whizz-bang award-winning lessons. BBC TV recently broadcast three updated Sherlock Holmes episodes, called 'Sherlock'. The great innovation with 'Sherlock' was that they put graphics and writing up on screen as Holmes examined a crime scene so that you could see exactly the workings of the sleuth's mind as he solved the crime. I felt exactly the same with this book: Mr Beadle granted me an 'access to all areas' pass to his mind as a teacher as he taught. I felt like I was being taken around the 'Top Gear' racetrack by the Stig. As I said earlier, I loved this book.

One minor quibble: I found the 'mockney geezer' banter a bit wearing in places.
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on 7 January 2013
I am sorry to be the one to break rank and post the only non-five star review, but I couldn't stand it any longer. I do not doubt Phil Beadle's skills as a teacher, his passion, or his dedication to young people. I regularly use his Teachers' TV commas video to convey the finer points of adverbial starts. However, there appears to be an 'Emperor's New Clothes' effect here, whereby anything that sounds a little bit trendy, and comes from a teacher who has a column in the Guardian, is accepted without question, and lovingly fawned over by people who haven't scrutinised what they are reading.

'Having your desks set out in groups is the right way to organise your classroom. Period. No discussion. No arguing,' he says. No, Mr Beadle, it isn't. No, 22 five-star reviewers, it isn't. It might be, sometimes, but it isn't always. In fact, in my experience, it almost always isn't. My favourite classroom organisation is rows facing the front. If we had individual desks, I'd use them instead. You know why? Because that's what I like, and that's what I feel most comfortable with. That's the advice you need - do what you feel is best - not progressive dogma.

'Having the tables in groups allows you to set them the grouped speaking and listening activities that are the way in which they learn the most effectively.' Where's that research from, Phil? Sorry, but the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'. I tend to find that students learn how to write essays well comes less from speaking and listening activities - more from writing essays, and me telling them how to improve them.

Too much of this stuff is left unquestioned - too often we do not ask 'how do you know that?' or 'where's your research?' It is all very well if, for example, you are Phil Beadle. He wouldn't have written a book if he thought it wasn't working for him. But most teachers do not want to be Phil Beadle, they want to be themselves. Instead of 'How To Teach' this book would be more appropriately titled: 'How To Be Like Me'.

Again, I have no beef with the man himself - he comes across as a likeable and passionate man, and he has used the word 'nincompoopery', which has to be lauded. But please, everyone, stop fawning.
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on 17 May 2011
Easy to read, really informative and very reassuring. The techniques offered are clear and simple to follow; and unlike some books you might read on the subject, you feel like the examples are grounded in reality! I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this book - I've certainly already told my friends to buy it.
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on 15 July 2010
Just as a book about football shouldn't be read exclusively by players, so it would be a crying shame if a vital publication about education was looked at only by teachers.

I have no hesitation in referring to 'How To Teach' as vital. Although ostensibly aimed at classroom practitioners who need to up their game (and perhaps don't know it), Beadle's book is also essential for parents and guardians who aren't sure if their kids are getting the deal they deserve from the educational system.

Although now a teacher myself, I was a parent of teenagers long before I went back into the classroom and my concerns about their progress were many. Why do they always say they are 'bored' at school? Do the teachers offer a range of activities and strategies in the classroom? What does an outstanding lesson look like? With 'How To Teach' parents now have a substantial reference point when discerning the quality of teaching that their children are getting.

If this means that I, as an English teacher, need to deliberate on a greater scale about the planning of my lessons and my responsibilities towards my pupils then the book has done its job. I'll be a better teacher as a result, and 'How To Teach' will have been instrumental in that.
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on 7 January 2012
This is one book I am unreservedly enthusiastic about - Phil Beadle is encouraging, opinionated, funny and entirely on the side of the new (or not so new) teacher. His advice is practical, grounded in common sense and - I can attest to this personally - works. I initially found his 'mockney geezer' style slightly irritating, but this is hardly the point of the book. He is thorough, strict, humane, moral and totally committed to the people he teaches. He offers some ideas that can be used in the classroom, but in the main the book is about how to get the most out of the kids, how to approach tasks such as marking, why plenaries are important, how you can get an unruly class on your side and so on. I don't think I've come across a better book on education and wholeheartedly recommend it to new and not so new secondary school teachers.
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on 15 July 2010
Phil Beadle has written the ulitmate bible for teachers; without this book I undoubtedly would not have made it through my NQT.

Every night I turned in hope to 'How To Teach', and every night it resorted my faith in myself, and my students.

Beadle's advice is practical and supportive. He understands perfectly the experience of being a teacher, and also - helpfully - the experience of being a pupil. 'How To Teach' contains chapter and verse on Behaviour Management; it offers a variety of strategies on how to deal with behaviour, which is the bane of any new teacher's life. Phil Beadle will assure you that not only is this behaviour to be expected, but it can be dealt with effectively.

If you are about to begin your NQT buy this book now, read it over the summer, then read every night until next summer. And don't worry, as Phil says, "You'll be alright".
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on 2 August 2010
Reading this book was like a romp in the hay with a lothario. It was real fun but it didn't leave me feeling diminished. As I'm sure most people have said, it told of all the things nobody bothered to tell us about teaching when we started out because they were too busy with irrelevant theory. Also, while it enjoyed its own wit, the book was kind to those who might not be able to rise to such heights of charisma clearly enjoyed by Mr Beadle (funny name!) In other words, the book acknowledged that the art of teaching takes real patience and endurance as well as a healthy sort of silliness. Very methodically written too. No exaggeration to say that this is the ONLY book on teaching that I have actually enjoyed reading. Thanks for the massive amount of work you do, Mr Beadle.
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on 3 May 2011
As entertaining as it is useful. Exactly the kinds of hints, tips and honest advice I was looking for before starting teaching.
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on 12 June 2010
Phil Beadle has a different outlook on teaching - quite simply his 'how to' book deals with the things that real teachers need to know and do in order to take control of the classroom. Packed with excellent examples to inspire, engage and educate a new generation of teachers, we learn about what really matters in class, such as how to deal with chewing gum and how to deal with inner civil war in schools.

If you wanna be a pet teacher, this is the book for you!

Peter Cook MBA, MRSC C.Chem, FCIPD, FRSA, NLP Master

Author "Sex, Leadership and Rock'n'Roll" and "Best Practice Creativity"

Managing Director "The Academy of Rock"
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