This book gives advice on classroom management techniques, planning lessons, assessing pupils. It is written in a humourous style, but at the same time has serious advice and ideas. This is a very useful book.
I'm usually reluctant to give five-star reviews, simply because my teacher-head says full marks is an exceptional achievement. This is exceptional. A witty, comprehensive and actually useful look at teaching in the broadest sense - while Phil's background as an English teacher in Secondary Schools shines through, he takes care to show how particular methods can be applied to other subject areas and age groups. The book is full of useful advice and heartening tales, making it a must-read for any NQT, but also full of motivating ideas to re-approach your class in a new way.
The through line is one man's ideology on how to make education engaging for the students, investigating the beliefs underpinning his approach, and while that (alongside the title) might easily come across as proselytising, the humour and humility with which Phil presents his ideas defuse that potential pitfall with ease. I came away feeling more enthused (and in some cases, vindicated in some of my practices, which I hadn't yet been able to support with sound theory) than I have in a good while about my chosen career.
I returned to the classroom after a break from school and from teaching English. The book is full of such practical stuff, some of it covered on my rather excellent PGCE (thank you Nick McGuinn and Richard Andrews)but most of which had been forgotten. The back to basics of class room management and behaviour were great..went in next day and re arranged the room - joy. I have been using the lessons on discussion all week with great success, joy, humour and I suspect some learning going on too... especially when I got out of the way..
It's nice to read a book on teaching that delivers practical and easy to follow advice.
It's all well and good knowing in theory how to execute a good lesson. But this book actually gives direct advice on the best strategies to use. Also highlighting pitfalls and incidences that could appear, and how to deal with them.
I guess it can be summed up by saying this is written by a teacher on the front line, not by someone studying from afar!
This book really is for either complete beginners ( me) or for nostalgic reading for the more experienced teacher/LA. a very easy read with often two opinions of teaching techniques (allows you to make your own mind up) and gives first hand experience, which often leaves you crying in laughter!
I've only read the first chapter on Behaviour Management so far but its SO good and a great insight into techniques to use in the classroom - especially as someone about to start a PGCE year. It also gives great ideas to help you decide what kind of teacher you want to be. The auther has, also, chose to write it as if he is talking to you. It's really funny and a good read - not dull at all - and gives real life examples to help set the scene.
I've read this from cover to cover. It's easy to read and different from the text books recommended by my university (I'm doing BEd Primary) in that it was a lot more light hearted. In addition to this it provided lots of tips that I will use on my teaching practice and in my future career. However, as you'll see when you read the book, not all the comments in it should be taken literally..!!
Also, a lot of the advice in the book seems to apply to secondary rather than primary school. I guess that this is because the author teaches in secondary. I think some ideas can be adapted to primary, but not all, so some primary teachers might like to get a more specific book..