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Need help with writing a book

Discussion in 'Personal' started by hummi7883, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. hummi7883

    hummi7883 New commenter

    Dear TES user

    I will try to be as succinct as possible but will appreciate as much help as possible from you all.
    I have completed my first 5 years of teaching .YAY!
    This is not news. The news is that I am in the middle of writing a book on 'How I survived my first 5 years of teaching in the U.k'.( this is not the title).
    This idea did not take shape until a teacher in my school committed suicide. The reason is quite obvious considering the current climate.
    The book is about my fictional characters who are going through different dilemmas in their teaching career and I give a solution to each on of them. It is all backed up with evidence and research. More of what worked for me.
    There are practical tips and tricks to get through the first 5 years and beyond. I am looking for someone of knowledge to tell me where I can find authentic research into teaching. I have found few sources that I am using but how do I trust them? What signs do I look out for?

    Also, if I want to add a political angle to my book like 'under the current Govt....' will this be taken well?

    Enough questions for now.
    Would value all feedback given. I take it well!
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    It could be a good idea, and generate some sales.
    I'm not sure where you'd find the research that will support your idea, I suspect that you'd be better off having discussions with a range of teachers, with positive solutions of "what worked with Herbie was...."
    The political angle may win you favour with many current serving teachers, but may limit the possibilities for sales once the Government changes, or force a rewrite. I would also suggest that discussing Government policies will be a sideline to the main focus of the book which I understand to be techniques for survival / thriving in schools of the moment.

    Good luck
    Dodros likes this.
  3. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    I'm copying here my response to your similar question in the Book forum. I also concur with what Phlogiston has said about the benefits and constraints of topicality in a publication.

    When I read what you've written, I keep wondering who you have in mind as your readership. In some parts of your message, I see potential for your project as a piece of educational research leading to publication in an academic journal. Elsewhere the work appears to be heading in the direction of a self-help book for teachers in the early days of their careers. These two possibilities serve different audiences, so perhaps you ought to focus on your direction of travel.

    This said, I find your predilection for a case study approach refreshing and life-affirming in a world where educational policy and research have descended into dehumanised number-crunching. Within my own niche interest in MFL learners with SEN, I found writing teacher-training case studies a creative process and the approach appears to resonate with others. I've posted twenty of them on my website at http://www.specialeducationalneeds.com/home/languages.

    So do carry on with your writing enterprise, but keep in mind my recommendation to identify who you are writing for. As for your query about trust, you will just have to develop your own independent critical judgement by ensuring you take into account both sides of any argument and maintaining a balance between the priorities of the individual and the expectations of society. People who conduct research on their own without academic supervision are often advised to find a "critical friend" who can be turned to when encountering dilemmas and be relied upon to provide constructive feedback when asked to examine sections of the manuscript.
    sbkrobson likes this.
  4. ValentinoRossi

    ValentinoRossi Star commenter

    Give it up and get on with teaching.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    It's been done - forget it.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  6. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter


    You've come to the right place, pet. I, myself, am a published author of renown. You may have seen "Ask Dunty: she knows, y'know" on the top shelf of your local convenience store. It also features fictional characters (thinly disguised Tes posters) and their various dilemmas. If I may point you in the direction of my Problem Page, all will become clear.

    A great deal of research is necessary for such an enterprise, and I'm eternally grateful to the barmpots, sorry, lovely people who have contributed.

    Do get in touch if I can be of any assistance, dear.


    Aunty Penny Dunty BA Hons, PGCE, Ovaltiney, Pixie Sixer and Member of the Tufty Club.
    monicabilongame and jellycowfish like this.
  7. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    You're as good as a pram in the hallway.
  8. armandine2

    armandine2 Established commenter

    there is a good case for practitioners writing about their subject (perhaps Winnicott is an example) -

    don't feel you have to imitate
  9. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Go for it! Don't take one bit of notice of the naysayers here. One of the lecturers at my PGCE college Westwood College part of Warwick University was Andrew Davis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Davies_(writer) who became the Great Andrew Davis of TV script and other writing fame.

    He was lecturing English teachers after being a secondary school teacher. Amongst many things, he wrote a wonderful TV series "A most Peculiar Practice"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Very_Peculiar_Practice which aired in mid 80's. but which must have been written in the 70's when I worked at Warwick University as a technician. It was about a medica practice based on a university campus and I could see exactly how he had written it and what and who he had based his ideas and characters on. Some of the characters were so obvious I don't know how he got away with it!

    Two in-jokes I can remember. In the distant background of almost all the out door scenes there are nuns walking about. In the 70's, for whatever reason, there were a number of Nuns on campus who were obvious by their habits. Doesn't sound particularly funny here, I know, but it worked for me. There were also references to bits falling off the walls of some buildings. This was actually happening to the tiles of the Molecular Sciences and Engineering buildings which had been glued on with inadequate glue.

    But it was only people like me who could enjoy the in-jokes. It was the characters who were the big give away. One character in particular to me was very identifiable and that was Buzz played by David Troughton. I would love to give details and a name but I'm not going to. Anybody who was at Warwick University mid 70's will know.

    I actually met David Troughton and immediately I gushingly said to him I knew who Buzz was based on. He sat up sharply and almost fell off his chair and I remembering him stuttering that they were not based on one character but maybe a little bit was taken from many different characters, of course. ---- No David, ---- Buzz was most definitely one person in particular and you would know if you had been there. -- But of course I immediately realised I had stepped over a line and so I shut up.

    So there is a role model to enthuse aspiring authors amongst us here. I had hoped that it would work for me. But apart from co-authoring an A level physics text book (out of date and print now, but it sold well enough to go to 2nd edition!) and a few magazine articles, I sadly spend too much time here instead of getting on with something a bit more productive. Alas!

    Best wishes and as I said just go for it!
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017

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