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The book all teachers should read

Discussion in 'Book club' started by mrjonesmrjones, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. I've just finished a book called On the Edge by Charlie Carroll, which is about a young English teacher who took a year out from his career to travel around England and work in the most challenging schools he could find.
    It was a truly amazing book, which stands head and shoulders above all the other teacher-memoirs I have read, like Francis Gilbert or Frank Chalk. Carroll's sheer tenacity alone should be applauded - he spent an entire year living in his campervan and working in difficult schools in places like London, Birmingham and Bradford. But his writing style is also brilliant - I started the book on a Monday and finished it by the following Wednesday. I couldn't put it down!
    I work at a particularly challenging school myself, and everything Carroll said struck a chord with me. I kept sighing and thinking - "yep, that's about right". For anyone who wants to read the most revealing, insightful and realistic book about what it is truly like to teach in twenty-first century England, this is a must.
     
  2. I've just finished a book called On the Edge by Charlie Carroll, which is about a young English teacher who took a year out from his career to travel around England and work in the most challenging schools he could find.
    It was a truly amazing book, which stands head and shoulders above all the other teacher-memoirs I have read, like Francis Gilbert or Frank Chalk. Carroll's sheer tenacity alone should be applauded - he spent an entire year living in his campervan and working in difficult schools in places like London, Birmingham and Bradford. But his writing style is also brilliant - I started the book on a Monday and finished it by the following Wednesday. I couldn't put it down!
    I work at a particularly challenging school myself, and everything Carroll said struck a chord with me. I kept sighing and thinking - "yep, that's about right". For anyone who wants to read the most revealing, insightful and realistic book about what it is truly like to teach in twenty-first century England, this is a must.
     
  3. Just added it to my Amazon wishlist :)
     
  4. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I've just asked for a free sample chapter to be delivered to my Kindle!
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    How many pages did it have or are you a particularly slow reader?
     
  6. Why on earth do you want to read a book that exactly mirrors your own everyday existence?
     
  7. Sounds good but to me Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is my all time fave.
     
  8. Just Ordered my copy. Used to work in Bradford do it'll be interesting!
     
  9. It's out of stock at Amazon already!
     
  10. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Good God yes. I read to learn something new; to be challenged intellectually and psychologically; or to escape entirely.
    This sounds far too much like work for me...
     
  11. There isn't a single book that all *anything* should read.
    For every person that finds is realistic, there will be someone else who finds it totally unrealistic. If a book presents one person's view of something, do we really all have to agree with it?
    I would much prefer to read something that opens my mind to something different thanks very much. I don't see much point in reading something while expecting (or needing) it to mirror my own experience.
     
  12. I think the best book about education I have read is:

    'Crump' by P.J.Vanston (2010), ISBN 9781848762855

    Though its more about college and university than school - but it is bang up to date.
    If you like dark comedy and hate way education has become infected by managerialism, market forces, dumbing down and political correctness, you'll love it!
    It reminds me of where I did my PGCE - one of those awful former polys anyone and his dead dog can get into and pass with flying colours!

    (steffiw; 'out of stock' at Amazon does not mean what you think. They only keep a limited number in stock - sometimes one copy only! So if two orders come in, it'll be 'out of stock', having sold precisely one copy! It's V complicated - Amazon also take 60%!)
     
  13. Mine has finally arrived! :)
    Wonder how accurate it is in relation to Bradford schools...?
     
  14. Superficial read. Didn't like it. Didn't dislike it.
     
  15. Yay I read Carroll's book soon after release, was ok to quite good but ...
    (i) I found the flights of literacy annoying at times - Carroll's an English teacher, and seemed to have a need to prove it. It kinda re-enforced the impression that 'those who can't do ...' for me.
    (ii) I thought the author was hiding something, for a guy he said some very odd things. Indeed I thought this was the biggest failing of the book, his character was a little off base, not quite 20/20. Maybe the guy didn't want to identify themselves too much, but it did lessen the book.
    But overall good, I have recently read Chalk's new book which I thought was even better than his first - love or hate him his character is distinct, honest and consistent. There are lots of little cameos/analysis on teaching matters which I am pretty sure many teachers would be interesting in - not a teacher btw -, if not agreeable too...
    There is also an American book; 'Learn Me Good - John Pearson', which tells the tale of a guy who goes into primary school education - very funny in places (especially in the description of children's behaviour) but doesn't say a lot on education. Good in it's way.

    Also on the subject of MondayBooks, they have 2 or 3 on Policing. Strange how the real-life seemed to mimic much of Chalk's complaints/comments, ie the sheer pointless stupidities of the working environment. Anyway 'Diary of an On-Call Girl - EE Bloggs' is well worth a read if your tired of schooling 'exposures', real eye-opener and quite funny at times - certainly brings home how utterly false TV Police Dramas are as well as some good pointers regards your legal rights etc There is an associated blog. Remarkablely good in fact - there is a lot of sarcasism which some females may not like -, actually caused my impression of the Police Force to increase - ie 'a PC Pod wrote this, good grief, they are smarter than they look etc etc'. I actually thought at one point, 'why isn't this woman running the country', which as a child of the Thatcher Era doesn't happen often....
     
  16. PS: If you want to go really off-piste 'For Richer, For Poorer; A Love Affair with Poker - Victoria Coren' is a non-plastic girlie read, despite it's main subject. If I remember right this was one of those £1 self-published books, well above the normal. If this is correct - highly recommended.
     
  17. Try 'Jasper's Green' on Amazon kindle. It was written by a bloke I know who got hounded out of his job in Nigeria and decided to write about all the absurdities of teaching. I laughed my head off. He had my ex-boss off to a T.
     
  18. Bit like reading the posts on the teaching overseas forum.
     
  19. In fact, the AFL references are reminiscent of those made by a certain affable HT type somewhere in Malaysia.
     

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