* An inspirational book about teaching children and a book for every parent.** 'A book that every teacher and potential teacher and parent ought to read.' - Chris Woodhead, formerly H.M. Chief Inspector of Schools.
We are all caught up in our children's lives. We all remember our own schooldays and, as parents, we watch anxiously as our children go through it. As we look at the world of teaching from the outside we wonder not only what is going on but what we can do to help. Jonathan Smith, a born teacher and writer, takes us on his personal journey from his first days as a pupil through to the challenges of his professional and private life on the other side of the desk. He makes us feels what it is like to be a teacher facing the joys and the battles of a class. How do you influence a child He describes how you catch and stretch their minds. What difference can a teacher make, or how much damage can he do Should clever pupils teach themselves What works in the classroom world and what does not And while influencing the young, how do you develop yourself, how do you teach yourself to keep another life and find that elusive balance This is a compelling and combative story, warmly anecdotal in approach, yet as sharp in its views of the current debates as it is sensitive in its psychological understanding. From the first page to the last, and without a hint of jargon, this inspiring book rings true.
In part it's the thoughtful autobiographical reflections of a wise and successful teacher. At another level it's a rather challenging how-to manual for less experienced teachers and for parents...Every jargon-free word that he writes rolls pleasurably round the mouth like good brandy. The prose is marked by a rare and incisive blend of informality and precision - INDEPENDENT
A true, wise, morale-boosting manifesto - Peter Conrad, OBSERVER
He should be compulsory reading not only for aspiring teachers but also for complacent education ministers who keep on interfering in a job that's exhausting enough already. - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
An inspiring account. - TES
Sane and fascinating ... a passionate love letter to the only profession in which "you can try your hand at so many things" - Craig Brown, MAIL ON SUNDAY
An entertaining book about teaching, by a teacher - Wenday Cope, Books of the Year, DAILY TELEGRAPH
Thoughtful autobiographical reflections of a wise and successful teacher ... a challenging how-to manual for less experienced teachers and for parents - INDEPENDENT