Author: Frank Chalk
This is going to be a rant more than a review so if you’re looking for something with a little more structure and eloquence, I’d go somewhere else.
This “book” is one man’s experiences of teaching in one of Britain’s lower-performing comprehensive schools. What is supposed to be a “blackly humourous diary of his working life” is in fact a real look at one of the reasons our education system has gotten so bad.
Now, I’ll give “Mr. Chalk” credit where credit is due. I know this profession is frustrating – I’m a teacher. We are overworked and underpaid & get zero respect. The British school system is a joke and most of our state schools are way underfunded. As a result, we do often need a good whinge. That’s why I (very generously) awarded 1 star to “Mr. Chalk.”
What doesn’t help to combat these problems is when teachers just give up and start thinking that they’re above their profession.
I’ll give you some examples of the problems I had with Mr. Chalk’s attitude:
“Stella (it’s amazing how many kids are named after alcoholic drinks) …
Kat (seriously, that’s what her parents called her) scrunches up her label…”
You know when a celebrity names their kid something unusual like Apple or Dweezil or North West and people are like, “That kid’s going to be picked on in school!”?
No. Most kids don’t realise a name is unusual unless they hear an adult mention it. That adult should never be a teacher. Unless the teacher’s a right prick.
“If there’s one thing I can’t cope with it’s crying kids.”
Then, for the love of God, why did you decide to work with kids? Who is this man and, on a scale of 1-10, how dense is he?
“Do judge by appearance. It has become an article of faith in our politically correct world that you should never judge a book by its cover. This is completely wrong. … You can spot them a mile off, whatever anyone says. Earrings, tattoos and outlandish hairstyles mean only on thing: sit them at the front, on their own, before they’ve even had a chance to muck about.”
Words fail me.