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It's Your Time You're Wasting: A Teacher's Tales of Classroom Hell (Frank Chalk Book 1) Kindle Edition
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- Publication Date : December 16, 2013
- File Size : 1502 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 226 pages
- Publisher : Monday Books (December 16, 2013)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B004GEAM1S
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,614,898 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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We all need boundaries, but many children these days seem to have nothing expected of them - particularly respect and courtesy, it would appear. And their teachers are disempowered to be able to insist upon it through an acceptable punishment if this is not forthcoming. Instead they have to bow to the abuse of Dwayne's mother 'coming up the school' if they keep her little darling behind over the 10 minutes allowed the teacher! How absolutely humiliating for the teacher to have to submit to this and apologise in front of a guffawing youth who knows that he has won and his teacher is powerless to stop his outrageous behaviour that inflicts damage on those children who do want to learn and are prevented from doing so by him. What about their rights?!
So what did I feel about this book? I LOVED it! It is one of the funniest books I have ever read as Mr Chalk displays with whimsical ability his humour, his intelligence, courage in speaking out and his humanity towards the children who in earlier times would have been able to lift themselves from the poverty trap that has enslaved their parents. I found myself with tears in my eyes from laughter, but also from compassion for those children who have been prevented from reaching their bright potential because of the time wasters in their class. Our teacher clients tell us of the awful dictates that they must follow now to be 'politically correct' - surely a contradiction of terms if one considers the politicians who require that of them! To be allowed to only say good things on reports of loud youths who take an intense delight in being as obnoxious and as flagrantly rude as they possibly can is ridiculous! What possible lesson is that teaching both them and the powerless children prevented from learning by them?
So do I recommend this book? Absolutely! It is one of the best books I have read on this subject and magnificently written.
Top reviews from other countries
The more I read, the more obvious it became that this was not true.
The book is the ramblings of a cynical and jaded man. Taken as a piece of comedy writing on the subject of education, it's a very entertaining way to spend a few hours. However, as a supposedly accurate portrayal of life as a teacher, it fails disastrously.
Some of the generalisations when talking about the students and the lifestyles they lead outside school are pure Daily Mail scaremongering. It also gives a completely inaccurate impression of both education generally and what it means to be a teacher, contributing to the low opinion held of the profession amongst the general public which, ironically, the author bemoans in the book.
Approach it as a work of fiction. It is the only way to read this book.
The chapter on the ICT suite is a case in point:
"The work done in the IT suite looks, to a non-expert outsider like myself, like a mixture of typing and that exercise you used to do aged six, in junior school; the one where you would cut pictures out of magazines and stick them on a large piece of coloured paper to make a collage. Cutting and pasting, we used to call it. Nowadays it is still called cutting and pasting but it is much easier: there’s no messy glue to worry about, and the participants are all 15-years-old. What progress we have made!"
Similarly, the author accurately describes the sort of INSET training day that teachers everywhere have come to dread: the parachuting in of a so-called expert who has nothing interesting or relevant to say, but wastes a lot of time in the process.
This book is a full-length version of a staffroom cynic's hilarious diatribe. Buy it.
This review was originally published in my Digital Education newsletter.
I agree with all the points Chalk raises and their solutions. I'm writing a similar book myself and had already had these thoughts and conclusions.
It is actually criminal that the reason all children are treated the same is in the name of fairness. But that fairness does not extend to those who want to quietly study and succeed without distraction, bullying, violence or abuse.
Teaching algebra to kids who can't follow instructions (if they even listen) is a waste of time and they are being failed by us. Equal worth must be given to technical schools - why are Grammar schools considered unfair? Because they are considered to be superior. They're just a different type of school. Anyone who works hard at school will succeed, whatever the type of school they go to. That is the most important lesson we can give our children. Let them gain self esteem by developing skills at things they CAN do, not a life of failure for things they'd never need anyway (like algebra)! Unfair? Ask the kids at these schools how 'fairness' is working out for them.
One story of a boy that eventually wised up and decided he'd wasted his opportunity and so was going to join the Army is exactly the problem. We're in a situation where we have to wait for them to realise how the world really is. And that's nearly always after they leave school.
When they have that realisation and they are motivated to do something about it, they'd be the easiest students to teach in the world. Until then we will have schools like this one.